Hostage Crisis Winners and Losers

So that happened . The hostages have been released, Leeland Eisenberg has been arrested, and the citizens of Rochester, N.H., are now safe. That means we can finally get to the postgame analysis of who wins and who loses. (Too soon? Too late! )


Hillary Clinton . Hands down. The most obvious reason: attention. She steals headlines from today’s DNC event (not to mention all the other campaigns), cancels her speech there, and gets enough traction to carry over into the Sunday talk shows. The one downside is the timing: Friday afternoon is a notorious black hole for news. Also, remember how Giuliani played up his close call with the mob ? Well, it looks like bad guys are going after Hillary, too. What now, Rudy? Lastly, there’s the sympathy factor. Or, as a friend insensitively put it: “Hillary really is sticking with this victim theme, huh?” People will now send cards, flowers, chocolates … and votes. That said, crazy man Leeland Eisenberg could have picked a better location. Hillary already has a solid lead in New Hampshire, whereas her numbers in Iowa have been slipping.

New Hampshire . OK, so maybe nut-job bombers aren’t great press for the Granite State. But with every national news organization sending their camera crews over from Des Moines, New Hampshire steals a little bit of Iowa’s pre-caucus thunder. Plus, voters are reminded how seriously the people of New Hampshire take politics.

Local journalists. By the end of this weekend, everyone will know what WMUR is.

Rudy Giuliani. Suddenly the mayor’s record on gun control doesn’t seem so offensive. Look for other Republicans to focus on keeping weapons out of the hands of mentally ill people—which, of course, doesn’t include you.

Bill Richardson: The first Clinton “opponent” to release a statement on the situation: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the hostages, their families, Senator Clinton, and her campaign staff.” Is this guy a VP lock or what?


Commentators. All that language about “attacks,” “taking shots,” and “explosive statements” is temporarily off limits. Sorry, guys.

Republicans. Especially if the human bomb turns out to be one.

Second Amendment advocates. Eisenberg wasn’t carrying a gun, but he might as well have been. Has “Live Free or Die” ever sounded like a worse motto?

The Secret Service:  Agents’ jobs just got a lot more stressful, as campaigns are likely to be on extra high alert over the coming weeks.

Mike Huckabee. The insurgent candidate was also in New Hampshire today. The press corps has most likely abandoned him. If only he had brought Chuck Norris.