New Hampshire voters are just one of the many groups the GOP presidential candidates were targeting last night
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Every four years, St. Anselm College, nestled like a leafier Georgetown University in Goffstown, N.H., just outside Manchester proper, becomes a magnet for candidates. Campaigns use the school as a backdrop to give speeches and, like they did last night, debate. The news media uses the school and the surrounding city as a launching pad for coverage of the New Hampshire primary. But it's not as if the locals aren't in on the game. "The Red Arrow Diner was full of journalists looking for locals," tweeted ABC News' Josh Wolf yesterday afternoon. "The locals were in hiding." The famed Lowell Street greasy spoon is, for its part, the sort of place where the fifth counter seat from the door is marked with a plaque reading, "John Edwards sat here."
Nearly everyone involved in the process is interested in breaking out of that bubble, at least now and again. The Atlantic's Josh Green reported on how debate host CNN promised that last night's debate would be shot through with social media features. But that aspect of the debate was a failure. Moderator John King barely bothered with what was coming in over Twitter and Facebook. "A lot of good questions," he said at one point, drawing attention to the board displaying the social media streams. This was said in the manner that someone not particularly interested in infants might say, "Look at the cute baby."