In This Diner, One N.H. Voter Ponders Meaning of 'Presidential'

Feb 4, 2016

The Four Aces Diner on Lebanon's Bridge Street is a real old fashioned diner car: leather booths and linoleum counter, a blackboard of specials. But on this particular morning, the folks inside— not so up for talking politics.

A lot of the customers are from out of town; the diner sits right on the border of Vermont. Most people I meet don’t even live in New Hampshire. Others do, but they’d rather keep their politics private.

But just as I’m about to pack up and hit the road, Peter Talbot, aged 79, comes up to me with a big, mischievous smile.

I’d met him earlier sitting in a big group of Canadian tourists. Turns out, he lives right here in Lebanon.

He says he barely recognizes American politics anymore.

"There’s no one that stands up with a suit on and says 'My fellow Americans…' They don’t appear to be Chief Executive. Well, a diplomatic person. A government person. That had great control and background and understanding. This foray into the political thing has just been so crazy and wild that for me it’s, you know, I sit on the floor and go ‘bah!’" Talbot laughs. "And I will vote. But at this point I’m still waiting for a little of the dust to settle that’s all. But as I tried to tell you it’s such a myriad of personalities of people all in the box at once."

And with that, Talbot walks out to meet his group of Canadian pals who’ve been standing in the parking lot. I turn back to my waitress, who looks more relieved than me.

Thank goodness, somebody in this room had something to say about politics.