Taking a selfie with @PrezSelfieGirls has become a must-do for candidates campaigning in New Hampshire.
Take Thursday at Donald Trump’s rally in Laconia, when his staff shepherded Addy and Emma Nozell over and introduced the sisters from Merrimack with, “These are the girls.”
“He knew about us,” said 17-year-old Addy. “He was ready to take that selfie.”
Since the first spur-of-the moment photo with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the beginning of the month, the girls have collected 15. Their goal: all of the presidential candidates.
“We started off as a joke,” Emma, 15, said, “and then Addy decided why not get everyone.”
Next up: Marco Rubio on Monday when he will be in their hometown. Still to come are Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb and Bernie Sanders among the Democrats and Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul among the Republicans.
Sanders might be tough because of the crowds, said their mother, Wendy Thomas, the executive director of The New Hampshire Challenge, an organization for families with disabilities.
The girls listen to the candidates’ speeches either before or afterward, and they are particularly interested in their views on education and on the Middle East. One of their brothers is at Norwich University, a military school in Vermont.
“The girls are really paying attention when they hear the candidates talk about increasing the military,” their mother said.
Addy will turn 18 in time to vote in the general election, and the girls said they are often the only young people at the candidates’ events. Their friends do not pay as much attention to politics as they do.
Thomas said she and her husband, Marc Nozell, have been taking the girls to candidate events since they were babies. Nozell, who works at HP, takes photographs as a hobby, lots of political ones among them.
“If you live in New Hampshire what a fabulous, fabulous opportunity to see these people and listen to them,” Thomas said.
Now, she said, “Kids are getting involved because of these selfies.”