The local newspaper calls it “tepid praise.” I’d call it trash talk. . .and it comes from supposedly friendly territory: New Hampshire Democrats

According to Belknap County Democratic Chair, Lynn Chong, Hillary Clinton is inexperienced, saddled with baggage from her husband’s affairs, Whitewater, and a failed attempt to reform health care. In a Laconia Citizen article, Chong says that Hillary has served “just one full term in the Senate and was a member of the 109th ‘do-nothing Congress.'” Chong also questions whether Hillary will “do the people’s business” as she has promised or be “too preoccupied with her presidential bid” to change U.S. policy in Iraq.

Calling the Iraq war the “elephant in the room,” another prominent local Democrat, state representative Beth Arsenault, claims that Hillary has been “a little too far out in front in backing it and too late behind in opposing it.” Arsenault also faults Hillary for trying to walk down the middle of the road politically, a strategy that “worked for Bill Clinton” but not for his wife.

Earlier today when I tried to imagine how Rush Limbaugh might greet Hillary’s announcement, what Chong and Arsenault had to say is exactly what came to mind. This is my neighborhood and it is traditionally a conservative, Republican stronghold. But the Iraq war has changed everything here. Last year they kicked out Jeb Bradley from Congress and put in a little-known liberal to take his place.

In an ironic twist, for local Democrats the problem with Hillary is not that she is too liberal but that she is not liberal enough. Of course, New Hampshire Democrats have not had the best track record of late when it comes to picking presidential candidates. That, and a tendency to self-immolate, makes today’s commentary from party leaders not too surprising.

Welcome back to New Hampshire Hillary!

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