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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2734

Two Come-back Kids in New Hampshire as Hillary Clinton and John McCain Weather Grueling Scrutiny and Win Stunning Victories

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

New Hampshire Primary lived up to its billing as the make or break campaigning ground of America as Hillary Clinton and John McCain scored convincing victories. Like Bill Clinton in 1992 and John Kerry in 2004 those coming from behind, Hillary and John, surged ahead this year too. Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. reacts at her primary election night victory rally in Manchester, N.H. Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008.Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. reacts at her primary election night victory rally in Manchester, N.H. Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008.

Democratic candidate Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney came in second. The field of contenders has narrowed already from over a dozen to five or six remaining to fight out the massive Super Tuesday on February 25 when 23 primaries are scheduled to be held.

The total number of convention delegates to Democratic and Republican conventions is well over 2,000 each and those are being assessed on the basis of pledged and non-pledged candidates. Only one half of one percent of the American voters had voted so in Iowa and New Hampshire making up for very few delegate votes. Forty eight more states have to hold primaries still.

Hillary Clinton in an emotional speech said that New Hampshire gave her voice back. She climbed from being third in Iowa to an impressive first place mainly due to her organizational skills and ability to connect with the voters. President Bill Clinton also campaigned at several rallies and was well received every where he went. Hillary also said that “we are in it for the long haul, dispelling rumors that she was thinking of dropping out had she come second in New Hampshire.

John McCain looked very presidential as he gave his victory speech urging people to work towards the goal of making America great. His good showing ensures him the staying power to go the full length of the contest according to most observers. Mitt Romney came in second.

John Huckabee, John Edwards, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani have already decided to proceed to the next round of contests scheduled this month like the two winners Clinton and McCain. The grueling primary season will take its toll finally when the 23 primaries take place in February. There is shortened campaign time for all the candidates due to advanced date of Super Tuesday this year compared to the earlier March date. Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, gives thumbs-up and a wink to supporters on election night in Nashua, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008. McCain won the New Hampshire Republican primary, completing a remarkable comeback and climbing back into contention for the presidential nomination.Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, gives thumbs-up and a wink to supporters on election night in Nashua, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008. McCain won the New Hampshire Republican primary, completing a remarkable comeback and climbing back into contention for the presidential nomination.

Campaigning in New Hampshire was livelier with heated exchanges of rhetoric taking place all the time. Here are some of the highlights as reported by major news sources: Hillary Clinton was on the attack when she said “"It's hard to know exactly where Obama stands, and people need to ask that," she said.” Everybody is supposed to be vetted and tested."

Mitt Romney, the Republican runner-up in Iowa dismissed Huckabee's victory in Iowa as a fluke and disparaged John McCain as a Washington insider. "I did well among evangelicals, just not as well as the preacher did,” Romney said of Huckabee, an ordained minister who was popular with Christian conservatives. Polls showed Romney won support from about 1 in 5 evangelical voters, while more than half backed Mr. Huckabee in Iowa. Huckabee had less number of Evangelicals in New Hampshire.

Romney had blistering TV spots challenging Mr. McCain, an Arizona senator, on immigration and tax cuts. Romney said his experience in business, rescuing the Olympic Games and as governor of Massachusetts underscored his ability to change the status quo. If you want change in Washington, you've got to send somebody who knows how to change things," he said.

He said he was happy with his second-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire declared he was going to be there at the next 48 primaries, go for the gold medal and not the silver as at Iowa and New Hampshire.

McCain said he has better experience and judgment on war and anti-terrorism than his Republican rivals, and accused Romney of launching false and negative attacks and faulted the former Massachusetts governor for shifting his record on issues such as abortion and gay rights. "My record is very strong as a fiscal conservative, and I've not changed position on issues every couple of years," he said.

Huckabee reveled in his great victory in Iowa, at one point picking up the bass guitar at a rally in the gymnasium at New England College to play Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour. He was appealing to broader crowd than merely to the evangelicals. He emphasized his appeal on economic issues, proposed a plan to replace the federal income tax with a national sales tax.

Obama defended his message of hope stating "these are the days of miracles and wonder.” Clinton ended her speech in an airport hangar with the song "Taking Care of Business." She tried to draw distinctions and show she was the most electable candidate and could deliver on promises. "I'll be a president who won't just call for change, or a president who won't just demand change, but a president who produces change," the New York senator said.

- Asian Tribune –

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