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Dufresne in the Union Leader: Maggie Hassan is a droid from the Dark Side

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You pick up the phone to hear yet another pollster. Like many Granite Staters, you oblige and begin answering. The nice young man or woman on the other end of the call eventually asks you something like this: “If you had to choose between a generic Republican or a generic Democrat, which would you choose?”


 I consistently find this question one of the most difficult to answer. What is a generic candidate? Does such a vague, robotic candidate even exist outside the local movie theater? Is there actually a politician whose doppelganger is a Dark Side version of the Star Wars droid built by Anakin Skywalker?


Yes, there is. And you don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to find her. You only have to drive to Concord and locate Governor Maggie Hassan, which truthfully might be just as difficult.


Hassan is the epitome of a Capital Hill robot who has been reprogrammed by her masters to accomplish what she’s been told to do.


While she once promised to have New Hampshire’s best interests at heart, like C-3PO, Maggie’s memory must have been erased. Unlike those of her metallic twin, her new Washington taskmasters aren’t as benevolent. DC insiders began the arduous process of reprogramming our governor months ago with the campaign protocol they hope will eventually get her to the U.S. Senate.


Her mission? No, it isn’t to make our state or country better, or even to advance important issues. It is to simply be that generic Democrat droid referenced by pollsters, whose sole purpose is to increase her party’s numbers in the U.S. Senate.


Hassan’s programmers in Washington must have recognized early on that she would have a better chance of accomplishing her mission if they limited her interactions with New Hampshire citizens. Thus, she has never hosted a single public forum.


Transparency also must have been a concern, because Granite Staters can’t even go to her website to learn how she would vote in Washington. Maggie Hassan is one of the only candidates in New Hampshire without an “issue section” on her own website.


The sad reality is that it would have been easier for every Granite Stater to have found free tickets to the midnight premier of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” than to have a conversation with Maggie Hassan at a town hall meeting – or to even use the Internet to learn where she stands on the topics that matter to us.


Another major part of Maggie Hassan’s reprogramming seems to have included hours of training in Washington political speak. For those who aren’t familiar with the Potomac dialect, it is a frustratingly ambiguous language that purposefully leaves you with little understanding of where a candidate stands. It would be easier to translate Chewbacca’s Wookiee grunts than to decipher what Governor Hassan is saying.


In order to succeed, generic Maggie Hassan’s interaction with the media has become so vague that even she doesn’t know where she stands on the issues anymore. Hassan was reportedly the first and only Democratic governor in the country to ask the federal government to pause resettlement of Syrian refugees. But after receiving backlash from liberals, our state’s chief executive quickly used the vagueness of her statements to try and appease her base and claim that her position was “misunderstood.” This newspaper’s editorial page rightfully criticized her by saying, “any confusion stems from Hassan’s evolving statements on the issues.”


If Hassan wanted to clearly articulate her policy positions, she would. Instead, on countless occasions, she has used her Washington political-speak to make vague and ambiguous sound bites on issues ranging from the closing of Gitmo to how she would address growing terrorism concerns. This isn’t Hassan confusion. This is a tactic programmed by Washington to confuse voters.


The metallic droids from Star Wars and our robotic Maggie Hassan certainly do have a lot in common. However, it is clear that the latter’s loyalty regrettably resides with the dark side of the Force. The special interest groups and party insiders who have reprogrammed Hassan will invest millions in her. Just as the Jedi master Yoda once said, when “you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” If the dark forces in Washington are successful in their mission to get their generic Democratic candidate elected here in New Hampshire, we should expect nothing more than a machine-like DC robot representing us on Capitol Hill.


Derek Dufresne is from Manchester, New Hampshire



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