Tag Archives: 2016 New Hampshire Primary

Why Can’t I Be President?

In 1996, longshot presidential candidate Caroline Killeen mocked President Bill Clinton for saying he once tried marijuana, but didn't breathe in the smoke.

In 1996, longshot presidential candidate Caroline Killeen mocked President Bill Clinton for saying he once tried marijuana, but didn’t breathe in the smoke.

It’s been 20 years (!) since filmmaker Al Ward and I met Caroline Killeen, a.k.a. the “Hemp Lady,” at her presidential campaign headquarters – a homeless shelter in Manchester, NH. Following the lonely ex-nun through the slushy streets on the day before Christmas, we shot the first scenes of our first documentary, “Why Can’t I Be President?”

I celebrate Killeen’s legacy – and reveal what happened to her – in today’s Boston Globe, as part of their fantastic “Primary Memories” series.

Produced for PBS stations, “Why Can’t I Be President?” highlighted the quirkiest feature of the New Hampshire Primary – that ANY American (age 35 and up) who pays $1,000 can run for President.

In most other states, who gets on the ballot is determined by the political parties, the Secretary of State or by gathering tens of thousands of signatures of registered voters (which requires a huge organization and lots of money.) In New Hampshire, the dream is yours – a permanent place in history – for a thousand bucks.

Some “fringe” candidates, like the Hemp Lady, devote their candidacy (and resulting media attention) to a serious cause. Some use their candidacy as a resume line to sell books and get higher rates on the speaking circuit. And some are just simply crazy, like your local Town Meeting crank – but with a much bigger megaphone.

It’s fascinating to consider how the term “fringe” has evolved since then. Continue reading

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Filed under Election 1996, New Hampshire Primary, Why Can't I Be President?

Dream On, Donald: Why Does Trump Defy the Wishes of New Hampshire’s Favorite Rock Star?

Hey, Donald Trump, want to win the New Hampshire Primary?

For starters, don’t piss off Aerosmith.

Lake Sunapee’s Steven Tyler and his lawyers asked you nicely to stop playing “Dream On” at your rallies, and you said you found a “better song.”

So what’s the better song?

At your Oct. 16 rally at Tyngsborough Elementary School (so close to NH, we’re claiming it as our own, like the Pheasant Lane Mall), you played “Dream On” multiple times on your mixed tape. I also heard “You’re the Best Around” from the Karate Kid soundtrack.

You know who played that before? Newt Gingrich at his 2012 fifth place New Hampshire Primary victory party. It’s bad karma.

Steven Tyler warned you. Pick another song.

Steven Tyler: Stop Dreaming On. (Courtesy of Ilya Mirman Photography)

Steven Tyler: Stop Dreaming On. (Courtesy of Ilya Mirman Photography)

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Filed under Election 2016, New Hampshire Primary