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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Update on the Massachusetts Senate Race

First, it appears that all the media attention has turned Scott Brown into a fundraising machine. Brown has raised $1.3 million plus since yesterday and counting. The new story coming from that campaign is procedural. I don't how much merit it has but it only helps Brown. There's word that Dems are considering changing the rules so that if Brown wins he isn't seated right away so they can pass health care reform before he is.

The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.
Today, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.
“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”
Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 – well after the president’s address.
Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said today a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.

I don't know who dreamed up this hair brain idea but I venture to guess that it's a Republican operative that infiltrated the Democratic Party. The mere mention of Democrats alluding to the idea that they will delay Brown's swearing in in order to secure the health care bill has the worst kind of optics. It makes the Democrats look weak and corrupt. It only energizes the Republicans and Brown's supporters.

Worse than that, such a scheme would never work. If Brown is elected, rest assured that health care reform is dead. If Brown himself doesn't kill it, you can bet that there will be some moderate Senator somewhere that will come to their senses and realize that voting for this monstrosity is political suicide.

All that such mention of a stunt does is give Brown more momentum. Furthermore, now Brown is all over the airways condemning this tactic. He looks like not only a victim but he's on the side of the rule of law. Where is Coakley? So far, Coakley's campaign has remained very silent about everything. Meanwhile, Brown has found a message and that message continues to gain momentum.

The race to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has turned into a proxy battle over the fate of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

A once-pedestrian contest between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown has coarsened with a week to go, as the two have cast themselves as custodians of the pivotal Senate vote to determine the bill's fate.

"As the 41st senator, I can stop it," Brown said last week during a debate, highlighting his potential to be the breakthrough Senate vote that upholds a GOP filibuster. While he opposes the bill, the state senator voted in 2006 in favor of a Massachusetts universal health care bill that has largely been the model for the Obama legislation.

Political campaigns, for better or worse, often come down to soundbites. Brown has found his soundbite, "I'm the 41st vote", and he's using it for maximum effect. That's a reason to vote for Brown. What's the reason to vote for Coakley? That no one knows.


AG said...

Frankly I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the much more logical solution for the Democrats: have the House simply pass the Senate bill, eliminating the need for another Senate vote entirely.

As for sound bites, I think I've come up with one of my own:

"T = W"

Get it? Thought it might look good on a bumper sticker.

mike volpe said...

that's not going to happen. Stupak doesn't like the Senate language.

I don't get, however, the slogan.