Ron Paul kicks off a two day visit to New Hampshire today with an appearance at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Doors open at 3:00 PM at the Memorial Union Building, Granite State Room. The event is being hosted by the Young Americans for Liberty at UNH. More information is available on Facebook
This is a great opportunity for any New Hampshire citizen to make their voice heard! Attend this event and ask Ron Paul to weigh in on the issues that matter most to you.
I'll be posting live from this event later today... Stay tuned!
354 people have signed up on Facebook to attend Ron Paul's speech in Durham today. Recommend arriving early to get a good place in line!
Update 1:30 PM
Scratch that. Just arrived outside the Granite State Room - no line. In fact, there is no one here at all. A student sitting at a table outside the door laughed when I asked if he was manning the Ron Paul event and remarked, "I'm just doing homework." Keep your nose in the books my friend!
Not too surprising given that Ron Paul has yet too officially launch his presidential campaign, meaning no infrastructure is in place to rally supporters. I just found out about the event today.
Still, I'm reminded of Barack Obama's early visit to the University of New Hampshire back in January of 2007, which I covered for Gather.com. Students were lined up outside the Field House two hours before the door opened. Apparently Ron Paul hasn't attained that kind of rock star status.
Update 1:45 PM
A little background. This is Ron Paul's first visit to New Hampshire since 2008, according to CNN. That year, he finished 5th place with 8 percent of the vote in the Granite State's first-in-the-nation presidential primary. It was not his best showing of the election. He won 24 percent of the vote in Idaho and broke the 10% mark in a number of other states.
Update 2:08 PM
A few folks have lined up outside the door of the Granite State room, awaiting Ron Paul's speech at 3:00.
Update 2:15 PM
I'm interested to see what Ron Paul has to say about key issues like education and collective bargaining. You've probably been hearing some Tea Party enthusiasts calling for the abolition of the Department of Education. It's an idea that can be traced directly back to Paul.
In Iowa yesterday, the Texas Congressman took the DOE to task for indoctrinating kids instead of educating them. He basically dodged a question about the issue of collective bargaining during a recent interview with radio talk show host Rebecca Costa.
Just yesterday, the Republican-dominated Finance Committee of the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a budget amendment that would kill collective bargaining rights for 70,000 public employees, including firefighters and teachers. In a move reminiscent of the secret committee vote that enabled passage of union busting legislation in Wisconsin, the amendment was introduced without prior notice by Rep. Neal
Kurk late last night and voted on without any public comment period or hearing.
While Concord probably won't become the next Madison, there have been a number of well attended rallies in solidarity with Wisconsin workers in the Granite State. The progressive movement that helped President Barack Obama win here in 2008 is waking up to the harsh realities of Republican rule. Activists will likely be attending GOP campaign events, confronting GOP presidential candidates with tough questions about issues like collective bargaining. Not exactly the kind of political climate the GOP was hoping for in 2012.
Update 3:09 PM
I was just handed an invite to "Porc Fest 2011", a Free State Project sponsored event that sounds kind of like Woodstock for Libertarians. Check it out at www.porcfest.com
... not to be confused with the Live Free or Die Rally, another event being promoted by flier here today.
Update 3:17 PM
Still no Ron Paul, but the room is now close to capacity. I'd estimate around 200 people gathered here today. Maybe he is a rock star? Worth noting that I overheard one student on a cell phone say, "I'm waiting to hear Ron Paul. He's running for president. I think he's a Democrat!" In other words, crowd size should not be used as a measure of support.
Update 8:00 PM
Got some great video at today's event and will be posting here at newhampshireprimary.blogspot.com ASAP.