You know it's almost election time when a particular voting bloc starts infiltrating campaign events. John Kerry's meeting in the gymnasium at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton was about ready to start yesterday morning when police officers descended on the bleachers and handcuffed four young men, hustling them out the door as the men sang a hymn-like song.
Others popped up, increasingly agitated and demanding that the officers explain why the men were ejected. In response, cops hauled out another seven men and women. Some went quietly. The man dragged out screaming "This is fascism!" did not.
That's when it became clear what was going on: Lyndon LaRouche, of course. Supporters of the 82-year-old presidential fringe candidate were a familiar sight as last January's Democratic primary approached.
Yesterday, about a dozen people posing as students were taken out before calm descended - for about an hour and a half. As Kerry wrapped his Q&A session a couple more LaRouches revealed themselves.
"If you want to beat Bush in Nove-emm-ber," they crooned in unison, "all you have to do is listen to LaRouche . . . "
Kerry, well acquainted with the LaRouche tactics, calmed the crowd as they were removed. When asked by a sympathizer why people were kicked out before the meeting started, Kerry was honest: "Because they were gonna sing like the other people."