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January 9, 2008
Paolino: Personal touch helped Clinton win in N.H.
When former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino Jr. arrived in New Hampshire to campaign for Sen. Hillary Clinton, he hoped she could narrow the gap between Sen. Barack Obama to within the single digits.
But he wasn’t expecting a positive spread.
“Yesterday during the day,” he said from New Hampshire, “we were hoping that we were going to be in single digits behind Senator Obama. He had great momentum coming out of Iowa.”
But Clinton, who had been trailing in the polls in the days following her defeat in the Iowa Caucus, pulled ahead, defeating Obama by about three percentage points.
How does Paolino think Clinton did it?
“She went out, and she just campaigned her heart out,” Paolino said.
Politicians are typically surrounded by consultants, advisors, spokespeople, and “they just kind of make it into a robotic situation,” he said, “Nobody gets to see you.”
But in New Hampshire, Clinton made herself available to voters, even tearing up at a café when talking about the grueling nature of political campaigns.
Clinton took 39 percent of votes in the Democratic primary, while Obama had 36 percent. In New Hampshire, non-affiliated voters are free to vote in either party’s primary.
“Sen. Obama had been the political freight train,” Paolino said, but New Hampshire slowed him down. It’s now time, he said, to regroup.
The hopefuls are setting their sights on Michigan, South Carolina, Nevada, Florida...
The Rhode Island primary is set for March 4, after Governor Carcieri vetoed a bill that would have moved it up to Super Tuesday – Feb. 5 .
Many residents -- including Paolino -- complained that the veto rendered Rhode Island's primary nearly meaningless, as more than 30 states have earlier primary dates.
“If we had not won last night,” Paolino said, “Our March primary could have been meaningless.”
Paolino said Rhode Islanders consider Clinton a third senator: “She has been to Rhode Island many times. People admire her and like her.”
But, he added, he’s not taking anything for granted. He's filing as a Rhode Island Delegate.
“We’re going to have to work it.”
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 10:15 AM | Permalink
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