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Friday, January 8, 2010

The Massachusetts Senate Race and Health Care Reform

Will health care reform drive Scott Brown to an upset in Massachusetts? Politico certainly raises the possibility.

With the Massachusetts Senate special election less than two weeks away, Scott Brown is framing himself as the GOP’s last hope to stop Democratic health care legislation, an approach that could provide both parties with an early glimpse at the political resonance of the issue.

As the underdog GOP nominee in one of the most Democratic states in the nation, the state senator’s message has been simple: If he upsets Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the Jan. 19 election to fill the seat once held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, he will provide the critical vote to halt the Democrats’ health care bill once the final version is negotiated.

“If you feel that Washington and the health care bill that they’re proposing is systemic of the problems in Washington and the failure to understand average people anymore, then you vote for me because as the 41st senator I can stop a lot of this stuff in its tracks,” Brown told POLITICO. “I can actually force them to go back to the drawing board.”

Now, I've noticed a few things over the last week. First, Scott Brown is the conservative rock star of the day. Of course, the last time that happened it was a man named Doug Hoffman and that turned out to be a total bust.

This is different, however. Brown is a season politician. He understands how to win elections. He's not running as the true conservative. In fact, Brown is emphasizing his independence.

He has, however, made it clear that, if elected, he will do everything to block health care reform. Now, Massachusetts may be the only state in the union where that message may not work. In fact, I haven't seen any polling about the current health care reform bill's popularity in Massachusetts though I suspect it is favorable there.

This will be quite a test. Talk about trying to put a round peg in a square hole. Scott Brown, a down the line conservative, will try and win the Massachusetts Senate seat by running against the current health care bill once championed by Teddy Kennedy. If he does pull it off, that would be earth shattering in domestic politics.

More on Scott Brown at Big Government.

1 comment:

Wellescent Health said...

Brown's success is highly unlikely in a state with such high Democratic support and likely support for the reforms. He would almost have to appeal to those more left of center to convince them that the bill was worth blocking because it does not do what it should, but as a seasoned politician, any such attempt will end up with his political history being brought forth and scrutinized.