"If we allow more free enterprise and less government intrusion into our lives, we can create jobs here in Massachusetts," State Senator Scott P. Brown, winner of the Republican nomination for the Kennedy seat in yesterday's low-turnout Massachusetts primary, told local TV anchors this morning. Long-shot candidate Brown will face off with Democrat nominee Attorney General Martha M. Coakley in a January 19 special election. NSFW: Click on image to find out how Brown financed his Boston College Law School student career. (Fox25 News photo above)
"Oddly enough, the one media outlet seeing a potential victory path for Brown, if remote, is the New York Times," writes Brian Maloney of SaveWRKO.com on this wild and woolly wintry-mix morning in the aftermath of Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown's primary victory in the race to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy's seat. Brown's opponent in the January 19 special election, Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley, is "the perfect candidate for the modern Massachusetts electorate," quips local political wag Howie Carr: "someone for rich, white lunatics to vote for if they still feel guilty, even after voting for Barack and Deval."
Given that (a) it’s Massachusetts, (b) the national GOP isn’t interested in even making a good showing for Ted Kennedy’s legacy seat, (c) the state GOP is a joke, it is all but a foregone conclusion that would require remarkable gaffes by Coakley, an extraordinary and deft effort by Brown, and probably external events such as a Democratic health-care debacle. Before we get to the not-inconsiderable potential for the latter, there are some other vulnerabilities, however.
In case you're not up to speed on Scott Brown and the Massachusetts electorate, a few helpful facts and figures from that NYT article:
Although this is the state’s first Senate race with no incumbent since 1984 — for a legendary seat that John F. Kennedy, Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams held before Edward Kennedy — polling places reported strikingly low turnout.…
About 37 percent of the state’s 4.1 million registered voters are Democrats, and about 11 percent are Republicans, giving Ms. Coakley an advantage over Mr. Brown in the general election. Although Massachusetts has elected three Republican governors since 1990, it has not sent a Republican to the Senate in 37 years.
Mr. Brown, 50, is a lawyer and a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard who has served in the state legislature since 1996. He opposes same-sex marriage and the health care legislation being debated in Congress, and supports President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.
Winning unaffiliated voters, who make up half of the state’s electorate, will be crucial for Mr. Brown. He has emphasized his ability to work across party lines, while casting himself as the only candidate with conservative values.
Coakley "quickly came out against the amendment restricting abortion access in the House health care bill last month, saying, 'It’s personal with me, and it’s personal with every woman,'” reports the Times. Above at her primary election night victory event Tuesday in Boston she told fans "They said that women don't have much luck in MA politics, and we believed that it was quite possible that that luck was going to change, and change it did tonight!" (Elise Amendola/Associated Press photo)
Just for the fun of it, a little local color from WBZ-TV News Political Analyst Bob Kelleher:
And more delicious prose from Jules Crittenden:
Martha Coakley … ran a flawless campaign and put the old-boy network in its place with a blowout win on Tuesday night.
On the Republican side, Scott Brown had the best of both worlds, a cakewalk win, and an opponent who spent a bunch of dough reminding voters that Brown fits the template of the occasional Republican successes in this state, social moderation and fiscal conservatisn.
I liked the part, at the beginning of her victory speech last night, where she said voters indicated they want a new kind of leadership in Washington D.C. Flanked by U.S. Rep. Nikki Tsongas and U.S. Sen. John Kerry, apparently secure en route to a Democratic Senate seat in a Democratic Congress currently doing business with a Democratic White House, it was a somewhat enigmatic pronouncement.
"Think Brown can’t win? Here’s why he can," explains SaveWRKO.com's Maloney with a must-read rabble-rouser's roster of reasons not to wave the white flag just yet. A sampling:
With local media outlets already declaring Coakley our next senator, Martha’s infamous coasting will become even more pronounced. She will put next to nothing into her effort from here, saving campaign funds for future purposes …
Turnout on January 19 will be even lower than today’s. We could be well into single digits across the Commonwealth. Motivating your base, even one as small as the GOP’s, makes it possible to overcome that …
Make it clear: this is about the economy, jobs, and taxes. These are winnable positions for Republicans. Set the agenda, it’s not difficult, as Martha’s sole “issue” is her gender …
ABSOLUTELY go after Coakley EVERY SINGLE DAY. Make her life miserable for the next six weeks, that’s what campaigning is all about. And she most certainly deserves it! There’s no reason she should have a free ride simply because that pleases Margery Eagan and the others who failed to nominate Hillary Clinton in 2008.
Speaking of rabble-rousers, enter stage right the Tea Party Movement, Northeastern Massachusetts Branch. RNC Chair Michael Steele may not get it, but there's a Reynoldsian Army of Davids out here behind Taxachusetts enemy lines fixing to stand up and fight for this Shining City Upon a Hill: As Brown senior adviser Eric Fehrnstom says:
"I think the recent election in New Jersey and in the one in Virginia, which is a swing state, sent a very strong message that people are fed up with business as usual in Washington and they want to see the pendulum swing back in the direction of fiscal prudence."
Our very first foray into Tea Party activism was at a demonstration before City Hall organized by the Newburyport Republicans last March. Tomorrow the sub rosa group will celebrate a year of political reawakening at its annual Xmas Party to be held at the Amesbury Playhouse from 6:30 to 11 p.m. We have it from the horse's mouth — Newburyport's Voice blogger and Chairman of the Newburyport GOP, comrade in arms Larry Giunta — that Scott Brown himself will be there to meet and greet. Turns out his father, C. Bruce Brown, is a member of the Newburyport Republican City Committee and was on the City Council of this Northshore bedroom community for 18 years. "I know C. Bruce," says our imail correspondent, a city resident, "but had no idea he was a Republican." That says it all. One-party states like Massachusetts function as Fear-Lite societies.
Update: Maggie's links. Thanks, News Junkie!
Unpdate II: "Yes, yes, all politics are local. Except when they’re not, like in the case of being a deciding vote on fauxcare," writes Dana Loesch, who links.