Place with political pedigree
April 22nd, 2014
11:44 AM ET
8 years ago

Place with political pedigree

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - From the outside, it looks like a plain store front that could be anywhere USA.

But step inside 379 Elm Street in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, and you enter a building with a rich history in campaign politics. And Scott Brown is writing the latest chapter in the building's political biography.

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The former senator from neighboring Massachusetts is setting up shop in the building, just a couple of weeks after he formally launched his Republican challenge against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in this year's midterm elections.

The building on the city's major north/south downtown thoroughfare is just a stone's throw from WMUR, New Hampshire's top broadcast TV station, and just a few blocks from the heart of the Manchester, the state's largest city.yyyyyyyyyy

New role for old Hillary Clinton HQ

Brown is far from the first candidate to work out of the building. In 2007, then-Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut used the cavernous offices as his Granite State headquarters for his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. But after a disappointing sixth place finish in the January 2008 Iowa caucuses, Dodd called it quits, just days ahead of the New Hampshire primary.

Hillary Clinton, then a New York senator, took over the space after that as she battled Barack Obama for party's nomination in a marathon and historic primary and caucus battle.

After Clinton bowed out that June, the New Hampshire Democrats used the building as their coordinated campaign office for the 2008 general election.

Two years later, then Rep.-Paul Hodes moved in, using the building as his HQ for his 2010 bid for Senate. Hodes ended up losing that year to the GOP candidate, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte.

The one-story building, with a cavernous unfinished empty basement, has only a few bumper stickers and other mementos left from its past political occupants. The central location, the large space, and the relatively low rent are all reasons why political campaigns are repeatedly attracted to the building.

"New Hampshire campaign offices are like bad pennies – they keep turning up cycle after cycle with different candidates. Mostly because Manchester is a small city, and everybody knows where to find large, low rent spaces with plenty of parking and easy access for volunteers," New Hampshire Republican strategist Ryan Williams told CNN.

Considering that Dodd, Clinton, and Hodes all lost their bids, Brown's campaign is hoping for better results.

"When you move into one of these well known political locations, you hope to exorcise the demons of the losing campaigns that previously occupied the space and pick up the luck left over from the winning efforts," added Williams, a key member of Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns who is currently advising the state Republican party and assisting Brown’s Senate bid.

Williams is very familiar with the location. He worked right next door, at 359 Elm Street, which served as Romney's New Hampshire headquarters during his two bids for the White House. In between Romney's two presidential campaigns, the building housed Republican Ovide Lamontagne's headquarters during his unsuccessful run for the Senate in 2010.

Filed under: 2014 • New Hampshire • Scott Brown
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    LOL – considering EVERY SINGLE candidate who has used that building for their headquarters has dropped out due to poor showing – or just flat out LOST, I say go for it!

    April 22, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Sniffit

    Nightmare on Elm Street.

    April 22, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Scott Brown ?

    The washed up model / politician who can't find a real jobs ?

    April 22, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I wonder which state he'll try for in 2016??

    April 22, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    It seems the MSM is in love with this guy. Scared of real work so just become a career politician. 😆

    April 22, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. just asking

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....
    I wonder which state he'll try for in 2016??

    won't need to... he'll be two years into his first term as the newest nh senator. shaheen is toast.

    April 22, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. yolanda

    @Wake up, 8 states in addition to Michigan who have banned affirmative action are: Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska,New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington....not exactly the front line of Jim Crow politics. The victim card would play much more effectively if these states were in the Old South, but alas, that is not the case. Also, this isn't just about African-Americans, quite obviously.

    April 22, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    --GOP will lose heavily this time, just like Nate Silver, here my prediction.

    April 22, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Dead Bear

    @just asking... What color is the sky in your world?

    April 22, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Tommy G

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....
    It seems the MSM is in love with this guy. Scared of real work so just become a career politician

    Quite amusing coming from a supporter of the Clinton Political Oligarchy!! AKA...."Family business".... Sounds alot like the mafia if you ask me.

    April 22, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "@just asking... What color is the sky in your world?"

    You have to tell him what color it is in your world first so he knows what to say to disagree with you. Such is the way of reactionaries.

    April 22, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. timverba

    Brown is a stubborn fellow. He knows the history and negative karma of the building, but he decides to forge ahead anyway. Kind of like battling against Obamacare. He knows that people want better healthcare. He knows people need better healthcare, but he continues to fight better healthcare anyway.

    April 22, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Yolanda it's just the beginning. It will snowball and soon we blacks will have no rights.
    James Crow Jr esq. Jim Crow in a business suit instead of a sheet and hood.

    April 22, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Actually Yolanda if you google the most racist states Michigan tops many in the south. I think it's #5.....nothing but a bunch of wealthy bigots.

    April 22, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Just spewing lies President Romney approves this message.😳

    April 22, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. rs

    Brown will blow it early (he's already palling around with the hedge fund crowd- he's the biggest recipient of their campaign largess). My bet is he'll be somewhere in NH and start talking about Massachusetts..... it's the carpetbaggers' lament.

    April 22, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. rs

    Dead Bear

    @just asking... What color is the sky in your world?
    Black, very, very black.

    April 22, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. sly

    Scott who?

    Talk about irrelevant. Is there such a thing as a Republican anymore? Kinda thought they went the way of the DoDo bird.

    April 22, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Bill, Bloominton IL

    So Tim, where is the better healthcare? It is not the Affordable Health Care Act.

    April 22, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. mike trottier

    Scott Brown is a LOSER !
    No one from New Hampshire wants a LOSER from Massachusetts coming up here telling them what's good or not good for their state.
    Why would anyone in New Hampshire want this LOSER representing them in Washington. That's just insane!

    April 22, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I hope I'm allowed to tell this story...

    Sunday afternoon my car broke down in the middle of a 4 lane street in the burbs. A car pulled up at the light and the passenger started talking to me. I asked did he have jumper cables and he said no. As soon as the light turned green the coward came out of the closet and yelled "We don't help insert slur". After being on this blog for the past 5 years nothing surprises me so I just smiled. A few minutes later a young white guy pulled up and offered to help and got me out of the street. I will never forget his kindness. I gave him a huge hug and shook his hand!

    Thank you Will!

    April 22, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. remy730

    I thought that was where people always have Nightmares, or where Freddy used to live.

    April 22, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Tom l

    Wake up,
    I'm just bummed that you think that little of your fellow Americans. You appear to be saying that we have not progressed as a nation and that just saddens me that you harbor such resentment.

    April 22, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Dead Bear
    @just asking... What color is the sky in your world?
    Black, very, very black.

    Left always bringing race into discussions...

    April 22, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Tom please try walking a mile in my shoes. Progress please. Regress yes. You could NEVER understand.

    April 22, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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