Sanders to Campaign in New Hampshire on Saturday | Off Message

Bernie Sanders
Sanders to Campaign in New Hampshire on Saturday


Sanders at a get-out-the-vote event at Dartmouth College in October 2014 - FILE: PAUL HEINTZ
  • File: Paul Heintz
  • Sanders at a get-out-the-vote event at Dartmouth College in October 2014
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is following in the footsteps of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Al Gore — at least for one day.

Vermont's maybe-kinda-sorta presidential candidate is scheduled to hold a house party Saturday at a storied New Hampshire home in which a steady stream of would-be commanders-in-chief have spoken.

The Queen Anne Victorian, just a couple of streets away from the Statehouse in downtown Concord, was owned for years by Martin and Caroline Goss — the former Democratic mayor of Concord and the Republican House majority leader, respectively — who hosted presidential candidates of both parties. Five years ago, when they agreed to sell the house to liberal talk radio host Arnie Arnesen, the new owner says, she promised Martin Goss "this house would always be available to presidential candidates in waiting."

"Now that we're moving into the presidential campaign, it should be an open seat to both sides," she says.

Sanders, who told the Associated Press last month that he'd make up his mind about a presidential run by March, will be the first potential candidate to drop by the house this cycle, Arnesen says.

Last year, Sanders traveled seven times to the Granite State, which holds the first primary election in the presidential nominating process. He's scheduled to keynote the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit in Harrisburg next weekend and will travel to Iowa the following Thursday for his fifth trip to the home of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Arnesen is a well-known liberal activist who served eight years in the New Hampshire legislature and ran unsuccessfully for governor and Congress in the 1990s. She says she's known Sanders since 1988, when she became a weekend radio host for WNHV-AM in White River Junction and booked the up-and-coming politico as a guest.

But Arnesen hasn't pledged support to his proto-campaign.

"I am more like the League of Women Voters in that I don't make commitments to anyone," she says, though she adds, "I love Elizabeth Warren."

As for Sanders?

"Bernie has always represented working folks," Arnesen says. "And the problem for the Democratic Party is that they used to represent working folks, but unfortunately they're Republican-lite and they represent big money."

For more on Arnesen's house, see this story in Thursday's Boston Globe. The Sanders event takes place Saturday at 3 p.m. at 15 Rumford Street, Concord, N.H.