Massachusetts Senate election
Mass. panic for Democrats?
What's the impact of Brown beating Coakley?
The Sunday morning chattering class was busily Wednesday-morning quarterbacking the election even before the polls closed Tuesday.
But what will be the immediate impact of Scott Brown's election to the Senate from Massachusetts? Yes, a Kennedy held the seat since the Korean War, but the commonwealth isn't as liberal as its repute. After all, they did just have a Republican governor - a fellow who ran for the GOP presidential nomination, if I recall.
While Chris Matthews and his ilk began declaring the end of the Democratic party as we know it, it's worth remembering that just a month ago the came Beltway groupthinkers were convinced that the GOP was as defunct as GM, washed-up, yesterday's news.
The Republican party was irrelevant. Would it ever recover?
How quickly things must change, because now it's the Dems who are being pronounced DOA, despite the fine print on the voter registration cards of the president, a majority of the House, and a majority of the Senate (still - believe it or not, 59 > 41).
Despite a firm grip on all the many levers of government, the Democrats are done for.
If you believe the latest confabulatory predications, that is. Yes, I know that's a contradiction in terms; that's the point.
Of course, post special election, the special finger-pointing has begun. The White House points to the team of Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, the Coakley team points to the national party, and everybody but the losing candidate points at Coakley for taking a New Year's vacation and not being a hard-core Red Sox fan.
But Coakley's approval rating stayed high at 58% even at the end of the campaign. So there's something at work beyond an inept candidate.
Says The Hill:
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said before the result was declared that Democrats need to stop blaming the candidate and face their problems governing.
"This is not the time to appoint the blame," Dean said on MSNBC. "People who blame others are losers."
Some close to the campaign say they were overtaken by national events beyond their control, including prolonged health care negotiations in Washington and an attempted jet bombing on Christmas Day.
Others disagree sharply, saying that Coakley, despite not being a traditional political figure, allowed herself to be painted as the establishment, while Brown, though he has been in politics longer, cast himself as a fresh face.
What's your take?
Did Coakley blow the race? Did Brown blow her out of the water? Does Brown's election hold national significance, or have recent elections been a mixed bag for the GOP? Did President Obama's trip to pump up Coakley supporters help or hinder? Are voters reacting to the liberal policies of the Democrats or to gridlock in the capital? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.