Commentary Magazine


Down the Memory Hole in New Hampshire

“Have you ever seen crowds like this in New Hampshire? Ever?” Joe Scarborough of MSNBC asked a representative of the Obama campaign, who, unsuprisingly, answered that Gee, no, he never ever had seen crowds like these, ever. Strange. I seem to remember in 2000 that there were crowds like these in New Hampshire for John McCain, who walked on water in exactly the same fashion Obama is walking on water these days. He had young people all excited, independents loved him, he offered a message of reform (the 2000 version of “change”), blah blah blah. McCain won 49 percent of the vote to George W. Bush’s 30 percent. It will be interesting to see if Obama’s expected victory matches McCain’s 19-point triumph, which clearly did not guarantee McCain the nomination he did not ultimately win. (I do think, for the record, that a huge Obama victory here is far more devastating to Clinton’s ambitions than the McCain victory was to George W. Bush’s, for Bush had at least won Iowa.) Oh, and in 1992 we heard a lot of the same blather about Pat Buchanan’s challenge to the sitting President Bush, when he got a stunning 38 percent of the vote against an incumbent in the White House. And yet, every single time, the media fall for the spin. And why not? They invent it anew for themselves every four or eight years.