• Don Blankenship

No signed deal yet, but signs McConnell may back Bolduc

By Kevin Landrigan New Hampshire Union Leader | Jul 24, 2019


There’s no signed, sealed, delivered “I’m yours” deal just yet, but there are plenty of signs that U.S Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s financial powerhouse may get behind the 2020 Senate GOP primary candidacy of Donald Bolduc in New Hampshire.


Trust me, the last folks who want this story out right now are those backing Bolduc.


There’s a time and a place for everything and when McConnell wants the world to know he’s with you, he’ll let you know and he hasn’t definitively done that yet.


But there are those signs. Let’s start with the tweets of six staffers or consultants to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which have been singing the retired Brigadier Gen. Bolduc’s praises.


We’ll give you just one from NRSC Communications Director Jesse Hunt on the day of Bolduc’s announcement last month.


“@GenDonBolduc’s announcement: NH farm kid. Green Beret. Retired as Brig. Gen. 5 Bronze Stars and 2 Purple Hearts. Fought the Taliban on horseback


A leading PTSD advocate, Commanded horse soldiers in Afghanistan immediately after 9/11. Now leads fight for vets struggling with PTSD. Running for Senate,” Hunt tweeted.


Flowery enough for you?


Oh yeah. To date there hasn’t been a single tweet from any of these same folks for the other two GOP candidates for Senate, former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien or trial lawyer Bryant “Corky” Messner.


Then there was the “Meet and Greet” the NRSC had for Bolduc a week ago last Wednesday in Washington, D.C. which led to a sit-down with Bolduc and McConnell.


No, Messner and O’Brien have had no such meet-and-greet or fireside chat with the Senate boss.


Messner told a leading Republican in the past few weeks that he did meet with NRSC folks recently and came away believing they were headed to Bolduc’s orbit.


The candidate himself couldn’t resist spilling the news about his one-on-one in remarks last weekend to the Hollis Republican Town Committee at the Fulchino Vineyard.


“I just sat with Senator McConnell and Senator McConnell was supposed to be a 10-minute meeting, it turned into a 40-minute meeting because he was interested in what I had to say about things. What I had to say about unity. What I had to say about bringing people together. Right? And I think I can do it. I’ve been there. I’ve been in those positions,” Bolduc said.


What about the Senate Republican Leadership Fund? The super PAC closely aligned with McConnell has picked sides in Senate GOP primaries of the past. Will they end up being down for Bolduc as they chose sides in spending against Don Blankenship in the West Virginia Senate primary in 2018 or the $5 million for Luther Strange in 2017 for an Alabama Senate primary?


Just what was the candidate referring to when he talked in his Hollis speech about the reaction he got after telling a story about how he once told a military superior that he “worked for” his men and not the brass?


“I got the support of the Senate fund down in Washington D.C. because I said just that. They go, ‘Well, we don’t need to talk to you anymore because that’s the kind of people we need in Congress today,’” Bolduc said.


Aides to Bolduc say the candidate did meet with many organizations during his Washington visit, but there were no commitments.


For more Granite Status see unionleader.com


klandrigan@unionleader.com

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