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From Paul Steinhauser in New Hampshire - 5 things to know: 
 

  • John Delaney is first again

  • Have potential longshots for nomination missed the boat?++Staffing up

  • Oprah’s not running for president, but one of her good friends may, and she’s coming to NH

  • NH Gov. predicts push by Trump supporters to change primary rules to favor the president will fail

  • Democratic debates set for June 2019; but where & how many? Formal announcements in the New Year - see you at the bottom: 

 
John Delaney’s holiday message
Rep. John Delaney was the first Democrat to declare his candidacy for president  – announcing his campaign in July of last year – just six months into Donald Trump’s presidency.
Now, the outgoing three-term congressman from Maryland is the first of any of the declared or potential 2020 contenders to go up in the Granite State with direct mail. His campaign sent out Christmas cards and mailers to approximately 90,000 Democratic and Independent households in New Hampshire in recent days. The mailers were headlined “Want to topple Trump? Take John Delaney seriously.”
 
Missed opportunity?
While Delaney’s been working overtime, have other potential Democratic presidential contenders who also lack name recognition, missed the boat by not putting in the hard work in New Hampshire before the bigger names likely start dropping into the state early next year?
“I’m surprised that we have not seen more of the candidates who are certainly accomplished and capable but may not be as well-known as the Bidens and the Warrens and the Sanders,” noted Terry Shumaker, a Manchester-based attorney and Democratic activist who’s been a close friend and adviser to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton for decades.
Only four likely White House hopefuls have visited the first-in-the-nation primary state in the crucial post-midterm election and pre-holiday period.

Concord Monitor
 
Staffing up
Delaney’s campaign – which has had a staffer in New Hampshire for months – says it will have three on the ground as of the beginning of the new year. The Delaney campaign may soon have company, as other potential but soon to be declared candidates are getting ready to staff up.
“There’s probably half a dozen of them that are currently trying to obtain staff,” New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley told Fox News.
Delaney, by the way, returns to the Granite State in mid-January.
 
Oprah’s friend coming to NH
Oprah Winfrey’s not running for the White House bid, but her friend Marianne Williamson last month took steps towards launching a presidential campaign. Williamson, a best-selling author and new age spiritual guru who’s also known for her multiple charitable efforts, visited Iowa over the summer. Next month she’ll spend a couple of days in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
Williamson will hold 
events at bookstores in Portsmouth, Concord, Nashua, and Laconia Jan. 9-11

Primary neutrality 
Gov. Chris Sununu predicts that a potential move by some of President Donald Trump’s top supporters in the Granite State to drop the state Republican Party’s decades old neutrality clause in order to back the president in the 2020 primary will fail. “I’m very, very confident that initiative will be withdrawn or defeated,” New Hampshire’s Republican governor told the Monitor on Thursday.
But one of the ring leaders of the push, state Rep. Fred Doucette of Salem -who served as a state co-chair of the 2016 Trump campaign – told theMonitor “we are leaning towards doing this.”
Doucette is leading the charge along with Windham selectman Bruce Breton, who was an early supporter of Trump’s successful 2016 campaign for president. They may introduce an amendment to alter the New Hampshire GOP’s by-laws that keep the state party neutral in primaries, including the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, in order to allow the state party to support the president’s 2020 re-election campaign.
They argue that Trump’s “the sitting president and the head of our party, and we should be endorsing and supporting him with everything we have in New Hampshire.”
But opponents of the move spotlight that the dropping of the neutrality clause would threaten the state’s cherished century long tradition of holding the first primary in the race for the White House.

Concord Monitor 
WMUR 

 
No early debate for the Granite State
The last time there was a large field of candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination was the 2008 cycle. And during that cycle two major Democratic presidential debates were held in New Hampshire. CNN hosted a showdown in June of 2007 and ABC hosted a debate in January 2008, just days before the primary.
It appears the Democrats will once again have a large field of contenders battling for the nomination, but neither New Hampshire or any of the other early voting states will be holding more than one Democrat National Committee sanctioned debate. The DNC announced this week that New Hampshire’s sole party sanctioned debate will take place in the run up to the primary. 

CNN 
WaPo
 

Will California’s early voting diminish New Hampshire’s primary role?
Hopefully not. 
This story’s been reported and debated in dozens of news stories over the past couple of weeks. But if you haven’t had your fill, check out this smart summary from 
NHPR
 
And finally
The leader board from 
Rolling Stone & moving chairs from Huff Po... a list of of democratic candidates & how their turnover in staff rank... now that's getting granular! 
 
Thanks as always for sharing with friends and colleagues, please point anyone and everyone to sign up 
here. That's all we've got, have a great weekend, and a very happy holiday season. Back in the New Year. You can follow Paul Steinhauser, NH's most versatile political news reporter, here, and contact THE 603 co-founder & publisher, Kieran Baker, here.  

From Paul Steinhauser in New Hampshire - 5 things to know: 
 

  • John Delaney is first again

  • Have potential longshots for nomination missed the boat?++Staffing up

  • Oprah’s not running for president, but one of her good friends may, and she’s coming to NH

  • NH Gov. predicts push by Trump supporters to change primary rules to favor the president will fail

  • Democratic debates set for June 2019; but where & how many? Formal announcements in the New Year - see you at the bottom: 

 
John Delaney’s holiday message
Rep. John Delaney was the first Democrat to declare his candidacy for president  – announcing his campaign in July of last year – just six months into Donald Trump’s presidency.
Now, the outgoing three-term congressman from Maryland is the first of any of the declared or potential 2020 contenders to go up in the Granite State with direct mail. His campaign sent out Christmas cards and mailers to approximately 90,000 Democratic and Independent households in New Hampshire in recent days. The mailers were headlined “Want to topple Trump? Take John Delaney seriously.”
 
Missed opportunity?
While Delaney’s been working overtime, have other potential Democratic presidential contenders who also lack name recognition, missed the boat by not putting in the hard work in New Hampshire before the bigger names likely start dropping into the state early next year?
“I’m surprised that we have not seen more of the candidates who are certainly accomplished and capable but may not be as well-known as the Bidens and the Warrens and the Sanders,” noted Terry Shumaker, a Manchester-based attorney and Democratic activist who’s been a close friend and adviser to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton for decades.
Only four likely White House hopefuls have visited the first-in-the-nation primary state in the crucial post-midterm election and pre-holiday period.

Concord Monitor
 
Staffing up
Delaney’s campaign – which has had a staffer in New Hampshire for months – says it will have three on the ground as of the beginning of the new year. The Delaney campaign may soon have company, as other potential but soon to be declared candidates are getting ready to staff up.
“There’s probably half a dozen of them that are currently trying to obtain staff,” New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley told Fox News.
Delaney, by the way, returns to the Granite State in mid-January.
 
Oprah’s friend coming to NH
Oprah Winfrey’s not running for the White House bid, but her friend Marianne Williamson last month took steps towards launching a presidential campaign. Williamson, a best-selling author and new age spiritual guru who’s also known for her multiple charitable efforts, visited Iowa over the summer. Next month she’ll spend a couple of days in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
Williamson will hold 
events at bookstores in Portsmouth, Concord, Nashua, and Laconia Jan. 9-11

Primary neutrality 
Gov. Chris Sununu predicts that a potential move by some of President Donald Trump’s top supporters in the Granite State to drop the state Republican Party’s decades old neutrality clause in order to back the president in the 2020 primary will fail. “I’m very, very confident that initiative will be withdrawn or defeated,” New Hampshire’s Republican governor told the Monitor on Thursday.
But one of the ring leaders of the push, state Rep. Fred Doucette of Salem -who served as a state co-chair of the 2016 Trump campaign – told theMonitor “we are leaning towards doing this.”
Doucette is leading the charge along with Windham selectman Bruce Breton, who was an early supporter of Trump’s successful 2016 campaign for president. They may introduce an amendment to alter the New Hampshire GOP’s by-laws that keep the state party neutral in primaries, including the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, in order to allow the state party to support the president’s 2020 re-election campaign.
They argue that Trump’s “the sitting president and the head of our party, and we should be endorsing and supporting him with everything we have in New Hampshire.”
But opponents of the move spotlight that the dropping of the neutrality clause would threaten the state’s cherished century long tradition of holding the first primary in the race for the White House.

Concord Monitor 
WMUR 

 
No early debate for the Granite State
The last time there was a large field of candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination was the 2008 cycle. And during that cycle two major Democratic presidential debates were held in New Hampshire. CNN hosted a showdown in June of 2007 and ABC hosted a debate in January 2008, just days before the primary.
It appears the Democrats will once again have a large field of contenders battling for the nomination, but neither New Hampshire or any of the other early voting states will be holding more than one Democrat National Committee sanctioned debate. The DNC announced this week that New Hampshire’s sole party sanctioned debate will take place in the run up to the primary. 

CNN 
WaPo
 

Will California’s early voting diminish New Hampshire’s primary role?
Hopefully not. 
This story’s been reported and debated in dozens of news stories over the past couple of weeks. But if you haven’t had your fill, check out this smart summary from 
NHPR
 
And finally
The leader board from 
Rolling Stone & moving chairs from Huff Po... a list of of democratic candidates & how their turnover in staff rank... now that's getting granular! 
 
Thanks as always for sharing with friends and colleagues, please point anyone and everyone to sign up 
here. That's all we've got, have a great weekend, and a very happy holiday season. Back in the New Year. You can follow Paul Steinhauser, NH's most versatile political news reporter, here, and contact THE 603 co-founder & publisher, Kieran Baker, here.