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Thread: Obama's options, in a post-Massachusetts nation

  1. #1
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    Default Obama's options, in a post-Massachusetts nation

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...=nl_pmopinions

    http://tinyurl.com/y8j5x3q

    By Michael Gerson
    Friday, January 22, 2010

    If Tuesday had been a national election, Scott Brown's victory merely would have been the high-water mark of a Republican deluge. A five-point win in Massachusetts would have translated into blowout Republican victories throughout the country. Every Democrat with political skills short of Franklin D. Roosevelt's would have suddenly seemed a "weak candidate." President Obama now is left with three options as he stumbles toward the State of the Union: He can try to ignore the anger, embrace the anger or blunt the anger.

    -more-

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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Krugman in the NY Times also had an op piece on what O should do. K recommended that he listen to what the electorate was trying to tell him ... that he had to build some trust in the govt (if that is possible), before he lunged ahead without the trust of the voters. Right now, the health care issue has shown everyone DC at its worst, and that doesn't give a feeling of trust.
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    Senior Member precisionlabradors's Avatar
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    i really don't think the massachusetts election was entirely about anger. there was a great soundbite in the healthcare reform, but i believe brown got elected. if i were brown i would be pissed if nobody legitimized my skills as a candidate and basically saying the only reason i got elected was to stop barack and to serve as a method to demonstrate anger.

    could it be that brown simply won? or is he that bad of a candidate that the only way he could get elected is through an anger motivation?

    finally, posting of one's own ideas is always nice.
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    Last edited by precisionlabradors; 04-26-2011 at 03:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by precisionlabradors View Post
    could it be that brown simply won? or is he that bad of a candidate that the only way he could get elected is through an anger motivation?

    finally, posting of one's own ideas is always nice.

    Being a bad candidate in Massachusetts has never even slowed down a Democrat in Massachusetts. Remember we elected Michael Dukakis Governor.
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    TWICE!!!

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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    could it be that brown simply won? or is he that bad of a candidate that the only way he could get elected is through an anger motivation?
    I spent a lot of time reading reader comments on The Boston Globe article prior to the the election. I'd say there was a lot of anger about the back-room deals that were being done to get the votes for the health care bills. Surely MA voters (and probably a lot of the rest of us) were not happy with NE getting a free ride in perpetuity. If the plan was so great, why would the NE Senator only give his vote if NE were exempt from the Medicaid expense?

    Even union workers could be upset that a deal was cut for the upper echelon health plans. I'd guess that not all union workers get the deluxe versions at no cost.

    Another stat cited on the MA health plan was that there were something like 100,000 taxpayers who did not qualify for subsidies to purchase health care, but also could not afford the premiums on their own. Not sure what income levels that situation covered, but obviously had to be in a middle-range.

    (I do wonder why no one has made any mention of Hawaii's universal coverage. Is it in financial trouble, too? And, therefore, not worth mentioning?)

    Also mentioned in several comments was that if Brown turned out to be unsatisfactory, he would only be serving for two years (the unexpired portion of Kennedy's term), and could be replaced. To voters there seemed no doubt that Coakley offered nothing but party-line compliance, and there was some chance that Brown offered some fresh air in the back rooms. They won't stick with Brown if he doesn't prove to be an advocate. They could send a message to the D party, without taking a large risk. I'm sure it didn't hurt that Brown was a likable sort of guy.

    There is a definite feeling in the comments about sending a message to D leadership that the voters should not be taken forgranted; that they have noticed the skullduggery in Congress and don't like it.

    That said, Brown may actually have some conviction. He worked awfully hard in what most viewed as a hopeless endeavor. He surely knows that he will be watched closely by those who elected him. He may have to work even harder than a D to retain his standing with them.

    He took what some would consider unpopular positions in a blue state on some issues. Maybe MA is not as blue was we perceive it to be?

    It will be interesting to watch how he does.
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    Senior Member subroc's Avatar
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    It is not just one thing.

    But, the back room deals were right there front and center. In my view, that was a significant part of the swing. That goes well beyond business as usual and treads to an area of arrogance in democrat politicians and a distain for the electorate not seen in my lifetime and I was alive when Nixon was president.
    subroc

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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subroc View Post
    It is not just one thing.

    But, the back room deals were right there front and center. In my view, that was a significant part of the swing. That goes well beyond business as usual and treads to an area of arrogance in democrat politicians and a distain for the electorate not seen in my lifetime and I was alive when Nixon was president.
    Would agree that it was such a blatant reneging on "transparency" that was a huge turnoff to many voters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    (I do wonder why no one has made any mention of Hawaii's universal coverage. Is it in financial trouble, too? And, therefore, not worth mentioning?)
    I haven't seen anything lately but there was a short flurry of coverage last fall that said that Hawaii was being driven to bankruptcy and the Governor knew it.

    Went and looked:

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/l...th-care-system

    Eric
    Last edited by Eric Johnson; 01-23-2010 at 10:14 AM.

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    Senior Member Julie R.'s Avatar
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    Obviously I didn't see all the ads, but I saw a news clip (and no, not on Fox or some conservative talk show!) shortly before the election about how she'd blown a big lead and they showed some of her extremely negative ads. It seemed all or most of her TV ads were devoted to nastiness about her opponent and little if anything about why people should vote for her.

    Our Va. gubenatorial ads last year got a bit testy but at least both candidates also regularly ran ads explaining what they planned to do and left out the type of odious personal commentary Coakley used. I think her nasty-gram ad campaign harmed her more than her opponent. I don't think that's the only reason she lost, but I think it turned off a lot of people.

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    If that was true Julie, nobody would EVER get elected in NC. They would all tie for last place...

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