It's a frenzy outside of the second primary-week debate, this one hosted by NBC's Meet the Press at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. To the right of the theater, Occupiers gather for a wedding ceremony— officiated by none other than Vermin Supreme, decked in tattered Uncle Sam attire— between a woman in a flowing white dress and a man wearing a Bank of America effigy. "Who can screw me harder than this corporation?" says the bride, Occupy activist Elizabeth Ropp from Manchester.
There are others who stand out: Bill Higgins and Judy Hammond of Dover, who brought their pet goat Izak to attract eyeballs to their Jon Huntsman sign; Hasidic Jews railing against Zionism; a gaggle of laborers shilling for some guy named Obama. But in what's being marked as one of the quietest primary seasons in recent memory as far as native participation, there's no doubt that the loudest folks in town represent either Ron Paul or Occupy — two factions that, while there's some common ground between them, are beginning to really loathe each other.
By the end of the debate, Paul fans and Occupiers are battling for pole position by the door. The latter group, now more than 50 strong, directs as much spite toward Paul's posse as they do the exiting candidates. Occupiers chant: "We want transparency. We want honesty." The loudest screamer for Paul responds: "Then you should be with us!" To which one Occupier barks: "Ron Paul is a disgusting pig and fuck you!"
SUNDAY | NEWT GINGRICH
Occupiers aren't banging on the windows of Don Quijote Restaurant, where Newt Gingrich is holding his Latino outreach party. It just sounds that way, as Provost — who fired the first shot at Romney days before — is smashing on a drum outside, trolling the restaurant's perimeter. Along with him are about 25 Occupiers nailing different tasks: an undercover team of two scatters anti-Newt signs in the bar area; one woman, holding an "Occupy Hartford" sign and hollering, is physically removed by security; Vermin sticks his placard inside the rear window until a Gingrich goon forces his arm out and slams the pane.
The scene escalates as Gingrich enters to Toby Keith's "Made in America." Screams and snares seep through the doors and vents, and the candidate stumbles on talking points related to everything from energy policy to how Michael Bloomberg bought his mayorship. By the time he launches into his "this is truly a land of opportunity" spiel, virtually all members of the press are choking on laughter, trying to glimpse the provocateurs who are penetrating from beyond the wall, telling Gingrich that he's an alien and instructing him to come out with his arms up.
MONDAY | RICK SANTORUM
There's a pathetic dad at Rick Santorum's final meet-and-greet before the polls open. With his pre-teen son watching, the turkey-necked dolt physically reaches across the bar at Jillian's for Santorum — "RICK!!!" — only to be ignored completely. Humiliated, he tries to salvage his manhood by attacking the Paul backers and Occupiers who are sniffing at the windows of Jillian's: "Do you see those people outside?" he says. "They're mad at you and me because they don't have jobs."
: News Features
, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Vermin Supreme, More