Congratulations to the new Chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party!
Jennifer Horn is a clever, determined and energetic political leader who will work hard to rally the various remaining segments of the GOP. To the extent that there are still some moderates in her party, Horn will want to keep them in the ranks, while the rightwing folks continue to advance an agenda that many in New Hampshire, perhaps most, find disturbing.
To achieve success, one would think that the GOP would want to find positive messages that appeal to the independant voters of the Granite State. But Republican leaders are starting off with pretty negative things to say, like state Sen. Andy Sanborn calling our new Gov. Maggie Hassan "an enemy..."
Heck, Maggie just took office. She's working hard to craft a budget proposal. She's not on anyone's enemy list yet, unless Sanborn's point is just that she had the temerity to win the office, and therefore has the power to lead.
And then there are the thoughts of Senate President Peter Bragdon, who is a pretty moderate fellow (at least within the context of the present GOP). His comments are to the effect that the 13 Republicans in the Senate will stand as a "firewall" against efforts to reform or repeal the voter ID law and the "stand your ground" law that the Republican majority passed last term. There's nothing like promising that you will fight to defend unpopular legislation that got you in trouble last time. The national voter ID effort, that was designed to discourage people from exercising their right to vote, probably generated more Democratic votes than it surpressed in the last election. The New Hampshire ID law, that in its current form will cause even more voter distress than the Republicans could manage in 2012, desperately needs to be fixed. And the "stand your ground" law, that permits a level of breathtaking street violence in the name of self defense, seems glaringly out of touch with the needs of our country right now. I'm willing to bet that old line Republicans who used to run the Party wish this kind of legislative foolishness would just go away. Are there any old line Republicans any more?
Time will tell. It's clear that Jennifer Horn is one of the newer Republicans, folks who advocate for pre-New Deal fiscal policies and social constraints common to the 1870s. It will be interesting to see if she succeeds in packaging the old GOP ideas in new sound bites, or helps the GOP move to new ideas that someone not in the Party might actually admire.