icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
8 Jan, 2008 03:01

Breakfast at Hillary’s

US Presidential hopefuls have been campaigning hard in the state of New Hampshire before Tuesday's crucial primary. Voting has already taken place in towns with a population of fewer than a 100. Their tallies gave Democrat Barack Obama and the Republican

Once every four years, the tiny state of New Hampshire is abuzz with media frenzy.

As the first state to break away from British rule, New Hamsphire is famous for its libertarian heritage, which values individual freedom and limited state intervention.

The high number of independent voters makes it difficult to predict the outcome of the Primary. But voters say American media does little to help them formulate an opinion.

Presidential candidates welcome every minute of air time, as it often means more votes at no extra cost.

Thus the New Hampshire Primary is as much a contest for the media as for the politicians. Just as the race among candidates is intense, so is the race among media outlets. Yet, foreign media is often left out.

International producer Nico Maounis pointed out that foreign media struggle to get in to some of the press events.

“And even if they do get access, they will not get sound bites. [The candidates] want to be seen and heard within the U.S. They don't care about what the international media will report or what foreigners will say,” Maounis said.

Locals, however, don't always like to be in the spotlight. It is local businesses that stand to benefit the most from the influx of people around the Primary.

This diner is a popular stop for media, and the wannabe presidents themselves. Discussing politics over a cup of coffee and some breakfast is much better.

Since it first opened nearly 30 years ago, this diner has become an important part of the election process. And this year is no exception. All candidates have made a stop here to grab a bite.

Staff members say Hillary Clinton's visit attracted the most attention. The former first lady reserved a table in advance, and ordered fish and chips.

Cash spent on meals makes up only a small part of the bucket-loads of money candidates dump to get more media attention.

But as Iowa showed us, money can buy air-time, but can't always buy votes.