So, Yeah, Rand Paul's New Hampshire Office Was Robbed This Week
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE—The amazing thing is not so much that Rand Paul's headquarters here was broken into and robbed. The amazing thing is that the thief found the damn place at all.
Just hours before the campaign's phone-a-thon-cum-debate-watch-party, the front door to the office building housing his headquarters is locked up tight as a drum. In a race where visibility is everything, no sign indicates the campaign is actually located here. A backdoor is unlocked, but the campaign is not listed on the building directory. Only the soft steady hum of voices on a phone bank—not dissimilar to the sound of the building's HVAC system—draws one down a long basement corridor to the campaign offices.
Police say the Kentucky senator's headquarters was robbed between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. A surveillance camera at a nearby gas station mini mart captured a likely suspect as he "borrowed" a lighter to light his cigarette. (This is, after all, New Hampshire: Live free and smoke any damn place you want.)
According to Matt Chisholm, Paul's affable if exhausted New Hampshire communications director, the thief got away with four iPads, two laptop computers, two cell phones, other small electronic devices, such as cameras and headphones, and twenty four bags of snack-sized potato chips. The thief could have taken a bit more—a couple of laptops were left behind, and he stripped the iPads of their Rand sleeves and dumped them, along with his cigarette butt, on the floor—but presumably he didn't want to risk crushing the potato chips by crowding them in the stolen backpacks.The landlord has repaired the side door—although the fancy locks seem mostly for looks, as all but the most geriatric of thieves could simply kick a hole in the hollow-core door and crawl on through—and Chisholm thinks his candidate's prospects are solid. "We have more than 1,000 precinct captains in Iowa," he says, "More than Santorum had when he won Iowa." This is true: Santorum won Iowa 17 days after Mitt Romney was declared the winner. (And four years after Mike Huckabee was declared the winner. Remind me: we care about Iowawhy?) The certified results from 1,766 precincts (results from 8 precincts were lost somewhere between the silo and the barn) showed Santorum had defeated Romney by 34 votes.
Paul, Chisholm says, also has the backing of more state legislators than any other candidate, and consistently draws significantly larger crowds than either Christie or Bush (this is a potentially useful measure: crowds that can't be bought.) Paul's philosophy, Chisholm says, is simple: "A government so small you can barely see it." Let's hope that works out better for governments than for the signs at campaign headquarters.