The morning of the event a roundtable discussion about small businesses at the locally owned Smuttynose Brewing Company the Pattons arrived early, help set up, and secured the best spot in the house: front row, first two seats. Lenore, 78, and Gary, 77, had a perfect view of the candidate. Clinton aides emphasize in every email, memo, and press release that this campaign is about everyday Americans. But as a result of efforts to keep each gathering intimate allowing Clinton to best get the input of everyday Americans few Americans of that particular stripe actually end up in the room.
The morning of the event — a roundtable discussion about small businesses at the locally owned Smuttynose Brewing Company — the Pattons arrived early, help set up, and secured the best spot in the house: front row, first two seats.
Clinton aides emphasize — in every email, memo, and press release — that this campaign is about “everyday Americans.” But as a result of efforts to keep each gathering intimate — allowing Clinton to best “get the input of everyday Americans” — few Americans of that particular stripe actually end up in the room.
Last month, before her first event in New Hampshire, a group of young supporters stood outside the venue in the rain, hoping to catch a glimpse of the candidate. Clinton never materialized. But every now and then, one could be seen at the window, face pressed to the glass, hands cupped on either side for a better view.
The roundtable in Hampton was Clinton’s largest yet. About 60 people came — including the Pattons, who described themselves as local activists who “fervently supported” Barack Obama in 2008 and now “fervently support” Clinton. The rest of the group was a mix: some invited by the campaign, some invited by the brewery, and others who’d simply asked to come. According to a Clinton aide, the campaign was able to accommodate nearly every request to attend that they received.
And then the spell of the everyday was broken. Clinton was swarmed by reporters. From the aisle, pressed up against a wall of beer cases stacked to the ceiling on pallet shelves, they gathered in a thick circle that happened to coalesce right around the two best seats in the house. Lenore and Gary Patton could not talk to the candidate they had come to see. They could not even get out of their chairs. Read more…