By Alex Fries

If you in some way, shape, or form have paid attention to the news in the past you will have heard almost every single candidate or possible candidate for President say that they have bold new ideas that are completely going to change how “Washington” operates and are going to turn this country around. I think we all can agree that “Washington” needs to undergo some serious changes in the future. What exactly has to be subject to change, however, is subject to debate.

With every week that we come closer to the 2016 primary elections, the easier it is going to be for us New Hampshire residents to go and meet a broad spectrum of different presidential candidates.

These candidates will present us will all kinds of solutions while disagreeing with each other and sometimes even contradicting themselves. We have the extraordinary opportunity, being the first in the nation primary state, to ask tough questions to some, clarifying questions to others, and even voice our frustration to yet others. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you might even sit next to a candidate in a small restaurant somewhere in a small town in New Hampshire or even stand next to one in line at Chipotle (which seems to be the place to go for a random encounter with a presidential candidate these days).

With that being said, that is only going to be possible if you are interested in Republican candidates. If you are considering voting for a Democratic presidential candidate, you might be out of luck. Anyone who has watched any major news broadcasts recently will have heard over and over the name of who will most likely be the Democratic presidential candidate, the former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.  

Former secretary Clinton, officially announced her candidacy a couple of weeks ago in a video, in which she tried to present herself as just another ordinary person. What followed then were campaign stops in Iowa and New Hampshire. If you are just a regular New Hampshire citizen and had high hopes of meeting the former secretary of state in person while she was in the state, your heart was probably broken and will most likely remain broken for quite some time. Seeing how it appears that Mrs. Clinton prefers the company of the Press and hand picked audiences over regular citizens without a fancy press badge. Additionally, it appears that the former secretary considers herself above the law, allegedly driving 92 mph on a New Hampshire highway on her way to one of her staged campaign events.

I am going to conclude my column this week with the following thought. Many of the people seeking to the presidency have done incredible things for this country and their individual constituency in the past. There are many which have superbly good ideas as to what this country needs in the future. I do not anticipate anyone being blown away when I say that many candidates may try to reinvent themselves or try to change the perception of past events they were a part of.

Ultimately, I believe that there are many different components that go into making an educated decision when picking one’s favorite Presidential candidate. So, don’t be swept away by sweeping generalities – judge the candidates not solely on their ability to speak, but rather on their character, their work record, and their ability to make good decisions that justify your vote for them.

Alex Fries is a sophomore athletic training major and the president of the UNH College Republicans. Follow Alex on Twitter at @AJFriesNH.