January 9, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Clinton, McCain score N.H. "comeback" wins — and front-page recognition

The New Hampshire presidential primary was yesterday, and after a thrillingly close finish — on the Democratic side, at least — Hillary Clinton and John McCain were crowned the winners of New Hampshire, just a few short days after Iowa chose Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee.

Not surprisingly, in New Hampshire most of the front-page news was about the primary. The Valley News in West Lebanon showed pictures of both winners and had stories about their N.H. followers. John McCain's backers "Say They Like His Honesty," while Clinton's supporters shouted "We Want Change," borrowing the Obama camp’s mantra. Nashua's The Telegraph said "Clinton, McCain Reign," and Foster's Daily Democrat in Dover had the simple headline "McCain, Clinton Win" over a picture of a man standing on a street plastered with campaign signs. The Conway Daily Sun put a local spin on things with the headline "Carroll County helps lift McCain to victory in the Republican primary." Manchester's Union Leader called Clinton and McCain "Comeback Kids." The Concord (N.H.) Monitor declared "So much for Iowa, pollsters: N.H. picks Clinton, McCain."

So what did the Iowa front pages have to say about all of this? Not surprisingly, the word "comeback" was thrown into a lot of Iowa front-page headlines as well. Cedar Rapids’ The Gazette said the two candidates are now on the "Comeback Trail," while The Des Moines Register's headline "Clinton, McCain Snare Comebacks" was followed by a reminder that polls leading up to the primary had predicted an Obama win. Davenport’s Quad-City Times front page noted that the New Hampshire primary helped to "resurrect candidacies." And, over pictures of a wink from McCain and a beaming Clinton, the Iowa City Press-Citizen headline read "New faces on top." But "on top" for only now, as the paper's front-page story "Michigan next stop for some candidates" reminded us that it isn't over yet.

Emily Hedges is an assistant editor at the Newseum.

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