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Huntsman Campaign Not Ready For Primetime -- Literally

The candidate's victory speech was booked at a small bar in downtown Manchester--before anyone thought it would be major news event. Now reporters are searching for outlets.

Posted on January 10, 2012, at 6:52 p.m. ET

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – With Jon Huntsman poised for a potential surprise second-place finish in New Hampshire’s primary, the come-from-behind candidate’s victory speech tonight could be a major news event.

That is, if the national media can find somewhere to plug in their laptops.

While frontrunner Mitt Romney booked a large space at Southern New Hampshire University for his primary-night victory party, Huntsman supporters and media are crammed into a relatively tiny bar in downtown Manchester called Black Brimmer.

Two hours before most New Hampshire polls even closed, journalists were left frantically searching for power outlets to plug in their computers, smartphones, and wireless cards, while a campaign volunteer ran to a nearby Rite Aid to pick up extension chords. One local journalist commented that she had never seen a national campaign event take place here—only those of local politicians.

Spokesman Tim Miller explained that the space was booked four days ago when Huntsman was still polling fifth in the state at seven percent—and didn’t expect the media attention the candidate has drawn in recent days.

“This was a scrappy campaign before the surge,” Miller told BuzzFeed. “The event space reflects that.”