June 09. 2014 10:51PM

Bergdahl responses: Hassan, Kuster embarrass NH


Gov. Maggie Hassan must sometimes think to herself, “Thank goodness for Annie Kuster.” If not for Kuster, Hassan would sometimes be the New Hampshire politician with the least defensible statement or position of the week. The Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange was a great recent example.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Gov. Hassan were quick to issue news releases praising the deal. All were bad, but Hassan’s was the worst.

“Sergeant Bergdahl’s release is incredibly heartening news, and I am sure his family and loved ones are overcome with joy that they will soon be reunited. His dedication and resilience represent the very best of all our service members, and I join all Americans in thanking him for his service, bravery and sacrifice,” Hassan said.

An alleged deserter who walked away from his post multiple times represents “the very best of all our service members?”

Kuster released no immediate statement. But asked about the deal by a reporter, she said, inexplicably, “You know, John McCain was a POW too, but he says we shouldn’t be negotiating with terrorists like this.” We have no idea what that means. Nor this: “Well, here’s the bottom line, we’re negotiating already when we leave people there.” If you can decipher those statements, the CIA could use your code-breaking talents.

Only Sen. Kelly Ayotte responded to the news with any indication that she knew what she was talking about. When it comes to foreign affairs, that has become a pattern among New Hampshire’s top elected officials.