The recent Speaker’s race came out as predicted; but, what really surprised me was how close it was, O’Brien by 4 votes; however a win is a win and we now have him back for two years. Unfortunately, Chandler is not a good campaigner coupled with the fact that too many of the crazies were elected or re-elected. There is a good side and that is the house is not veto proof and if things, once again, get too far out of hand, they will not be able to override Maggie’s vetoes.
I predict the biggest fight will be over the budget with UNH and HHS getting hit hard, as they did a couple of years ago. Although what Maggie did to get UNH to hold down tuition increases was to subsidize UNH with taxpayer $’s and taking credit for keeping the increases down. HHS, as I’ve heard has problems in their budget and the Medicaid expansion is a budget buster by all accounts.
I would not be surprised to see another 10% or more budget reductions across the board. These can be very painful but we have lived through them before.
The big Republican fear is how much damage will O’Brien do before the 2016 elections? The last time the Republicans got clobbered, state wide, and it was laid at O’Brien’s feet. The rumors are that Chris Sununu, a good guy and formidable candidate will be running for governor and Kelly Aoyette is up for re-election with the two Congressional seats up also.
What people are not discussing publicly is can O’Brien survive without the support of the Republican Party and establishment. Will he make a move to control the State Party Convention, the Republican Chairmanship and or the executive committee? Will he fight with the establishment over control of the Republican political process?
The Republicans are using 20 year old campaign strategies in a changing political environment with NH showing the growing dissatisfaction with both parties.
Where do we go from here? We have to ask the party bosses and establishment Republicans who are second guessing the voters and trying to control the political process.