"I'm going to keep the music on low simmer until about 10:30," said Brenda Soares, the disco mood-maker at the 2,001 Club. "I've got jazz, Glenn Miller, music from the '50s, plenty of disco and plenty of funk. What I play will depend on the crowd. I don't want to scare them away."
Soares was the mood-maker, but she didn't have to worry about the mood. Jody Powell, Robert Strauss, Chip Carter and other campaign organizers ran a boogie-ing gantlet of well-wishers at the club last night, thrust their money across the bar and toasted their victory. Gone were their worries about the large undecided vote and Ted Kennedy's aggressive pasture over the last few weeks before the presidential primary here.
"Isn't this victory sweet? Chip Carter asked the wall-to-wall crowd of campaign strategists, peanut brigaders and New Hampshire supporters.
"Yeaaaaah!" they roared.
"I just finished talking to my father, and he said, to "thank you," said the president's son, who has spent the last few weeks stamping the snowy rural countryside of New Hampshire. "We had more friends in New Hampshire than we thought." He thanked the volunteers. "I heard of places where they were sleeping 20 to a house . . ."
". . . places where they didn't sleep at all . . ."
"People of New Hampshire, we love you very much!" said Carter.
"We're comin" right along, aren't we," drawled Bob Strauss, the president's political gray eminence, who took the microphone from Carter and predicted continuing momentum for the president in the upcoming primaries.
Reporters and network celebrities scrapped like hungry piranhas for the words of the Carter campaign leaders, while women smothered them in kisses and men slapped backs left and right.
"Hey, Jody, good to see you . . . good work man . . ."
"We look at this as a heck of a victory," Powell told NBC correspondent Tom Brokaw. But the president's press secretary declined to call for Kennedy's withdrawal in upcoming primaries. "That's not my job," he said.
Campaign volunteers said that their long hours wearing out shoe leather had been worth it. "In '76 I gave $2,000 -- I maxed out -- and didn't worry about it," said Los Angeles labor lawyer Stan Tobin, 49, a Carter volunteer. In campaign '80, Tobin was among dozens of supporters who fanned out for the president, speaking for Elks Clubs, American Legions, high schools. He spent five weeks in New Hampshire away from his lucrative California practice, giving up what he estimated at $20,000 to $30,000 in legal fees.
Tobin and others like him had to be careful to keep their personal expenses below the $2,000 maximum the Federal Election Commission allows for personal political countributions. "I've grown accustomed to hamburgers," said Tobin. "I never thought I'd have to go into McDonald's."
"Gee, we were scared," said Peter Ramsey, 26, a New Hampshire state representative and Carter campaign organizer. "Last week our phone bank was telling us there was a big undecided vote and it could have gone either way."
"Four years ago, people laughed when Jimmy Carter said he wouldn't lie," said Mary King, deputy director of ACTION, who took leave from her job in Washington to work on the campaign in New Hampshire last week. "What happened is a vindication of the voters' trust and their perception of that promise . . . He could have pulled a Gerald Ford and tried a Mayaguez to get the hostages out with force, but he didn't . . . he's taken a long-ranch approach."
A portly Rhode Island jeweler, Mark Weiner, a former aide to White House adviser Tim Kraft, took his wife, Malinda, his mother and his mother-in-law on the campaign trail, knocking on the doors of New Hampshire voters with his 3-month-old daughter, Catherine. Walker packed her along to the 2,001 Carter disco odyssey last night, decked out in tiny-tot blue jeans and a Carter primary T-shirt.
"No one ever kicked me off their porch with Catherine in my arms," said Weiner, who bundled his baby door-to-door in the cold for the president. "She's the littlest peanut, and she's going to 10 more states for the president.