Biggest winners and losers following the Senate vote in Massachusetts:
1. Barack Obama.
Personally campaigned for Martha Coakley and managed to not once talk about health care reform (or is it "health insurance reform"?) in the Bay State. Personally responsible for the Frankenstein monster Senate bill (Sen. Russ Feingold said it’s exactly what Obama wanted all along). Acted like an innocent bystander-observer of the train wreck that his administration has become rather than the errant engineer of it when he remarked, "I can understand and agree with the frustration of the voters."
Now 0-3 in post election 2008 campaigns (following losses in Virginia and New Jersey). Demonstrated he can’t hit a Curt Schilling fastball.
Before the votes were even counted, orchestrated Team Obama’s dissing the Democratic candidate and blaming her for being a poor, uninspired candidate (for among other things, not campaigning on the 5 days surrounding Christmas when Obama himself was golfing and sunning in Hawaii for 2 weeks during the holidays).
2. The New York Times Editorial Board which wrote:
There are many theories about the import of Scott Brown’s upset victory in the race for Edward Kennedy’s former Senate seat. To our minds, it is not remotely a verdict on Mr. Obama’s presidency, nor does it amount to a national referendum on health care reform…
Badly wrong on both counts. The NYTimes wants to charge for this kind of piffle in the future? Spare the thought and spare your bucks.
3. Team Obama.
Came out swinging hard at its own Democratic candidate and blamed in addition "communication problems". Nice way to forget Team Obama’s bending over backwards to big banks and Wall St., the highest unemployment numbers since the Great Depression, escalation and spread of wars to five countries, and a Senate health "insurance reform" bill that mandates coverage and bails out big insurers but does little or nothing for average Americans. Yup, it was all on Martha.
4. Sarah Palin.
There’s a new ultra conservative sheriff in town and Brownie’s getting the headlines that this has-been used to get. He’ll also actually hold political office rather than just comment on it as a FOX pundit.
5. Loony Davis.
Whiner Davis deserves top-billing on any losers list but since he’s pretty much a has been, I’ve put him at 5th. Wrote a horrific WSJ article blaming the loss on the Democrat’s health care reform plan. Loony claimed that it was somehow written by the progressives! Here’s Loony’s call for "reform" in the Democratic Party:
Bottom line: We liberals need to reclaim the Democratic Party with the New Democrat positions of Bill Clinton and the New Politics/bipartisan aspirations of Barack Obama—a party that is willing to meet half-way with conservatives and Republicans even if that means only step-by-step reforms on health care and other issues that do not necessarily involve big-government solutions.
That’s right: Loony wants MORE bipartisanship from Obama and seems to have forgotten how that went the past year and who actually wrote the lame "health insurance" reform bill! Loony, the Senate bill you deplore was written by your DLC pals Max Baucus, Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman, not by progressives. Cue the music from Loony tunes now!
6. Nate Silver.
Nate had the Mass. Senate race as one of the least likely in the nation to flip (13th on his list of 2010 Senate seats) and wrote just a day or so before the election a ho-hum blog entry pretty much saying the race could go either way even after two reliable polls indicated a big shift for Brown. [Psst, Nate, update your website; you've got the Mass. seat "open" yet.]
Today Nate is opining that the Senate health care bill was "the biggest Progressive achievement in years" and that "it’s easy to forget today that the White House and the Congress had successfully shepherded health care reform to the one-yard." Ouch! Nate was much better at baseball stats than as a political analyst/pollster.
7. Martha Coakley.
She’ll have time to watch the Red Sox play some games and maybe figure out who plays for them and the opposing Yankees. Martha’s better off remaining in the Mass. AG office and is not ready yet for prime time except perhaps in well-heated rooms as Mass’s top lawyer or as a jurist.
8. The Kennedy Family.
It really isn’t their seat anymore and Camelot died with Teddy. R.I.P. Teddy who had his personal faults but was a fighter for the people.
1. Brownie! He’s the new face for the right wing element of the Republicans and for the tea baggers. He’s got more of a populist appeal than Barack and better buns too (question is: how long will it be before Obama does a nude center fold to get the voyeur vote?). What’s good for Brownie is bad for Sarah Palin as she gets pushed off front pages.
But Brownie’s got a problem. This gig is only for two years so he has to decide if: 1) he wants to be a long-time Senator from Mass. (which will require him to move to the left) or, 2) does he want to spring a Barack Obama and bolt the Senate after just 2 years and run for national office? My bet is on the latter. It’s easier and can pay bigger dividends. Brownie looks like a shoo-in for at least the GOP VP spot, but remember, he’s a politician and therefore crystal balling him is like getting your hands on unobtainium.
2. Pickup truck manufacturers. These will now become de rigueur especially for fake populist politicians. Word is, Obama has a big order in for a fleet of pickup trucks and will soon appoint a pickup truck czar.
3. Mitt Romney.
Mitt is back big time since he enthusiastically supported Brownie. A Romney-Brown ticket might be coming to political rallies near to you soon.
4. Curt Schilling.
A great pitcher for the New York…, oops, the Boston Red Sox and the Phillies and will be a shoo-in for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s also interested in politics and since he’s originally from Alaska maybe there’s an opening there as Moose Hunter in Chief? Or how about Governor of Mass. so he could work with his friend Brownie? Jim Bunning got hit hard as a starting politician but maybe Schilling’s got better stuff?
5. Stand up Comedians.
This whole episode is a gold mine for these guys and gals. Good until November of this year for plenty of yucks.
6. Martha Coakley.
She gets to run again for AG from Mass. and doesn’t have to enter the corrupt institution that the U.S. Senate has become. Might be a good federal judge down the road too but for that same reason, don’t expect Barack (the guy who doesn’t need to wear a cup when facing Curt Schilling because there’s nothing there to damage) to pick her.
If you’re a political junkie into polls and numbers, this is the website for you. Had a nifty graph showing Brown overtaking Coakley before the election. Data for just about every race and state imaginable. Great article today by Margie Omero called "Massachusetts Not Ready for a Woman?":
These figures suggest that Massachusetts sexism did not hold Coakley back, unless that sexism is as prevalent in liberal women as it is with other groups. That seems unlikely. Coakley underperformed consistently, throughout the state, and across the demographic spectrum. Campaign tactics, the mercurial nature of a special election, a volatile national climate, and the mobilization of the Republican base were sufficient to yield a Republican upset.
You will not be forgotten. Teddy knew how to give great, uplifting speeches AND how to fight for his aspirations too!