Outcome is nothing short of historic

Friday, January 22, 2010
By Transcript Staff

The Kennedy political dynasty with its birthplace right here in Suffolk County has suffered a grievous loss with the victory of Scott Brown over Martha Coakley.

She won Boston, Chelsea and Suffolk County but she didn’t win Winthrop.

Winthrop went for Scott Brown – and if that doesn’t say something about Coakley’s campaign and the ineptitude of the Democrats then I don’t know what does.

Coakley might have done even better in Suffolk County if she had asked Mayor Menino for his aid before having to beg for it during the last week of the election contest.

How do you run for the seat held formerly by Senator Edward Kennedy and not have the common sense to plot a huge Suffolk County victory?

Many of us who wear the moniker of the Democrats in heart and mind feel like we have a hangover following the drubbing – and it was a drubbing – that Coakley took at the hands of Brown and the voters.

Make no mistake, the voters are the ultimate jury and they have ruled.

The pundits are all over the place about the meaning of this election.

It is not the end of the Democratic Party.

It is not the end of President Barack Obama.

It is the beginning of the end for haughty Democrats like Coakley who believed they could win without engaging Brown in battle.

Maybe the next time around the Democrats will spend more time talking with the people than running for seats they consider personal property.

The one thing that offended many Massachusetts voters was brought out clearly by Brown during the final debate when he said: “This isn’t Ted Kennedy’s seat. It is the peoples’ seat.”

Coakley is brighter than Brown. She speaks better English than he does. Her friends are more interested in social justice issues than he is – but when you come right down to it – she never connected with voters the way that Brown did.

She was incapable of poking fun at herself or of telling a joke and meaning it or even laughing heartily in public.

She was ever the ice in her veins prosecutor talking with pursed lips and hardly an ounce of emotion.

When a candidate for a major office from either party cannot connect with the voters they lose.

Winthrop went the way of Massachusetts, and again, that says something mighty about the way people are feeling left out of the political process by democrats too blind to notice and to haughty to care.

It is a catastrophe of sorts that Kennedy’s seat should go to a table thumping Republican but it has.

It is a lesson for all of us.

The other lesson coming with Brown’s spectacular victory over all odds is that the Massachusetts voting public was inspired by his independence.

He was always himself, quite unambiguously, and it sold whenever compared with Coakley’s keep it all inside persona.

She believed, and her coterie of dedicated political operatives believed, she had it in the proverbial bag.

In ancient history the story is told about the Battle of Pharsalus, where Pompey, one of Rome’s greatest generals engaged Caesar in battle in 48 BC.

The prize – running the Roman Empire.

Like Coakley, Pompey believed that he had Caesar beaten before the battle took place – since Pompey had a much larger army than Caesar.

Before the battle, which took place in August on a plain in central Greece, Pompey had his servants erect a huge tent large enough to feed thousands of people after he scored the victory over Caesar for a victory dinner.

Caesar decimated Pompey’s army in battle.

He later ate Pompey’s victory dinner in Pompey’s tent.

And so the story goes with Martha Coakley and all the democrats who contributed to losing Ted Kennedy’s seat.

They lost touch at a time when being in touch is everything – even more than party.

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