Tuesday night Republican Scott Brown defeated once heavily favored Democrat Martha Coakley in Massachusetts’ nationally monitored senate race. Brown’s convincing win of 52 percent to Coakley’s 47 percent makes him the first Republican senator in the Commonwealth in over 30 years.
The senate seat which was once held for nearly a half century by the late Ted Kennedy now belongs to a Republican whose vote is certain to derail any Democratic plan to pass a national healthcare reform bill which now appears to be on life support. As the 41st Republican senator in a 100-member senate, Brown breaks the Democratic filibuster proof majority that they once briefly held.
Brown’s victory sends a cold shiver throughout President Obama’s Whitehouse. President Obama who campaigned with Martha Coakley during Coakley’s final campaign stretch was not able to muster enough motivation in a largely liberal state to defeat the hard charging Republican. As the reality of losing an important vote in the senate sinks in, the President and his staff must analyze what exactly went wrong in Massachusetts and try to “stop the bleeding” before Republicans can gain further momentum.
It appears that Republican turnout was strong in all voting districts; Republicans smelling blood in the water from Martha Coakley’s ill ran and ineffective campaign came out in droves. Democrats and Independents angry over issues that range from unemployment, job losses, the war in Afghanistan and a weak healthcare reform bill stayed home and allowed the ushering in of change in Massachusetts politics.
Scott Brown the charismatic candidate who once posed naked for Cosmopolitan Magazine as a contender for “America’s Sexiest Man”; a gig which helped him pay for law school, utilized old school campaigning tactics of shaking the hands of as many people that would listen to his message all the while driving in an old pickup truck.
Brown, a 50 year old disciplined triathlete who rises most days to train before the sun rises at 5 a.m. calls himself a Type-A, driven personality. “I’m always doing something, even when I’m home watching TV, I’m always licking envelopes or writing notes to people,” he told the Boston Globe. “If I’m riding my [stationary] bike, I’m reading a newspaper or watching the news.”
Politically, Brown is considered one of the more conservative members of the Democratic-led Massachusetts Senate, but he may be hard to categorize in Washington politics. He supports abortion rights but opposes partial-birth abortion. He supported Massachusetts’s health-care reform in 2006, which resembles the U.S. Senate bill passed before Christmas. Yet he has pledged to give Republicans their 41st vote in the Senate to stop the bill. Brown says it’s too costly and will interfere with what Massachusetts already has in place.
Brown opposes same-sex marriage, and one of his big political miscalculations occurred eight years ago when he said it was “just not normal” for his Democratic predecessor in the state Senate, a lesbian, to have a baby with her partner. That comment was said to have knocked him off the short list as a potential gubernatorial running mate with Republican Jane Swift. Brown is a lieutenant colonel with the Massachusetts National Guard and a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
As always Louisianans the aerochug.com is interested in what you think. Does Scott Brown’s senatorial victory in Massachusetts signal a major shift in American voting? If so why? And will Brown’s vote kill an already weakened healthcare reform bill? Inquiring minds want to know. Sound off.
Until next time Louisianans, Good Day, God Bless and Good Fishing.