Bosse best GOP choice in the 2nd District
Four Republicans are vying for the chance to unseat Paul Hodes, the 2nd District's freshman Democratic congressman: state Sen. Bob Clegg, Grant Bosse, Jim Steiner and Jennifer Horn.
Elections are about ideas and resumes. The former is the strong suit of Bosse, the later is Clegg's forte. Our choice is Bosse.
In a career that includes a stint as Senate majority leader, Clegg has proven that he is a tough negotiator and an effective legislator, willing to compromise when necessary. He holds his cards close and seldom lets even his allies know which one he intends to play. That allows him to win more than he loses, but it also makes it difficult to tell where he really stands on an issue and what he will give away in a horse trade.
Republican voters will know exactly where Bosse stands on every issue. He has thought through all the basic policy questions. He's smart, well-informed and an extremely effective and genial advocate for his free-market, conservative positions.
He wants to shrink government, cut spending and look to private enterprise to solve the problems of health care.
Bosse would also work to privatize Social Security, but he realizes any change must protect the benefits of older workers and the transition to a different system would take a generation. Because he has spent five years in Washington as a member of Sen. John Sununu's staff with significant responsibilities, he knows what's doable and what isn't.
While he would not vote for a government bailout of mortgage lenders like Fannie Mae because "failure is important to capitalism," he supports additional funding for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program because, he says, the program exits, it works, and people need the help.
Despite an ideology that is consistent and highly conservative, Bosse shows similar flexibility in his positions on energy. While he backs drilling for oil in Alaska and offshore and a resurrection of the nation's nuclear power industry, he supports tax incentives for alternative energy and a cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.
The other two candidates in the race, Steiner and Horn, are political newcomers. Steiner, a Concord lawyer, West Point graduate and former Army Green Beret, is respected locally and known to be a man of his word. His military experience gave him leadership skills but his positions, at times, are unclear. He would benefit by beginning his political career in a lower office.
Horn, a radio talk show host, has few thought-out positions. Her campaign consists of a Muzak of conservative clichés that fill what would otherwise be dead air time.
Bosse knows so well where he stands and why that he needs no filler. Because his positions are conservative and clear, he gives Republicans their best chance to replace Hodes.