'Say 2016!' Sisters snag selfies with presidential hopefuls

'Say 2016!' Sisters snag selfies with presidential hopefuls

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Addy & Emma Nozell aren't the first New Hampshire residents to collect photos of themselves with as many presidential candidates as possible. But the in the age of selfies & social media, the Merrimack sisters are attracting a lot of attention, so much so that candidates now arrive in the state ready for their close-ups with the teens.

Here are five things to know approximately New Hampshire's presidential selfie sisters:

THE FIRST:

p>It all started on July 2, when 15-year-old Emma decided she wanted to snap a photo of herself with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. They caught up with him Nashua, where Christie stopped at an ice cream stand & after picked up the endorsement of the city's former mayor.

"I took a selfie with him, & then Addy decided, 'Why not obtain 'em with everyone?'" Emma said.

While that encounter marked their first foray into presidential selfies, the girls are no strangers to the campaign trail. Their parents have made a point of taking them to political events since they were babies, an experience that gave them confidence that they'd accomplish their goal.

"Since our parents bring us to all these events, we thought it was pretty do-able," said Addy. "We were always in the parades, we were always making signs. We were always helping them with whatever was needed."

THE WORST:

Of all the selfies so far, the sisters are least pleased with their picture with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry because he's not looking at the camera. (They've offered him a do-over.) In terms of overall experience, the most difficult meeting was with Dr. Ben Carson, who wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post website criticizing the "obvious narcissism of endlessly photographing oneself & blasting it over social networks for others to admire." Though her parents warned her not to be upset if she received turned down, Emma was determined, albeit nervous.

"I went up to him & said, 'I know you don't like selfies, I understand that, yet I'm doing this project with all the other candidates," Emma said. "I was wondering if you could take a selfie with me."

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In this July 17, 2015 photo provided by Emma Nozell, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump po …

He said yes.

THE METHOD:

Having honed their skills over several weeks, the sisters have some advice for fellow selfie seekers.

"We find a hole in the crowd, we make eye contact with them if we can, & we smile," Addy said.

Asking permission is a must, yet selfie sticks are a no-no, she said, because they are too unwieldy in large crowds.

"And don't be afraid to obtain up in there," said Emma, who generally is the one snapping the photos.

On Thursday, the girls approached Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at a crowded diner in Amherst. He demurred at first, saying he'd pose with them after his speech. But Emma knew there wouldn't be enough time afterward, & it would be too crowded.

"I was like, no, we gotta take it now," she said. "Before he said one word."

The girls' mother, Wendy Thomas, said she was amazed watching her daughter charge up to the candidate.

"She received it. This little pit-bull selfie girl," she said.

THE DONALD:

By the time the girls caught up with Donald Trump at the Weirs Beach Community Center on Thursday, however, something had shifted. Instead of having to push through a crowd, they faced a clear walkway & a candidate who appeared to be waiting for them.

"When we went up to Trump, his handlers said 'These are the girls,' & he said, 'Oh, alright, let's obtain the selfie,'" Addy said. "We were flabbergasted. Wow. He knew!"

THE FUTURE:

Neither girl will be old enough to vote in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary, though Addy will turn 18 before the general election. She said she leans toward Democrats, yet is open to Republicans as well, & has liked some of what she has heard on the campaign trail.

"I probably won't decide until the very last minute," she said.

Both sisters said they have learned a lot, not just approximately the candidates yet approximately the media after having been interviewed numerous times for print, radio, television & online audiences.

"It started off just for fun, yet now it has become very educational," Emma said.

New Hampshire

Source: “Associated Press”

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