Sunday, February 11, 2007

Coos County

Hillary's first NH appearance this weekend received excellent reviews; great front page coverage in the Boston Globe (the "paper of record" for much of Southern New Hampshire, where the vast majority of the votes are). A subtle but savvy decision was the one to make the first appearance in beleaguered Berlin, in northern Coos County.

Berlin (pronounced with an accent on the first syllable) was in tough shape economically back in 1999-2000. Since then, apparently, the last paper mill (there were 4 at one time) has closed, and the city has hemorrhaged jobs.

In 2000, when she began her campaign for the Senate seat, Hillary eschewed the West Side and spent day after day "upstate", listening to the towns and cities that had been left behind in the go-go-1990s. Perhaps with a parallel, Saturday's visit was one of the places in the coasts (and in NH) that directly mirror the experience of the industrial midwest.

All that being said, Hillary promised Berliners that she wouldn't forget them. Query: how do residents of Plattsburgh and Watertown, and other upstate NY towns that were part of the 2000 "listening tour" feel?

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