A good portion of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates came to the Hillsborough County Democratic Annual Picnic on Sunday. While the candidates were, to various degrees, intriguing, the star was an 11 year old boy, Quinn Mitchell. Quinn is fascinated with politics and wants to be a political journalist when he grows up. So far he has met 20 of the candidates as his dad takes him to various events around the state. Amy Klobuchar talked about Quinn’s questioning skills in her remarks; a level skill that would put most political reporters to shame. Not shy, repeatedly Quinn could be seen engaging the candidates in intelligent discussions.
Aside from Amy Klobuchar, Secretary Julian Castro, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, businessman Andrew Yang, NY Mayor Bill DeBlasio, John Delaney, and Representative Seth Moulton had an opportunity to speak. There were also information tables for most of the candidates who weren’t there.
The candidates generally sparked good responses from the audience. However, it was Julian Castro who elicited the only standing ovation from the crowd. It’s interesting listening to the candidates try to make a case for themselves over their competitors. It’s tough to distinguish yourself from people you are friends with…unless you are John Delaney who says we shouldn’t do much of anything.
Andrew Yang is visiting New Hampshire to make people think about humanity and the future as he runs for president. A successful businessman, he understands that, as opposed to current administrative talk, jobs of “Americans” are not being taken by immigrants but rather technology. He talks about the 13,000,000 jobs that will disappear in the next several years, never to return. Yang is smart, articulate, engaging, loves math, and has ideas that the country can use to deal with the tidal wave of unemployment that is coming due to the wave of technology that is upon us. But he isn’t a one issue candidate; he has thought about every aspect of today’s world. Check out his website (www.yang2020.com), he has stands on over 100 different areas of American life. He is fascinating and intriguing and worth a look. Yang uses an acronym MATH which stands for Make America Think Hard. After listening to him you will probably come away thinking harder…I did.At the gathering of over 100 people in Milford, NH on Saturday, I was able to talk to Andrew and found that we have a mutual friend. During his talk he mentioned that he had gone to Philips Exeter Academy and didn’t like his two years there. That got me thinking about a young man I had known on Cape Cod in the late 1980s and who had gone to Exeter. Andrew is 44 and I got to putting my math skills to use and figured that my friend, who had been my boys’ baby sitter one summer, was probably the same age. So, I asked him…”did you know Linas Rastonis?” “Sure, I remember Linas, how do you know him?” came the reply. We laughed when we talked about Linas running away from Exeter because he hated it as well and when he returned sometime later after having headed across the country, he was welcomed back to Exeter by his peers as a conquering hero. Then Andrew headed off into the night for some sleep before Sunday’s events.