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Knitting with John Edwards

Jone LaBombarde came out to see John Edwards on a Tuesday evening, but that didn't mean the Hollis, N.H. mom of four was going to get behind on her knitting.

LaBombarde, sitting no more than three feet from the Democratic presidential contender, was among 150 people who packed the Boys and Girls Club in Milford. Another day in New Hampshire, another presidential candidate. Knit one, pearl two.

"The great thing is that you get eye contact,'' said Steve Morgan, a 65-year-old retiree from Amherst, who has seen Edwards before. "You get to ask questions...It's the New Hampshire way, and I don't think there's any other state that does it.''

The crowd, sitting on folding chairs and standing shoulder to shoulder, was dressed casually in jeans and flannel shirts as if they were attending a PTA meeting. In Florida, such an intimate gathering with a presidential candidate would undoubtedly include a suit-and-tie crowd sipping wine and wielding large checks.

"One of the things about New Hampshire is it makes it easier for people who are not well known to become known," said LaBombarde, who at 53 says she's old enough to remember when a little-known Georgia governor began campaigning in New Hampshire and everyone asked, "Who is that guy?"

That guy was former president Jimmy Carter, who won the New Hampshire primary in 1976.

"There's something important about that," LaBombarde said.

Posted by Beth Reinhard at 05:38 PM on November 13, 2007 | Permalink

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