Fergus Cullen: Bob Smith can't outrun his bizarre political past
The tenacious Smith ran three times for Congress before getting elected. In 1980, he lost the nomination to Marshall Cobleigh. In 1982 he won the nomination but lost the general to incumbent Rep. Norm D’Amours. Finally in 1984 he won an open seat. Six years later he was elected to the Senate, easily defeating former Sen. John Durkin.
In February 1999, Smith announced he was running for President. Frustrated by how few rallied to his banner, Smith took the floor of the Senate in July to denounce the Republican Party for lacking principle and announced he was quitting the party. The GOP “is not a political party that means anything,” Smith thundered. “It’s a charade and I’m not going to take part in it anymore.” Members of his staff resigned, refusing to follow him. The state Republican Party banned Smith from attending party events.
Fergus Cullen, a freelance columnist, is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party and interned for Smith in 1992. He can be reached at email@example.com and followed @FergusCullen.
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