Will Massachusetts ever be the same again?
When 2010 rang in residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts could be certain of three things. The sun would rise in the east, there would be snow on the ground, and a Democrat would be elected to succeed Ted Kennedy in the Senate.
In retrospect one cannot blame the Democrats for believing the Special Senate election in Massachusetts was for “Ted Kennedy’s seat.” After all, when Edward Moore Kennedy was sworn into office Scott Brown was but a 3-year-old. One could make the case that Democrats looked upon Massachusetts voters as children to be seen but not heard. Well, last night Massachusetts voters were heard by an entire nation. Say hello to Senator-elect Scott Brown, R — MA, and say goodbye to Obamacare (unless Harry Reid sees fit to ram it through before swearing Brown into office).
So how did this all happen over the course of less than a month? How was it that Scott Brown lawn signs were showing up in The People’s Republic of Cambridge? When a colleague told me of this sight it was at that point I thought Brown could win. If Democrats can’t hold onto Cantabrigians, then who can they count on?
Well, it’s quite simple really. The more people saw of Scott Brown the more they liked him. The more the people saw of Martha Coakley the more they didn’t like her. Throw in a lackluster performance by President Obama during a campaign stop for her over the weekend and you have a perfect storm where the winds of change have blown back in his face.
Brown began on a clever note when he reminded Massachusetts voters that President Kennedy was a tax cutter at heart. Of course, Brown is hardly the first Republican in favor of a tax cut. This tax cutter resonated with people because he wears regular clothes, drives an old pick up truck, and also genuinely enjoys talking with people as well as listening to them. People might not agree with Brown’s position on the War in Afghanistan but he’s a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve and there are some Massachusetts liberals who respect his stance. Brown also had a magic number — 41. He turned this election into a referendum on Obamacare.
And then there was Martha. What didn’t she do wrong? If Paul McCartney was advising Coakley he might say, “Martha my dear. Hold your hand out, you silly girl. See what you’ve done.” Martha Coakley could write a book titled, “How Not to Win an Election Campaign.” The table of contents might look something like this:
Introduction — The Campaign Has Been Won, Time For a Well-Deserved Vacation
Chapter One — Getting Those Taxes Up
Chapter Two — How to Handle Pesky Reporters
Chapter Three — How to Make Terrorists Disappear From Afghanistan
Chapter Four — Employment Opportunities for Catholics Outside The Health Care Field
Chapter Five — How to Convince People Your Opponent Likes Rape
Chapter Six — Remedial Spelling
Chapter Seven — How to Avoid Contact with Voters in Cold Weather
Chapter Eight — Boston Sports Legends & Landmarks 101
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