Scott Brown has the unenviable task of running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts as a Republican on Jan. 19. No Republican has won a Senate seat from that state since 1972. Massachusetts went 62 percent for Barack Obama in 2008.
But Brown is certainly making a game try. This commercial is, I think, nothing short of brilliant. It invokes the magic Kennedy name and uses John F. Kennedy’s own words, calling for tax reductions as a way to boost the economy and create jobs. Democrats, naturally, are screaming bloody murder, probably because the ad is so effective, especially since the Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, recently said on record, “We need to get taxes up.”
The odds are still against Brown, but given the prospect of a low-turnout election, nervousness regarding Obama’s tax plans, ever-rising opposition to the health-care bill, knowledge that Brown would be in office for less than three years until the expiration of the late Ted Kennedy’s term, and a sense that there is too much power in the hands of one party in Washington, it’s by no means impossible. I’m not the only one who thinks so.
If a Republican were to win Ted Kennedy’s old seat in ultra liberal Massachusetts, the political fallout would be huge. Every Democrat in Washington up for election in November would be reaching for the Maalox — or perhaps the Scotch bottle — and those in marginal districts or states might well begin to peel off the official line to save their own hides. Equally important, the balance in the Senate would shift from 60-40 to 59-41, and the filibuster-proof majority would be gone. The people of Massachusetts thus have it in their power to derail the health-care bill.