Strengths: Plain-spoken, lack of artifice, in sharp contrast to President Clinton. Strong pro-life record and message. Size 6'6."
Weaknesses: Little known nationally.
Fundraising ability. Cannot count on support in home state of New
Sen. Smith spent more time campaigning in Iowa than any other potential candidate, making 8 visits totaling 33 days. In the Spring he gained a fair amount of attention as one of several senators to place a hold on the nomination of openly gay James Hormel to be U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.
Sen. Smith is one of the lesser known Republican hopefuls, a fact which has not stopped him from making several exploratory trips to Louisiana and Iowa since September. Iowa Republican state chair Steve Grubbs described Smith as "Pat Buchanan reborn" and "Pat Buchanan without the hard edges." In Smith's home state of New Hampshire, some have urged him not to run, fearing his candidacy would weaken the primary. The Manchester Union-Leader ran a front page editorial saying he should not run because the primary might not survive. The Concord Monitor's Mike Pride wrote that Smith's "presidential chances don't even rise to the level of quixotic" and urged him, "Come on home, Bob. Be New Hampshire's senator." Republican state chair Steve Duprey has warned Smith that favorite son status is "not at all a foregone conclusion." Duprey predicted that if Smith ran all the other Republicans would go after him, seeking to knock him out of the race. Duprey also questioned whether Smith would be able to raise enough money. In 1997 Smith's Live Free or Die PAC raised a meager $29,228 of which the initial $5,000 came from his Senate campaign committee. Smith, New Hampshire's senior Senator, won re-election by a narrow margin in 1996. Mike Pride. "Forget the White House Bob." Concord Monitor, Dec. 14, 1997.
Nov. 17-20 Louisiana (according to news reports, Smith's third visit to the bayou state). Nov. 18 Shreveport--breakfast with pastors; breakfast with conservative activists, meeting with conservative activists; Alexandria--media with Congressman Cooksey, fundraiser for Congressman Cooksey. Nov. 19 Monroe--Moon Griffon Show, meet veterans at VA Hospital, conservative activists at the Catfish Cabin; Rayville--KTJC 92.3 FM Ken Dieble (Christian radio show); Monroe--media with Cooksey. Nov. 20 New Orleans--Jefferson Parish event at Chatteau Country Club.
Sept. 30 Opens Live Free or Die PAC with a transfer of $5,000 from his Senate campaign.
Sept. 19-22 First Iowa visit. Sept. 19 Arr. Davenport Quad Cities; Iowa Knights of Columbus Memorial for the Unborn; Grassley fundraiser; private meeting with pro-life activists. Sept. 20 Breakfast with Steve Grubbs; Quad Cities Prayer Breakfast; meeting with local conservatives; meeting with Iowans for Tax Relief in Muscatine; meeting with local conservatives in Cedar Rapids; to Des Moines. Sept. 21 Church service at First Assembly; mass at St. Augustine's parish; interview with Leroy Corey, publisher of the American Conservative newspaper. Sept. 22 Jan Mickelson WHO radio call-in show; lunch meeting with Right to Work.
Copyright © Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action