Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Less than 24 hours before the one year anniversary of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, the Democrats lost the U.S. senate to Scott Brown, a little-known GOP state senator. Brown was swept to victory to fill the vacant Senate seat long held by the late Edward M. Kennedy in Massachusetts.
With 93 percent of the vote counted, Brown won by a decisive margin of 52 percent to defeating the Democratic challenger, Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general.
The loss is stunning for the Obama administration. The president, who spent nearly all of 2009 focused on healthcare reform as his signature issue, must now face a newly elected Republican senator who ran on a campaign to stop healthcare reform from becoming law.
While the finger pointing is underway inside the Obama administration, the meaning of Scott Brown’s stunning election upset is simple. The president lost the support of independent voters who are worried about the economy and jobs.
Perhaps the words of Marlene Connolly, 73, of North Andover, a lifelong Democrat who said she cast her first vote for a Republican on Tuesday, may best explain Brown’s meteoric rise:
“I’m hoping that it gives a message to the country. If Massachusetts puts Brown in, it’s a message of ‘that’s enough.’ Let’s stop the giveaways and let’s get jobs going.”