WINNING NEW HAMPSHIRE

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 48 minutes
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Amidst all the canned speeches, the hard campaigning in numerous states, and the constant need to try to attract the “undecideds”, it’s nice to know that there are people like Vermin Supreme who really care about the important issues that bear down upon our nation, such as funding the necessary time travel research in order to go back in time and kill the baby Hitler. Supreme may be only one of thousands of people who descend upon New Hampshire every four years for their very important presidential primary, but he’s undoubtedly the most unique, wearing a boot on top of his head, decked out in what could easily be considered a style that’s only his, and constantly campaigning for himself in a refreshing and very different manner from the major candidates that have their major speeches planned for them.

“Winning New Hampshire” takes a look at the most recent primary, January of this year, but for the first couple of minutes, countless people constantly crow about the importance of New Hampshire. A Fox News correspondent mentions that no one’s been the Democratic or Republican nominee for President without coming in first or second in New Hampshire. And this goes on and on for a little bit and it’s remarkable to see the level of enthusiasm many people have for being at this place at this time. Another interviewee mentions that voters will go to see a candidate more than once because they’re comparison shopping and that is so true, except it’s a more careful form of shopping. It’s necessary to find a person whose ideals match yours or are as close to yours as possible, who believes in some of the same things you do. The thing is that if you help vote in a candidate who really screws things up, it’s harder to try to return/exchange/recall him than it is to return a faulty coffee maker. And therein lies much of the documentary, where there’s many glimpses at the on-going campaigns in New Hampshire, though it becomes very Kerry-heavy. There could be two reasons for this. One, the filmmakers liked Kerry from the get-go even before the Iowa caucus, and two, they decided that Kerry should be followed and examined closely due to his unexpected win at the debate in Iowa.

Unsure voters will no doubt be appreciative of much of time spent with Kerry, as we get to a point near the election where everything is really heating up, where both candidates are campaigning aggressively to try to suck up votes into their political vacuum bags. It’s crunch time now. And that brings up another point. Once you decide to run for President, it’s goodbye to any full night’s sleep. I thought I’d hate going back to college because of losing many hours of sleep, but I’d hate running for President even more. Watch John Kerry in “Winning New Hampshire” and think of all that he’s done since January, shaking hands, appearing at rallies, doing his best to sway voters, it’s remarkable not only for him, but for any candidate because you’ve got to appear tireless, ready to take on the most well-known job in the United States if you’re elected.

“Winning New Hampshire” properly covers all the bases, from the media, to the campaign workers, to the young voters who’ve gotten up and realized that they have to do something for their country. It’s solid work in a 48-minute package, and a perfect documentary for our current time. Things are going to get tough, discussions amongst many are going to become even more heated as election time nears, but it’s also nice to know that there are people like Vermin Supreme, who are able to have some fun with the political system. He actually paid the grand to put himself on that primary ballot and there were probably a few votes thrown his way. Anyone who wears a boot on their head deserves that.



Posted on November 2, 2004 in Reviews by
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