Video: A quiet moment with Ovide Lamontagne

posted at 9:15 am on January 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting with Ovide Lamontagne, the one-time Tea Party favorite for the Senate seat that Kelly Ayotte eventually won. Lamontagne immediately endorsed Ayotte and campaigned for her after barely losing the primary in New Hampshire, which Ovide worried at the time would alienate his Tea Party followers. The opposite happened; they saw, as Ovide did, that with the primary over, the critical task was keeping liberal Paul Hodes out of the Senate.  With Lamontagne’s help, Ayotte succeeded.

After a year to consider his options, Ovide has returned to electoral politics, this time seeking the governor’s office from which John Lynch will retire at the end of the year.  I spoke with Ovide at his office yesterday for quite a while, away from the presidential horse-race events that have dominated my visit to New Hampshire, to discuss his gubernatorial bid.  He tells me that he sees this as a natural extension of his mission from 2010, which was to use a Senate seat to get the federal government out of the business of the states.  It’s at least as important, Ovide argues, to have governors willing to stand up to Washington and fight jurisdictional incursions as it is to have conservatives in Congress trying to rein in those impulses from the opposite direction.

When asked what state-level issues will drive his election, Ovide says they’re not that different from the national issues — jobs and the economy.  The state’s relatively low unemployment level (5.2%) masks a lot of pain, and Ovide made a point of telling me that he doesn’t want to govern to the averages.  He wants to roll back job-killing regulatory interference in the state as well as from Washington DC, and ensure that enough economic growth occurs to include everyone who wants and needs an opportunity to earn a living.  Ovide was pretty gracious with his time despite me twice mispronouncing his name on tape (even after I asked him before the tape rolled!), so this runs a little longer than most interviews, but it’s worth it.  I interviewed Ovide two years ago at CPAC, and it’s good to see him continuing his efforts in public service.


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Teamwork, what a novel idea. Not who but what takes the day.

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Viva la Ovide. Taking back new england, one state at a time.

msupertas on January 10, 2012 at 9:24 AM

If, God forbid, Obama were to win re-election, I think the Governors are our last hope. Even if we do re-take the Senate, we’ve seen that Obama just goes around them and I don’t have a ton of confidence anyone in Washington really cares to stop him.

Night Owl on January 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

sorry, only southern socons count nowadays apparently… everyone else is a RINO.

gatorboy on January 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM

What a good man. Maybe all our hopefuls should have a chat with him!

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Huntsman polling strong in NH. Lotsa luck to ya Ovie.

FlaMurph on January 10, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Ahhh, but where does he stand on Romney? That guy’s rich you know.

abobo on January 10, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I wish I could help candidates out but it will just have to wait until The Won is gone.

Cindy Munford on January 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Ed, glad you got time to meet with Ovide. He is a stand-up guy and I’m confident that he will be our next Gov. He backed Sen Ayotte for all the right reasons, for the people! He has the support of not just the Tea Party folks but regular conservatives that don’t necessarily consider themselves Tea Party. He is working hard to make sure that NH stays red or becomes even more red this next cycle. He wants to smack the Feds and make the State more independent of the Feds. I will be supporting Ovide for Govenor this fall and encourage all my fellow NH Hot Air readers to support him as well. Lets finally make NH red once again.

Ed, Ovide showed much grace when you butchered his name, funny thing is I used to do the same thing until I met him two years ago and he introduced himself, I thought to myself boy was I butchering his name. I’m sure he is used to it, it not a normal first name, but it’s normally the last name that trips people up, he doesn’t use the french pronuciation but more americanized version- La – mon – tain.

Glad to have you in the Granite State Ed, hope to see you in person, when do you fly out my office is very near the airport in Manchester and could be there in 5 min. I’ll by the coffee.

D-fusit on January 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I like this guy. OT – Here is the meme that might help beat Obama in 2012. For those who find our country’s reality too complicated.
Feel free to use it.

bloggless on January 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM

1.) If elected, will he make NH the fifth ‘Constitutional Carry’ state?
2.) How the heck do you pronounce his name? Can we call him OLM for short?

Penfold on January 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

2.) How the heck do you pronounce his name? Can we call him OLM for short?

Penfold on January 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

O-vid La-mon-tain.

It’s all good.

D-fusit on January 10, 2012 at 9:50 AM

bloggless on January 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM

You mean he was into at one time, who knew?/

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 9:53 AM

You mean he was into us at one time, who knew?/

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 9:54 AM

You mean he was into at one time, who knew?/

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Yes, he was. Really.

bloggless on January 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

OT: I’ve had CSPAN on this morning because the callers have been interesting.

To be sure, it’s anecdotal, but Paul must have some kind of coordinated campaign. GOPers, independents, and at least half of the Dem callers are pounding the phone for Ron Paul.

BuckeyeSam on January 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Ovide needs to be Governor of NH. Unfortunately, he always comes close but loses elections. Met the guy, he’s sincere and intelligent and a really decent person. Obviously not fit for politics.

philw1776 on January 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

bloggless on January 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Oh yeah, teabagger is really a term of endearment, to think I took that the wrong way all this time.

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Sorry for your troubles.

bloggless on January 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Paul has people all over the place in NH. I drove past a town hall Romney was having last night and outside the school were a whole bunch of them holding Paul signs. They know where to go to make sure they are seen.

crowhop on January 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

How can the Tea Party endorse a guy with a fancy arse name like “Ovide Lamontagne”.

You kidding me?

Pablo Honey on January 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

bloggless on January 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I don’t have any troubles. Project much?

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 10:53 AM

How can the Tea Party endorse a guy with a fancy arse name like “Ovide Lamontagne”.

You kidding me?

Pablo Honey on January 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

No, we don’t discriminated for any reason, not even fancy names.

D-fusit on January 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Ovide a few times now. Bright, articulate and a champion of individual rights.
One of the things he knows very well is that we cannot re-take our state (or country) until we rescue our children from the Marists running the Gubmint schools.
Ovide supports the concept that every tax dollar for each child’s education should be portable by way of vouchers.
The day that happens, private industry will respond with truly GREAT schools to serve our children’s needs. The competition will also make the surviving Gubmint schools better and more in tune with non-Marxist education.

Here in New Hampshire, a voucher system also means we need an amendment to state Constitution to repeal one from the late 1800′s which prohibits any tax money from going to religious affiliated schools.
This was an anti-Catholic amendment and sought to affect Cathlolic schools.
Today of course, Catholic schools are a much needed alternative to the Gubmint schools, and accept children from all faiths.

Governor Lamontagne will also defeat the public sector union by signing the Right-To-Work bill that our midget governor Lynch vetoed.

HammerNH on January 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Excellent interview, Ed. Ovide is very impressive…

Oh yeah, teabagger is really a term of endearment, to think I took that the wrong way all this time.
Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

These endearing moments made my heart go pitter patter:

-”We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”

-Slurpee jokes

-”I’m the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks”.

-”But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.”

-”We’re gonna punish our enemies, and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us”

I have to stop now before I swoon and need to be resuscitated…

Buy Danish on January 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Buy Danish on January 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Don’t forget yesterdays newest via Drudge via WS.
And the president warned that Republicans threaten the “very core of what this country stands for.”
That’s pretty rich.

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM

And the president warned that Republicans threaten the “very core of what this country stands for.”
That’s pretty rich.
Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM

No kidding. Scary stuff, really. Sad how many brainwashed people are susceptible to this sort of demagoguery. Dittos for Republicans who are susceptible to populist class warfare arguments.

Buy Danish on January 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Buy Danish on January 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

By the way, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting that job from lib4life, She he it is over at the Politics vrs policy on Bain thread. I tried.

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Bmore on January 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM

I just left a link there. Now I’ll have read the comments, paying special attention to Ms. Deep Pockets.

Buy Danish on January 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Is anyone else, besides me, who is sick of Ed using phrases similar to:

… efforts in public service.

Really Ed. “Public service”? There is no other population of self-serving individuals who choose “public service” as a career… And no other population of people who can ruin lives without a second thought, as there is no accountability, than in “public service”.

Much of Ed’s work is quality, but when it comes to BS statements like this… just smacks of patronizing the rest of us.

Danny on January 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM

How can the Tea Party endorse a guy with a fancy arse name like “Ovide Lamontagne”.

You kidding me?

Pablo Honey on January 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Er, his family is French Canadian, and they emigrated to Manchester NH to work in the mills.

Nothin’ fancy there.

Del Dolemonte on January 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

efforts in public service.

Really Ed. “Public service”? There is no other population of self-serving individuals who choose “public service” as a career… And no other population of people who can ruin lives without a second thought, as there is no accountability, than in “public service”.

Much of Ed’s work is quality, but when it comes to BS statements like this… just smacks of patronizing the rest of us.

Danny on January 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM

From Ovide’s website. This is probably what Ed had in mind.

Since his return to Manchester in 1986, Ovide, a strong proponent of public service, has established himself as a go-to leader in New Hampshire’s charitable and non-profit communities, having been honored in 2009 as New Hampshire’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Daniel Webster Council – Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, Ovide has served as Chairman of St. Mary’s Bank Board of Directors, as Trustee of the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund. He is past President of the Franco-American Center and Director of ACA Assurance, was past Honorary Consul of France to New Hampshire, and in 2002 he was named Franco-American of the Year. From 2002 through 2006 Ovide served as President of the Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America and received the Silver Beaver Award in 2006. He is a member of Club Richelieu Manchester, and is also a past Director of the Easter Seal Society of New Hampshire, CASA of New Hampshire, Manchester Crimeline, Inc. and the Mayhew Program.

Yep, he sure is a cretin.

/

Del Dolemonte on January 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM