This has been a big week in local and Massachusetts politics. Tom Menino – a beloved, long-term, some would say iconic Mayor of Boston – died before his time. The mighty and the meek celebrated his life. The white-hair and supportive arms of Bill Clinton enveloped the family as pre-schoolers waved good-bye. A razor-thin victory caused a shift back to the GOP in the Commonwealth’s “Corner Office” as Charlie Baker bested Martha Coakley. A good history lesson shows the shift is nothing new in Massachusetts gubernatorial politics – it is the norm. Locally, Rady Mom took the Rep seat in the 18th Middlesex District shocking many long-time observers of the Lowell political scene as the election made its own history. In our part of the Merrimack Valley, women candidates did very well. While just shy of a state-wide win, Martha Coakley took Lowell. Maura Healey (AG), Deb Goldberg (Treasurer), Auditor Suzanne Bump, State Senator Eileen Donoghue, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Rep Colleen Garry, Governor’s Councillor Eileen Duff, DA Marian Ryan, Rep Corey Atkins romped! and Barbara L’Italien took the vigorously contested open Second Essex/Middlesex State Senate seat. And, just over the border in NH, US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Governor Maggie Hassan held on against the national tide… Shaheen solid against the attack from Scott Brown and the heavily monied-GOP. It’s a funny political oasis that encourages local activists and has pundits wagging. Already the 2016 race looms over the Merrimack Valley on both sides of the border. It might be a tough slog but the HRC bumper stickers are easily spotted and visions of “door-to-door” are dancing in some heads… and the beat goes on.