Niki Tsongas was a big winner. As a newly elected member of Congress (elected in 2007 special election) she fit the profile of those Democratic Congressmen who lost yesterday across the rest of the country.
Deval Patrick was a big winner. Being an incumbent running for reelection in tough economic times is a big challenge, and these times are the toughest we’ve faced since the Great Depression. For Patrick to pull out such a clear victory gives him substantial momentum going into his second term.
In his victory speech, Barney Frank said “tonight Massachusetts has reaffirmed the complete political irrelevance of the Boston Herald.” The same could be said for the Lowell Sun. The local newspaper editorialized in favor of Jon Golnik, Charlie Baker and the Question 3 sales tax repeal and the voters went the other way on all three. Nowhere was the newspaper’s blurring of the line between its editorial positions and its news coverage (or more particularly, the selection and placement of its front-page news stories) than in its unrelenting negativity towards Niki Tsongas. In this campaign, the local newspaper became the words-on-paper equivalent of right wing talk radio, playing the same radical tune to an already committed but small audience and losing a great chunk of reasonable people with its extremism.
Scott Brown was a loser yesterday. The question is no longer “who will be the next Scott Brown”, but “who will run against Scott Brown” who will appear on the ballot in the next state election in 2012. Brown crisscrossed the state in support of Republican candidates but showed no coattails. And his embrace of Jeff Perry after the disclosures of Perry’s malfeasance when a police officer under his command sexually assaulted a 14-year old girl forever give past Brown voters reason to question his judgment.
Office-holders who are decent, reasonable people – regardless of party – got a boost yesterday. Anyone who has come to know both Deval Patrick and Niki Tsongas all agree that they are both kind, caring, thoughtful people, whose interest in others is genuine and not just some election season put-on. Both won big and their positive personalities were a big part of it.
There are many more winners and losers but I’ll have to continue the list in another post . . .