Historical Society Photos - Presidential Candidate Visit to Marlow 2007


  AP Photo/Jim Cole


AP Photo/Jim Cole 


Michael Moore / Sentinel Staff

After 238 year - First Time Ever:

Presidential Candidate to visit Marlow

On Thursday, July 5th, 2007 The Marlow Historical Society hosted a history-making event. On this date, Bill Richardson was the first presidential candidate to visit Marlow during a campaign stop.

The Keene Sentinel
Friday, July 6, 2007

Big doings in a little town

Mingling in Marlow
Richardson the first-ever presidential candidate in town

By Zachary Chapman
Keene Sentinel Staff

MARLOW - The Town of Marlow has been waiting a long time for a presidential candidate to stop by - 238 years to be precise.

So When Democratic candidate Bill Richardson pulled up in his car Thursday afternoon and climbed the wooden stairs into Jones Hall, Marlow residents were appreciative, greeting New Mexico governor with a standing ovation and plenty of firm handshakes.

Richardson stopped in to the town, population under 800, as part of a three-day 10-town New Hampshire tour that brought him to some of the Granite State's most rural outposts.

And, just as some promised in a story on National Public Radio that illuminated Marlow's status as a presidential-primary afterthought, town residents hostility on the form of homemade brownies, cookies and applause - along with plenty of questions.

“This a great American story about Marlow being neglected. Well, no longer," Richardson said. "I pre­dict that you're going to see every candidate up here," he said, to applause.

Richardson made the rounds among gathered vot­ers before delivering a short stump speech that em­phasized his status as an underdog in the primary race as well as his credentials, including roles as am­bassador to the United Nations and U.S. secretary of energy.

Richardson acknowledge he faces an uphill battle to the Democratic nomination, but said his campaign is building momentum one voter at it time.

I'm an underdog," he told voters, "I don't have the money that all of these other candidates have, I don't have the celebrity status ... but this is how I'm campaigning: grassroots, door-to-door, shak­ing hands," he said.

In his speech, Richardson focused on the six core issues he said would shape his first six days as pres­ident: the war in Iraq, energy independence, educa­tion, health care, the economy and a new approach to America's role in the world.

He said withdrawing all American forces from Iraq within six months of starting his term would be his first priority as president. He said he would re­place American forces with an all-Muslim peacekeeping force and would use America's im­pending withdrawal as a way to pressure the warring factions within Iraq to make compromis­es.

Richardson then turned from Iraq to energy, laying out what he called his "Apollo program" to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

"We have a major problem with our national energy policy: We don't have one," Richardson said. He said energy indepen­dence was both a moral impera­tive for the nation, as well as in the strategic beat interest of the country.

Richardson also touched on other issues education, health care and the econo­my before opening the floor to questions from an audience that came well prepared.

In response to a question on illegal immigration, Richardson said border patrols need to beefed up, but that deportation of the estimated 12 million ille­gal immigrants already in the country was unrealistic. Instead, he said the country should enact a system of "earned legalization" similar to the compromise bill that failed to emerge from the Senate last week.

Near the end of Richardson's time at the podium, it seemed as though 238 years of unasked questions came pouring out at once.

Mary Blank, president of the Marlow Historical Society and one of the event organizers, announced Richardson could take only one more question, but see­ing the number of outstretched arms remaining in the room, he instead offered to field every question at once and then an­swer them face-to-face with vot­ers.

Crowd members proceeded to rattle off questions - ranging from his views on combating terrorism to how he would manage trade relations with China - not wanting to miss what could be a historic opportunity to vet a presidential candidate in the confines of their

Most of those who attended the event said they were im­pressed with Richardson's mes­sage and delivery.

Richard Rock of Marlow, an undeclared voter who said he spent 28 years in the U.S. Army, said he was "very impressed" with Richardson’s answer to his question on how the candidate

would protect gun owners' rights. Richardson said he supported the Second Amendment but called for more background checks on, would-be gun buyers; Rock said he would consider vot­ing for the Democrat if he prior­itized this issue.

Richard A. Minard Sr., 80, of Alstead, a registered Democrat, said, he "got lost in the crush" at previous events in the region, and enjoyed the informal atmo­sphere of Richardson's stop at Jones Hall. He too, liked what he heard from Richardson.

"He seems quite genuine and not at all contrived. He seemed to have a lot of good ideas. His speech rang true," he said.

Richardson, fresh off a televi­sion appearance and dressed in a navy blue suit and red tie, had the crowd laughing early, poking fun at Marlow's status as a town that is well off the beaten path.

"I told several people in New Hampshire that I was coming to Marlow; you know what they said? 'Where?' "

After addressing more than 100 voters who packed into the small, steamy hall overlooking Tinshop Pond, Richardson hopped in his state police-led motorcade for a private gathering in Keene.

From there he headed to Stoddard, where he spoke out­doors at a rally hosted by the Stoddard Democrats at Lakefalls Lodge.

There, Richardson battled mosquitoes in his speech at Lakefalls Lodge before an audi­ence that included Katrina Swett of Bow and Jay Buckey of Hanover, who are both challeng­ing Republcan Sen. John Sununu for his Senate seat. Both spoke at the event.

Richardson's speech was largely the same - down even to the lines intended to draw laugh­ter - but he received a similarly positive reception from voters.

Barbara Cleveland, of Stod­dard, a registered Democrat who said she volunteered for Howard Dean in the 2004 primary, said she liked Richardson's "experience" and "integrity." She said she was considering joining the campaign as a volunteer after hearing Richardson speak.

State Rep. Suzanne S. Butch­er, D-Keene, said hasn't made up her mind who she will support in the race, but said she was excit­ed to see a primary field "with so many good candidates."