MANCHESTER, NH – A line of hopefuls waiting to see President Obama in the University of New Hampshire Whittemore Center spanned from the building’s entrance, to around the corner, to across the street Monday afternoon.
While they waited, some for five hours or more, they were serenaded by live saxophone music, the musician standing alone on the corner of the street with a Clinton sign strapped to his back.
The man behind the saxophone is Concord resident Paul Kisinitz, 74, and this wasn’t his first time playing his sax in support of a candidate.
“I love to support Democratic candidates,” Kisinitz said. “I started out on the Elizabeth Warren campaign when I lived in Massachusetts … it was very fulfilling, so I just keep coming back for more when there’s another campaign.”
He played at 30 Warren events during her campaign four years ago, and since then he has played 15 times in support of Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and a few times for Jeanne Shaheen.
About 15 years ago, Kisinitz bought a baritone saxophone that he liked to play at the Boston Marathon. But once a year wasn’t often enough to entertain with his music skills, so he decided to start playing at campaign events.
Kisinitz says he’s not so much passionate about politics as he is “passionate about common sense.”
“I just believe in science, common sense, math, et cetera,” he said “I was an aerospace engineer, so doing things accurately is something that matters to me.”
Though Kisinitz is retired now, he thinks of himself as an entertainer. People don’t often talk to him while he’s playing at an event, but he can see smiles and positive reactions from those who walk by. His setup is practiced after dozens of uses, with the pole of his sign dipping under his saxophone harness and ending in a cloth holder strapped to his belt.
His first time on the Elizabeth Warren campaign, Kisinitz had to stick his sign into his belt.
“It bottomed out at the crotch of my underpants,” he said “I thought that wasn’t gonna work. So now I have a ski pole, and the strap is locked onto my belt. Being an engineer, a little of it comes out in the setup here.”
If he has one message he could get out, it’s that voters should be aware of what their representatives are doing for them in office.
“Who’s working for you in the government? How can we have more people who are working for us, rather than for a few short-sighted, selfish businessmen who want to increase their own profits?”