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More 2012: Tea Party vs. Establishment GOP erupts in N.H.

“New Hampshire’s top Republicans called on the state’s embattled GOP chairman, Jack Kimball, to quit yesterday,” the Boston Globe reports. “ ‘To ensure that all of the party’s energy and resources are solely focused on electing Republicans, we believe it is time to move beyond this serious distraction,’ said a joint statement released yesterday by US Senator Kelly Ayotte, US Representative Charles Bass, US Representative Frank Guinta, state House Speaker William O’Brien, and state Senate President Peter Bragdon. ‘Therefore, we call upon Jack to put the best interests of New Hampshire Republicans first and step aside as chairman of the party.’

“At a press conference, Kimball was defiant. He cast the division in the party’s leadership as one between establishment Republicans and the Tea Party movement, of which he is a member. … Critics contend that fund-raising has been lackluster and that divisions have been wider under Kimball’s tenure.”

In a presidential year, you have a Tea Party vs. New Hampshire fight erupting – that’s NOT good for the party. It’s also a sign of the difference between being an insurgent and having to do the hard nuts-and-bolts work of blocking and tackling, of raising money and maintaining a strong party infrastructure.