Friday, January 15, 2010

Slip Slidding Away in Massachusetts

The permanent Democratic majority is slip sliding away in the special Massachusetts Senate election next Tuesday. Polls currently show the Republican Scott Brown in the lead over Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Republicans should not drink Champaign quite yet though. 3 1/2 days can be an eternity in politics.

The Democrats are bringing in the big guns in a state which abhors guns.

President Obama is flying up on Sunday in support of Martha. He won the state by 26% a little over a year ago. Maybe some of that popularity will spill over onto Coakley, who has run an incredibly inept campaign. She cannot even spell Massachusetts.

Endorsements don’t usually amount to a hill of beans, but Scott Brown has two that might carry some weight.

First, Boston College Heisman winner Doug Flutie has endorsed Brown. Maybe Flutie can pull off another Hail Mary.

Second, Curt Schilling, the great Red Sox pitcher, has come out for Brown and pilloried Coakley on his blog.

Acorn has yet to be heard from. Clearly Acorn, SEIU, other unions, and the Democratic machines in Massachusetts will get the vote out.

If the rising tide is too great though, as in New Jersey and Virginia last November, it won’t matter.

The main lever in the liberal Massachusetts block has also not been heard from. That is the Boston Globe. I’m not talking about the editorials or op-eds in the Globe, but the front page. The Globe has a well-earned reputation for playing politics on page one, masking editorials and hatchet jobs as news. If the Globe editors are sitting on something devastating to Brown, it will be published this weekend, probably on Sunday.

If Senator Brown wins, then the closest analogy I can think of is John Tower in 1961. Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson won reelection to the Senate in 1960 as well as the Vice Presidency on the Kennedy-Johnson ticket. LBJ resigned the Senate seat to assume the Vice-Presidency.

The conservative Republican, John Tower, won the special election to succeed LBJ in the Senate. Senator Tower was the first Republican Senator from Texas since Reconstruction.

Far from being a political anomaly, the election of Senator Tower marked the ascendancy of the Republican Party in the once solidly Democratic Texas.

Massachusetts will not become a Republican state anytime in the near future, but the GOP might have a resurgence that gives it some political clout in the state.

Even if Martha Coakley wins, the lesson of this election is that the Democrats are in, to use the words of the first President Bush, who was born in Massachusetts, “Deep doo-doo.”

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