Patchmobile a Haven for Political Tourists

From NY to NH, this is the Millers' fifth tour of civic duty.

Alex and Stella Miller of East Hampton, N.Y., were dubbed "Political Tourists" the other day by Time Magazine's Joe Klein, whom they met while making the rounds here – and they kind of like the reference.

Every four years since 1996, they've journeyed north for the spectacle that is the New Hampshire Primary.

One thing they've proven: You don't have to be a Republican to get charged up by the political process, said Stella Miller.

"We saw Newt at a lake house in Meredith – we loved the lake house," said Stella. "It was a Tea Party event, and we were sitting next to a Danish reporter who asked if we were Tea Party members. We said, 'No, we're just here because we enjoy politics.'"

They also rubbed elbows with Jon Huntsman.

"We talked science," said Alex Miller. "I asked him if he thought corporations were people. He skirted the question at first. Then he finally said, 'Of course not; who would be foolish enough to say that?' of course, referring to Romney. And that clip got picked up by the news."

Which kind of makes them newsmakers, too.

They also take issue with some of the spin going on, like news reports about a Rick Santorum Tea Party rally in Hollis they also attended, which the media said drew "an overflow crowd."

"More than 60 percent of the room were either anti-Santorum or out-of-town political tourists, like us," Alex Miller said. "I feel like that characterization of the event is misleading."

The Millers will be in town until Monday. They were hoping to get in to the Saturday night GOP debate at St. Anselm College, but without tickets, they were out of luck.

"We asked a police officer where we could go to get something to eat and watch the debate, and he directed us to the Patchmobile," said Stella Miller.

Which is how we found out about the Millers' New Hampshire Primary adventures. Although they politely declined the dregs of our lukewarm Dunkin' Donuts Box of Joe and rock-hard bagels, they were able to take a load off for a few minutes, enough time to Google a good sandwich shop around the way, and reinforce their Patch loyalty.

"We found our East Hampton Patch a few years ago, and we love it," said Alex Miller. "And we love that New Hampshire Patch is helping us navigate the Primary."


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