New Hampshire Residents Terrified Rick Santorum Might Try to Connect with Them Personally

Nashua, NH – GOP hopeful Rick Santorum, buoyed by a close second-place finish in the Iowa Caucus, now looks towards New Hampshire, where the country’s first primary of the 2012 election cycle takes place next Tuesday.

But if Santorum is excited, New Hampshire residents are something else — terrified. They saw how Santorum went to as many venues as possible in Iowa, connecting personally with as many voters as he could. They’re scared of him doing the same thing in their state.

“I don’t know that I want him that physically close to me, like even up on a stage fifty or so yards away,” said Alan Edgall, 72, who has lived in Nashua all his life. “I mean, if he’s on TV, I guess that’s okay. But I don’t want to actually have to meet him, shake his hand. That’s too much.”

Residents may have a strong chance at avoiding an encounter with Santorum here. He only arrived on Wednesday, and the lack of both time and a campaign infrastructure in New Hampshire means he won’t be able to mount the kind of 99-county marathon he staged in Iowa. But campaign representatives said he does have plans to spend the next week engaging in the kind of meet-and-greet events that won him such a strong showing in Iowa. That means he’ll be traveling around the state, going to diners, pizza parlors and bars. So he’s certain to run into at least some of these less-than-enthused New Hampshire-ites.

But as Lonnie Francino, 63, said, he also has something of a blaring alarm that will precede him wherever he goes — the news media that is suddenly so interested in him.

“We’ll just look for those cameras and news vans and what have you,” Francino said. “And we won’t go into that particular place. I mean, I love the Golden Pantry Diner, but I come there and I see these news trucks and whatnot, that’ll mean he could be in there. And that means I can find somewhere else to get my Denver omelette.”

January 5th, 2012 by