Bass Soon
09-30-2009
It looks like former Rep. Charlie Bass is preparing to jump back into the electoral arena, in an attempt to reclaim his second district seat from the Democrats. One of the subplots in New Hampshire politics in recent months has been speculation over whether Bass would run for statewide office again, and if so, for which office – governor, senator, or representative. The filing of a statement of candidacy tomorrow for the second district race would at least put that particular question to rest.
 
It is true that Bass brings high name recognition to the race, and six terms in office certainly gives him a veteran’s grasp of legislative politics and campaigning. Last time Bass was saddled with a tremendously unpopular incumbent president from his own party, but this time he will have President Obama and a Democratic majority in Congress to rail against on everything from a weak economy and budget deficits to health care and homeland security.
 
Still, it remains to be seen whether Bass can retool his candidacy to better fit the changing demographics of New Hampshire’s second district. For many years he was able to tack just close enough to its political center to remain in office, but the district has moved steadily to the left over the past decade. His moderate brand of main street Republicanism will play better with independents in the district than the more polarizing movement conservatism gaining popularity in other parts of the country, but that could actually jeopardize his ability to get through a Republican primary here, and it won’t necessarily put him in step with the increasingly progressive communities he once represented.


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