"Iowa Picks Corn. New Hampshire Picks Presidents."

Well, it’s only a couple of days before the New Hampshire primary, and it’s starting to look like we’re going to have to do the country a favor AGAIN and take out some of the garbage.

Last night, several of the Democratic candidates attended a big fundraising dinner. And Hillary Clinton got a chilly reception.

In fact, she was booed twice.

On the Republican side, Iowa’s darling Mike Huckabee is finding the Granite State a bit chilly this winter. We have our own priorities — summed up pretty well here:

His aides are wary of New Hampshire. “It’s all no tax, no government there,” said Bob Wickers, a top strategist. “It’s not ideal.”

I’ve never heard of Bob Wickers before, but he’s dead right on two points — those two elements are pretty much the key to New Hampshire, and his guy’s sadly lacking on both points.

I’m not going to make any predictions about how the primary’s going to go. I know my fellow New Hampshirites, and we do NOT like to be taken for granted. (Indeed, we like to give the saying a bit of a twist and say “don’t take us for granite.”) But I will venture out a slight prognostication:

The Democrats’ fight will be between Obama and Edwards — and Obama has the advantage. Clinton will once again take a distant third.

On the Republican side, a lot of people still like John McCain. The state went for him in 2000. Romney has some clout, and he will likely make a good showing, but if he doesn’t clearly beat McCain, he loses in the expectations game. Giuliani will also do well, but won’t win it.

The wild card is Fred Thompson. He OUGHT to have the greatest appeal for traditional New Hampshire Republicans, but his campaign just hasn’t taken off. There could be a hefty underground movement — I’ve seen and heard a lot of people liking him and saying they’ll vote for him.

Iowa took out two Democrats, and good riddance to Biden and Dodd. I suspect that New Hampshire will take out at least one or two Republicans, and will take a hefty chunk out of Mike Huckabee. We won’t finish him off, but we’ll be setting him up for someone else to deliver the coup de grace.

Oh, and America? You’re welcome.

Mark Steyn, Clinton leadership, and mid-term elections
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