Tag Archives: politics

Big crowd turns out for the President in Nashua, NH

Yesterday our President came to town!

President Obama dropped in on the citizens of Nashua, NH on Saturday (Oct. 27, 2012) as part of the last leg of his re-election campaign. In my opinion, having the leader of the free world stopping into town is a big deal and for me a chance to capture a little history with my camera.


President Obama during campaign stop in Nashua, New Hampshire on October 27, 2012. ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights Reserved

The folks in Nashua really turned out and despite long lines and many hours of waiting, they kept the smiles on their faces.  The fact that so many people decided to take part makes me hopeful about the state of our body politic.  It was a small demonstration against apathy, and I will take it as a positive sign.

Singer- songwriter James Taylor during his performance in Nashua, NH during the Obama campaign event on Oct. 27, 2012 .  ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights Reserved

James Taylor provided a warm-up act for the main show and he did not disappoint.  He played a  selection of his hits and really sounded great.  It was a nice distraction and provided some relive for the thousands of folks patiently standing en-mass on the lawn of the Elm Street School campus.

I was able to share this experience in the company of two of my sisters, which is rare get together for us, which made for a more important occasion.  The event brought to mind, all the political /campaign events we have witnessed together in New Hampshire over the last forty  or so years.   From the days of Nixon to today we have had a front row seat to the American political process.

 

Just another good day in New Hampshire.

President Obama at Nashua, NH campaign stop on Oct. 28, 2012.  ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine = Al Right Reserved

 

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RIP Senator Specter

Senator Arlen Specter during hearings on Capital Hill ©2006 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights reserved

Senator Arlen Specter during hearings on Capital Hill. This image is from my archive of client work.  Many of my photography assignements involved creating editorial images for public policy clients.  ©2006 Daniel J. Splaine – All Rights reserved

The news of the death of Senator Arlen Specter yesterday was noteworthy for a few reasons.  First and foremost the nation has lost a long serving and capable public servant. His death also marks the end of another era in American political life.  The senate he served in was once a place of civility and high-minded pursuit of effective public policy.  Today it is all about dogma and disparagement  Moderate northeastern Republicans like Specter, offered a counter balance to more extreme right and in my opinion we all benefited from that middle road.

Specter was tough and pragmatic, with a political career that began with the Warren Commission and ended with the Tea Party.  In my photography career I was able to photograph and observe the senator in action on a couple of occasions. What I recall most from watching in the Senate hearing room was his intensity and his no-nonsense approach.  We would be well served as a nation if we had more like him.  Agree with him or not, the man always earned respect. RIP sir.

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NH Primary fun – “You’re no Jack Kennedy…”

Game on in New Hampshire!  Now that the Iowa caucus is over John Huntsman will not be the only primary candidate wandering the streets on New Hampshire  seeking primary voters.    This shot  made on Monday when all the excitement was in the Midwest, the calm before the storm.  Looking forward to a week full of political events and sightings.

Gov. Huntsman with wife in tow,  passing in front of a bust of JFK  which graces the  Main Street in front of the city hall in Nashua, NH.   The statue commemorates the spot that  Kennedy started his campaign for president in 1960.  The image reeks of irony for me and I can not but hear the voice of Lloyd Benson comment on VP Dan Quayle ” You’re no Jack Kennedy…”

The presidential primary,  the national sport of the Granite State  is truly  one of my favorite things.  Only six more days until the parade leaves town!

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R.I.P. Governor – Walter Peterson (1922-2011)

I just saw the notices of the death of former New Hampshire Governor Walter Peterson and  can’t help but feel a bit sad.   Not only have we lost a genuine public servant we also have lost a gracious human being.  No recollection of him occurs without a smile emerging on my face.

“The Governor” remains as one of my favorite politicians that I have photographed in my career.  On two occasions shooting for the CCSNH system in the last couple of years allowed me to spend some time getting to know this fine gentleman.  There was nothing exceptional about the photographic experience but personal experience was truly rich.

The last time I photographed him and despite being in a roomful of noteworthy and distinguished people clamoring for his ear, Mr. Peterson chose to spend a few moments chatting with me.  We quickly established our common roots in Nashua, our mutual love for politics and lament for the lack of civil discourse in the current political climate.  The fact that this man took the time and was genuinely interested in our exchange truly mattered to me.

As a kid in NH, Walter Peterson became one of the first politicians that captured my nascent curiosity about politics and public policy.  He is an iconic example of the moderate Republican, most concerned with good governance rather than dogma.  His refusal to take the “the pledge” and keep taxes an option in state policy more than likely cost him his third term.  His successor, Mel Thompson, embraced the rigid promise and New Hampshire has been saddled with that irrationality ever since.

The political spectrum is a little narrower and the world is little less kind today without Walter Peterson – R.I.P.

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The scrum begins- NH PRIMARY has a slow start

 

The national sport of the State of New Hampshire is of course the much beloved, first in the nation, presidential primary.  Having had the privileged of  growing up in Nashua, I have been watching the parade of  politicians stomping across the granite state since the early 1970′s. (We are a state of astute political handicappers and I think the rest of the nation does not quite get  what a service we provide to the body politic).  For myself, a political junkie and a photographer the primary campaigns are pure joy and source of great imagery.

This time around the parade has not really begun.  Given President Obama’s unchallenged status among the Democratic party and the Republican pool of candidates unwilling and reluctant to jump in things are pretty quiet on the NH stump.  At this point in a typical election year we would have candidates and their minions as thick as black flies roaming the state.

The Memorial Day appearance of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann in Dover was my first chance of this election cycle to photograph a candidate on the hunt for votes.  Despite her undeclared status and Sarah Palin’s tour competing for media attention a fair amount of media turned out.  Half the fun of the primary show is the media scrum that follows the candidates and of course jumping in to get the images I want to make. My mass and height give me some advantage in the mix and a certain immunity to elbows and nudges.

Bachmanns’s presentation was unremarkable by design-she is keeping her powder dry for her upcoming Iowa announcement. As modest as the  event was it excited my taste for things to come, the political theater of the New Hampshire primary.  Bring on the parade!

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