An editorial in the Portsmouth Herald doesn’t mince words. The paper says the announcement by former state House Speaker Bill O’Brien that he is considering a run for Congress in the 2nd district “is a bad joke:”
O’Brien’s two years as N.H. speaker were some of the most divisive, spiteful and unproductive in recent memory.
As House speaker: he pushed gun laws that would allow felons and the mentally ill to possess weapons in their homes; he tried unsuccessfully to repeal same-sex marriage, which is now the law of the land in New Hampshire and is poised to gain further federal recognition; he worked hard to take away women’s hard-won legal reproductive rights; and he treated with contempt not just Democrats but members of his own party who didn’t drink the same Kool-Aid he was drinking.
O’Brien’s possible candidacy for the Second District Congressional seat serves as a litmus test for whether Republicans learned any lessons in the 2012 elections. Clearly, if he’s nominated, it will be proof that the N.H. GOP didn’t hear the voters’ clear message.