Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Great Scott!

Posted by Jim Walsh on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Democrats are reeling from the victory of Scott Brown (R) over heavily-favored Martha Coakley (D) in the special election in Massachusetts to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. Excuse me, I should have said “the people’s seat formerly filled by Ted Kennedy.”

The Democrats are grasping at straws to explain away this defeat. Unlike the GOP gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey that were dismissed as anomalies over local issues and poorly-run campaigns, the Democrats have some real spinning to do to explain how a relatively little-known Republican state senator can overcome a 30 point deficit in a month against the well-known Democratic Attorney General of the bluest of blue states.

I knew that internal polls must have shown Coakley losing when stories were posted Monday about the finger pointing that was already going on among Democrats over the Coakley campaign. Coakley WAS a poor campaigner. Her comment about how she, unlike Brown, was unwilling to greet voters outside Fenway Pary in the cold during the Bruins’ New Year’s Day hockey game reeked of arrogance. Her dismissal of former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling as just another Yankee fan showed her disconnection from her constituents. Less than two weeks before the election, she took time off from campaigning to hold a fund-raiser among lobbyists in Washington. Brown, by contrast, ran a smart, consistent, near-perfect campaign. That said, in normal circumstances, even with such contrasting campaign styles, there is no way that Brown could have defeated Coakley in Massachusetts. There had to be an underlying anger among voters over what’s going on in Washington.

Some Democratic pundits are spinning Brown’s victory not as the people’s dislike of Obamacare, but as the people’s dislike of the distraction that Obamacare has become at the expense of addressing the issues of the economy and jobs. Let them spin. The fact is Brown explicitly campaigned on the idea that he would be the 41st vote against Obamacare.

It’s too soon to assess how the Democrats will respond. Some are urging full speed ahead on Obamacare. knowing that this may be their only chance to get this monstrosity of a bill passed. But that would be asking dozens of Democrats in Congress to sacrifice their own political careers for Obama. And that violates the first principle of politicians: self-preservation.

While the Massachusetts election results bode well for Republicans, we can’t be too smug just yet. The mid-term elections are over nine months away, and that’s practically a lifetime in politics. Until the last week before the election, the Democrats were caught napping in Massachusetts. I doubt that they will be so complacent in November.

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2 Responses to “Great Scott!”

  1. Betty said

    This is good. Now we need a take over in our state. I think we can do it. I would prefer to see Bob E run for senate. Let Kendall run for Governor.

  2. Secretary of the Cabinet? said

    We need a Scott Brown in Howard County. One with an actual CV with legitimate job titles and an average-sized ego.

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