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From Paul Steinhauser in the 603 - what to watch:
 

  • Gillibrand making moves in New Hampshire

  • Booker headed to NH on ‘Presidents Day’ weekend

  • Bloomberg makes an important friend during NH swing

  • Draft Beto fever hits NH

  • Swalwell sounds like he’s all in

 

Gillibrand staffing up in New Hampshire

In her first visit to New Hampshire since launching a presidential exploratory committee, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand targeted President Trump, vowed to fight for a progressive agenda, and touted her bipartisan chops. But she drew a line when it comes to naming a bipartisan Cabinet. And after speaking to an overflow crowd in Manchester at an event organized by the increasing influential NH Young Democrats – which kicked off her three-day trip -  the White House hopeful also revealed that she’s staffing up in the first-in-the-nation primary state, saying in an interview, “We are making an offer this weekend.”
Fox News
Union Leader
WMUR 
WATCH



Gillibrand calls for Northam to go

The White House hopeful was flying to New Hampshire as the Northam story was going viral. Asked in an interview immediately after her event Friday night in Manchester whether the Virginia governor’s apology was enough, Gillibrand said “from what I knew when I got off the plane was that he really needed to apologize. He needed to explain what that was about. It’s very disturbing. It’s very racist. It’s a huge issue and I’ll need to see what he said about it.”
WATCH video of that answer.
BUT about 90 minutes later, Gillibrand strengthened her stance, tweeting "Having seen the photo, I believe Governor Northam should resign.”

 

Gillibrand's weekend

The stop Friday night in Manchester kicked off a busy weekend. Gillibrand was scheduled to make stops in Nashua, Portsmouth and the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, and heads north on Sunday for events in Littleton. And that’s just the public schedule.


 

The other 2020 visitor in NH this weekend

Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts is making the quick trip north, headlining an event on Saturday with the Bedford Democrats. Moulton paid a couple of visits to New Hampshire last year, to campaign for his friend and fellow military veteran Maura Sullivan, who was running for Congress in NH-01. Last summer Moulton said he wasn’t running for the White House. But this new trip’s sparking renewed speculation that Moulton – a leader of the unsuccessful push late last year to prevent Nancy Pelosi from returning to the House speakership – is mulling a president bid. And those close to him are doing nothing to squelch the speculation.

Booker’s in – and he’s headed to NH – most appropriately – on Presidents Day weekend

Soon after Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey entered an increasingly crowded field of Democrats vying for their party’s presidential nomination, Booker’s top adviser in the Granite State – veteran consultant Jim Demers - told the Concord Monitor that “Clearly there’s going to be a significant focus on New Hampshire as part of the strategy.” Demers – who steered a young Sen. Barack Obama through New Hampshire during the 2008 primary – said that within an hour of Booker’s 7am Friday campaign launch, he had received seven invitations for the presidential candidate’s upcoming Granite State trip.
Concord Monitor
WMUR 
WATCH: On his last trip here, Booker said “NH’s been a gift to me already”  

Bloomberg takes aim at Trump and potential 2020 Democratic rivals


Looking and sounding like a Democratic presidential contender, former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg criticized potential rivals for the nomination as well as Republican President Donald Trump, during a two-day trip to New Hampshire. The billionaire media mogul and environmental and gun safety advocate also discussed climate change, one of his signature issues, during his swing through the state. And he won the praise of a top Granite State Democratic rainmaker.
Concord Monitor
Seacoast Online
 (Portsmouth Herald and Fosters Daily Democrat) 
WMUR
Fox News

WATCH: Bloomberg’s address at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics
WATCH: Bloomberg takes aim at Trump
WATCH: Bloomberg takes on rivals
WATCH: Bloomberg takes aim at Warren wealthy tax 
WATCH: Bloomberg lays on the charm
WATCH: DNC committee member Bill Shaheen praise Bloomberg, says he’ll endorse before the primary

 

 

Draft Beto fever hits New Hampshire

A group of Democratic activists and state lawmakers packed into a Concord home Wednesday night to hear from the leaders of a political group urging former Congressman Beto O’Rourke to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Concord Monitor
NHPR

 

 

It’s pretty obvious, Swalwell’s running

Congressman Eric Swalwell of California – making a quick trip to New Hampshire on Thursday – sounded like he’s all but certain to run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In an interview,  he said “we’re getting close. I’ve got staff in Iowa. We’re hiring in New Hampshire, South Carolina right now. I’m starting to put together the infrastructure that you need. But I see nothing but green lights on this journey so far.” Swalwell returns to New Hampshire in late February to headline ‘Politics and Eggs,’ a must stop for White House hopefuls.
Fox News
WMUR
WATCH

 

 

On deck in the upcoming week


Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, headlines ‘Politics and Eggs on Monday. New York entrepreneur and declared candidate Andrew Yang – a longshot for the nomination – has a jam packed itinerary on Tuesday and Wednesday. And Sen. Sherrod Brown Ohio – who’s mulling a White House bid – is in the state on Friday and Saturday as part of his listening tour.
 

 

Is Bill Weld going to primary challenge Donald Trump?


The former Republican governor of Massachusetts – who served two terms in the 1990’s and who repeatedly blasted Trump as the 2016 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee – headlines ‘Politics and Eggs’ on Feb. 15. Asked in a phone conversation with the Concord Monitor if he was coming to New Hampshire as a Republican or Libertarian, Weld declared "I’m just not saying anything. If I have anything to say, I’ll say it on the 15th." But New Hampshire conservatives aren’t rolling out the welcome mat. Newly elected New Hampshire GOP chair Steve Stepanek – who co-chaired Trump’s 2016 in the Granite State, told the Concord Monitor "as far as we’re concerned he’s a Libertarian and he can’t flip-flop back & forth for political expediency...We don’t want him back"
Fox News

 

Could Bernie be disqualified from primary ballot?

Remember the controversy during the 2016 cycle? It’s back. Get ready for the sequel. WMUR

 

 

NH considers rank choice voting for primary 

 

The AP has the story from the State House.

 

Reports of the primary's demise are greatly exaggerated

The take from New Hampshire political reporting veteran John DiStaso.

2020 generational gap

The take from longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley. 

 

Shaheen's 2020 re-election

The state’s senior U.S. Senator (and the first woman in American history elected both as a governor and a Senator) announced her bid for a third term representing New Hampshire in the Senate, but says she’s in no rush to get into campaign mode.
Seacoast Online (Portsmouth Herald and Fosters Daily Democrat)

Reunited

Top adviser Mike Vlacich gets ready for another tour of duty with Shaheen, as the 2020 re-election gets underway
Concord Monitor

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. You can follow Paul Steinhauser, NH's most versatile political news reporter, here, and contact THE 603 co-founder & publisher, Kieran Baker, here.