Senator Gregg picks up the microphone...
“We’re very fortunate in New Hampshire to have the environment and resources that we have, it’s always good to get away from Washington, D.C. said Gregg. The short speech would continue on in this tone for several more minutes I think he might have said something about his ownership of some land near Jefferson, N.H. I’m waiting for the information about the jobs, economic development and tax base.
It never came.
And so the questions began…
“Do you think Steve has a shot?” said Rep. Bill Williams, a Republican from Sugar Hill. By now Governor Steve Merrill is approaching the end of his last term and is now actively campaigning to be Chairman of the RNC. A lobbyist would tell me that when Merrill wasn’t in Washington having a reception he was all over southern New Hampshire giving speeches with every other sentence being, “Heather and I." “I think he has a good chance.” said the Senator in response to the first question.
Merrill would end up losing the race.
The questions continue on. I’m trying to be recognized by putting my hand in the air, only to be partially blocked by the staffer, a few laughing and overweight loudmouths in the room aren’t helping and by now the Harvard graduate is poising a question: “Is there a possibility of a Secretary Gregg in the future?” The assumption being made that a re-elected President Clinton makes a Republican appointment to his cabinet, Commerce and Treasury seem to be the likely fit for Gregg. I’m now trying to figure out if this question is a complement, straight ass-kissing or a combination of both. It’s clear that I’m of the wrong pedigree to understand the nuances of this conversation; in short I’m out of my league. “There’s a lot of work to be done on the budget, especially this next cycle.” Gregg said as he added that he was looking forward to working with the administration on a number of areas, but he doesn’t what areas these are. By now I’ve had it; I’m asking the next question I rub past the staffer with my hand in the air, Gregg turns in my direction and I ask:
“Senator can you explain exactly what types of economic development and projects you’re involved with and what types of companies may be locating or expanding into New Hampshire?”
To my surprise there is no pause.
“We’ve found in Washington that the best way to approach these types of decisions is to leave the main iniative to the private sector.” Gregg said. I don’t know if this is a quality response or not. Senator Gregg is clearly a powerful individual in both Washington, D.C. and in New Hampshire. But to me the term “we in Washington” seems to mean the power base and control and exactly where we are in the whole process of power. I'll stop short of calling this an us vs. them arguement though.
There is no them.