Is Andrew Hemingway the New Face of a GOP with a Future?

A tech savvy accomplished entrepreneur with one foot in the Tea Party and the other in the so called GOP establishment, having run Newt Gingrich’s New Hampshire campaign in 2012, Andrew Hemingway is making noise in NH’s Republican gubernatorial primary – noise that even some oldsters seem to like, according to Scott Conroy at Real Clear Politics reporting on a recent debate.

For the record, at age 32, Hemingway has already launched and sold a successful tech company or two and, if elected, would be the same age Bill Clinton was when he first took the reins as Governor in Arkansas. 

(Hemingway’s) respectful manner hit home with several of the attendees, all of whom appeared old enough to collect Social Security retirement benefits and none of whom expressed any reservations about Hemingway’s age when asked about it in post-event interviews. 

Amanda Bebard of nearby Wolfeboro cited a recent encounter with a young physician as a reason she is inclined to give Hemingway a chance. 

“I just had a man cut a bone out in my hip and put a new hip in, and when I first saw him, he looked younger than my high school students,” she said with a laugh. “But you know what, I was up and walking in two days, so why would I hold youth against anybody? I was a child of the ’60s.”

In an interview with Breitbart News, Hemingway seems as serious about what one might call his Libertarian/Conservative political beliefs, as he is candid in discussing the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

When asked why NJ Gov and RGA head Chris Christie backed his opponent, Walt Havenstein, he dismissed it as GOP establishment politics as usual, citing Havenstein’s ability to help Christie with deep pocketed donors should he opt to run for President in 2016. While accomplished, Havenstein, a self-described pro-choice moderate Republican – and some would say now carpetbagger – does seem vulnerable, to say the least.

According to his Wiki, Havenstein “describes himself as a pro-choice moderate. His decision to enter the GOP gubernatorial race was met with controversy, there being a question of his eligibility (by virtue of his having lived and worked primarily in Maryland and metropolitan Washington, DC while claiming Alton, New Hampshire as his domicile). The issue was resolved in his favor by election officials. Formerly, he served as president & CEO of Science Applications International Corporation until his retirement in June of 2012; Havenstein’s departure as SAIC’s CEO followed shortly the announcement of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York that more than $466 million had been forfeited to the government by SAIC in connection with his office’s investigation into fraud and kickbacks on a project for NYC undertaken by SAIC as lead contractor. On May 25, 2012, US Attorney Preet Bharara described the payment as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with SAIC, to compensate the City of New York for the “colossal fraud” perpetrated by SAIC, also noting that it is the largest ever financial recovery in a state or municipal fraud case, in United States history.”

If there is a new, small government versus old big government guard in today’s Republican Party, the NH gubernatorial primary may be just the place to watch them face off. New Hampshire’s state motto, “Live free or die” isn’t just a slogan, “it’s a principle,” insists Hemingway. “New Hampshire is heading the wrong way because of big government,” he continued.

Hemingway calls himself “a problem solver” and claims his grassroots campaign is seeing “a dramatic amount of support.”

With his ardent small-government views and outsider bona fides, Hemingway brings a distinctive perspective to the governor’s race here. And as a candidate born during the Reagan administration, he is offering a glimpse at how a new generation of political contenders may soon be campaigning with a different mindset than the one that often prevented their predecessors from saying much of anything interesting.

A tech savvy innovator and in keeping with his campaign’s message, Stimulate, Not Stifle,” today Hemingway’s campaign kicks off what it claims is “the first ever Bit Bomb” a Bitcoin-based money bomb. From a release:

Hemingway will be holding the first ever “Bit Bomb”–money bomb in Bitcoin–by a candidate for major office in the United States.

“BitBomb603″ (New Hampshire’s area code is 603) will target the state and national communities of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, investors, miners and entrepreneurs who have been rallying against the excessive regulation proposed by the State of New York. 

“There’s no reason that New York has to be the world financial capital for Bitcoin,” said Hemingway. “New Hampshire had more Bitcoin nodes in the early days than any other state and a state motto of ‘Live Free or Die.’ My Administration would look for ways to stimulate, not stifle, the growth of Bitcoin as an industry.”

Hemingway’s pro-Bitcoin platform also includes the following elements:

Accepting Bitcoins as payment for taxes and fees statewide. 

No added regulation on Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies statewide. 

Pro-Bitcoin initiatives to encourage innovation, including uses of the blockchain to make government more efficient.

BitBomb603 will kick off Thursday, Aug.14, 2014 at 6:03 p.m. EDT, and will finish 6 days and 3 minutes later on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 6:06 p.m. Individual donors and corporations can each donate up to $5,000 per cycle ($10,000 if the donation includes both primary and general elections).

Whatever the outcome of the primary, or Hemingway’s own chosen path going forward, the thought of a young, innovative, genuinely tech savvy GOP that’s also earnest in its commitment to a small government, liberty-embracing philosophy is sure to warm some old conservative hearts.

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