SNEAK PEEK: NH Primary in December?

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Now that Iowa Republicans have announced their caucus date, the third day of next year, the big looming question mark is the date of the New Hampshire primary. And the man of the hour, the week, the month, the fall is Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Thursday afternoon at the University of New Hampshire, Gardner delivers remarks on a subject near and dear to him, "A Barometer of the Nation's Democracy: New Hampshire's Unique Role In American Political Culture." LINK

Gardner literally wrote the book on the state's primary and its significance in presidential electoral politics, so political junkies can expect the lecture to be detailed and informative. LINK

Just don't get your hopes up that you will hear an announcement of the primary date.

Gardner is in no rush to make a decision and lately has been giving off stronger signals that a December primary is a possibility, pointing out that state law requires him to set a primary date "each year when a president of the United States is to be elected or the year previous."

At this point, the only thing that he is certain about is that New Hampshire will go no later than Jan. 8 and he will adhere to state law requiring the state primary to be seven days or more ahead of any other primary or caucus (excluding Iowa).

Gardner is serving his 16th consecutive two-year term and this election marks the eighth time he has set a primary date – and he points out that he has never changed it once it was set.

On the campaign trail. . .

RUDY GIULIANI

-- 10:45 am ET: Meets voters, Minneapolis, MN

-- 5:00 pm ET: Speaks at a forum at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL

-- Attends an evening fundraiser, Milwaukee, WI (unconfirmed)

MITT ROMNEY

-- 8:00 am ET: Hosts an "Ask Mitt Anything" event, Pawley's Island, SC

-- 11:30 am ET: Attends a luncheon meet and greet, Florence, SC

-- 3:00 pm ET: Visits Gibbs Regional Cancer Center and holds media availability, Spartanburg, SC

-- 6:00 pm ET: Hosts an "Ask Mitt Anything" and BBQ, Fort Mills, SC

ANN ROMNEY

-- 12:00 pm ET: Speaks at a luncheon, Charleston, SC

-- 7:00 pm ET: Speaks to East Cooper GOP women, Mount Pleasant, SC

FRED THOMPSON

-- 11:30 am ET: Receives Cobb County endorsement, Cobb County, GA

-- Attends a fundraising luncheon, Atlanta, GA

-- Attends an evening fundraiser, Powder Springs, GA

JOHN MCCAIN

-- 8:45 am ET: Visit and speaks at USC Upstate Nursing School, Spartansburg, SC

-- 12:15 pm ET: Holds a town hall meeting, Greenville, SC

MIKE HUCKABEE

-- 7:30 am ET: Speaks to the Jaffrey Rindge Rotary, Rindge, NH

-- 9:00 am ET: Speaks at Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, NH

-- 11:00 am ET: Makes a campaign stop, Peterborough, NH

-- 4:00 pm ET: Files candidacy papers, Concord, NH

-- 4:45 pm ET: Attends a reception at his state campaign headquarters, Concord, NH

-- 6:45 pm ET: Attends a fundraiser, Amherst, NH

DUNCAN HUNTER

-- 1:30 pm ET: Holds a news conference with other representatives to address concerns about using Chinese steel to build a Mexican border fence, Washington, DC

ALAN KEYES

-- Speaks at the Avenues Pregnancy Clinic, Glendale, CA

As for the Democrats. . .

HILLARY CLINTON

-- 2:00 pm ET: Participates in a health care forum sponsored by Families USA and the Federation of American Hospitals, Washington, DC

BARACK OBAMA

-- 2:00 pm ET: Holds a town hall meeting, Reno, NV

-- 9:30 pm ET: Attends a community event, Las Vegas, NV

JOHN EDWARDS

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