Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Democratic candidate Dr. Carl Perrin was stunned by his poor showing in the New Hampshire primary yesterday. Even Dennis Kucinich ran ahead of Perrin with 1.4 percent of the vote. Votes for “Others” garnered only 1.1 percent. “I grew up in the state, went to school there, and starting teaching in Hollis, New Hampshire.” Perrin’s campaign was hurt by two things: the negative brochure that suggested he was a martini drinker—or even worse—a wine sipper, rather than a beer drinker. “The brochure was full of lies,” Perrin said, “but it still hurt me with the state’s beer drinkers.”

The second problem with Perrin’s campaign was that he depended on his connections with the state, and he never did any active campaigning. On primary day someone pointed out to Perrin that even though he grew up in the state, he hasn’t lived there for 50 years. “Only 50 years and no one knows me?” Perrin asked. “How quickly they forget.”

Despite his surprising loss in New Hampshire and Iowa, Perrin vows to go on. “I need to rethink my campaign strategy,” Perrin concedes. One big thing that pushed Hillary Clinton ahead of Barack Obama may have been her near breakdown in Portsmouth, NH, when someone asked her how she kept up the pace. “It is hard,” she said, “It is hard.” Tears welled up in her eyes, and her voice broke. The genuine emotion of that moment brought many people to see her as a real human being rather than a coldly scripted automaton.

Perrin’s campaign manager, Aristotle Mongoose, is working on some kind of question that might move Perrin to tears in public. “Like if we told him he would have to give up his afternoon nap during the rest of the campaign, that would make him cry.”

Perrin is not going to bother with the campaign in Nevada. He is going straight to South Carolina. Perrin spent a year and a half in Fort Jackson, just outside of Columbia. He and his army buddies hit practically every bar in town at some time or other, and they always drank cheap beer. Not only was Perrin stationed in South Carolina, but somehow he was assigned to the "Dixie Division." "That should get me some votes from Southerners," Perrin said.

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