Election 2012: My night at Romney HQ
The first primary in the country is always the most exciting and last night was no exception. Even though Mitt Romney was predicted to win, the question was still how big of a win it was going to be. Fortunately for Romney, he won with 40 percent of the vote, 17 percent ahead of second place, Congressman Ron Paul. This was a record-setting vote because it was the first where a non-incumbent Republican candidate for President has won both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.
Last night I went to Romney’s victory party. After going to four different polling locations, looking for Romney sign holders to interview, interestingly there were only Ron Paul supporters and only Romney lawn signs. After striking out on sign holders, I went back to his victory party which was held in a small cafeteria at Southern New Hampshire University. I walked into the press entrance, got my credentials, and went to stake out the building. There was a big line going to a desk for passes to get into his speech and people waiting in line to see the speech even though he wasn’t coming for hours.
After scoping out the room, I decided to go to the overflow room where people from all around the world came together to see who would win the first primary in the nation. The party had a very upbeat vibe with people singing and dancing to music and the occasional “Mitt 2012!”
After talking to people I decided to go back to the room where Romney was to do his speech. Romney came out of the box swinging with a speech of thanks and directed attacks on Obama, not his fellow Republican candidates. Romney made it clear that he was not going to stop until he was President.
After his speech I decided to go to the elevator he would come out of and get a quote. Unfortunately, Romney wouldn’t even look at me and the other reporters. I then raced over to the “overflow” room where he was to give a second speech thanking those supporters. Once again he refused to answer my question of “What would be the first thing you would do as president?” Maybe he’ll answer that question at his next stop, South Carolina…
Photo: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney addresses supporters after his victory in the New Hampshire primary on January 10. (Photo courtesy Coleman Hirschberg)