October 6, 2015

Hassan Lurches Left, Goes Negative In Botched Senate Launch

While it hardly came as a shock to the political world that New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is running for the U.S. Senate, it was surprising that a rollout clearly in the works for months was so lackluster.

From its bizarre timing in the middle of high-profile Hillary Clinton events, to Hassan immediately going negative and being unprepared to answer questions on key national issues, her announcement missed the mark.

In her first round of interviews, Hassan showed herself to be out of touch with New Hampshire values in both substance and tone, going negative at the first opportunity:

And responding to NH Today’s Jack Heath asking if she will run a positive campaign, Hassan basically said….no:

She also went liberal, announcing her support for President Obama’s dangerous Iran deal in an interview with Manchester’s WMUR:

And she tacked to the left on Cuba and Guantanamo Bay in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, parroting Obama administration positions on both issues.

On other foreign policy topics, Hassan failed to impress in an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio:

During the interview Hassan offered few specifics when it came to foreign policy.

“What we have to be sure of is that America is seen as even stronger than it is by our enemies and our allies and we have to work with our partners around the globe to keep America safe,” she said.

Compelling policy prescription, Governor.

Hassan enters the race damaged by a bruising budget battle, which explains why she continued to take credit for the budget compromise despite her spin being widely debunked by newspapers across the state.

A subject Hassan largely avoided yesterday was Hillary Clinton, who she endorsed last month, even though Clinton was campaigning in the state all day. Maybe that’s because Hassan needs to distance herself from Clinton’s deep unpopularity, as National Journal suggested in a report this morning:

Hillary Clinton’s sinking poll numbers have complicated the Senate Democrats’ path back to a majority. For all their success landing major candidates, their campaigns—like all down-ballot efforts in 2016—could largely reflect the outcome of the presidential race. And despite the boost candidates like Hassan could give, Democrats might have less reason to be optimistic about Senate races like New Hampshire’s than they did earlier this year after Clinton’s rocky summer.