What a wild ride! I confess to be actually disappointed that the election is over..... I'm delighted that our candidate won. Massachusetts now has Senator Elect Scott R. Brown (R!) to represent its good people. It was exciting and gratifying to work on the campaign, I've never been that involved before. The world feels like it's shifted and broken up a bit, and it won't go back to the way it was before. Here's ten things I learned along the brief but intense campaign trail, in no particular order:
1. Scott Brown ran a superb campaign, it was disciplined, agile, connected, upbeat and authentic. Just like Mr. Brown, I suppose. Whoever was in charge of this campaign was brilliant. Every interaction I had with the campaign - be it their website, campaign office, other volunteers or Scott Brown himself - was positive. The website was updated all the time, it was engaging and visually appealing. The campaign office manager in Littleton (Karl) was always appreciative of the volunteers, thanking me and others each and every time we came to phone bank. We felt needed and valued. What a good feeling! Phone banking is a drag. Being told you're appreciated never gets old.
2. The long reign of the ultra-liberal Democrats has come to a close in Massachusetts!! Hoorah!! We're in a post-Camelot era, the tribal loyalties that kept voting Ted (and John Kerry and Mayor Menino) year in and year out are dying out. Expect a lot more competitve races starting right now!
3. Given the dominance of the Democrats in MA, it's no wonder few Republicans bothered to run against the Dems. Why spend the time and money when you were unlikely to be elected? And the Republican candidates we did get were often not of the highest calibre. That's all changed overnight with Scott's win. I think we'll start seeing quality Republican candidates coming out and challenging the Dems. They do have a chance.
4. There were a number of terrific blogs that were my main source of information on the election. They effectively spread the word on Scott Brown and created a buzz in the blogosphere. They are: Legal Insurrection, Riehl World View, HillBuzz and SISU (personal blogopal o'mine). These blogs closely followed the campaign every day, promoting Scott Brown and his message and immediately challenging the B.S. spread by the opposition (ex: Scott Brown wants hospitals to turn away rape victims!). Hill Buzz was especially good at spotting dirty tricks.
5. The term Hottie McAwesome came from Hill Buzz. Hilarious. The Hill Buzz guys though, are being outed and essentially attacked by radical lefties over at Daily Kos and Democratic Underground. Read about it here. Do what you can to support Hill Buzz.
6. I didn't know that lots of folks use a clip from Hitler's Downfall to make parodies of all sorts of things. I found two in the past few days, Martha Coakley's Downfall and Hitler Finds Out That Scott Brown Won Massachusetts Senate Seat. The Martha Downfall was particualrly well done.
7. People respond to an actual human being talking to them about the election and asking them to consider voting for a candidate. Nothing new here, I suppose, but I found that talking to my sibings, friends and people at work and asking them to vote for Scott Brown made a difference. It became my personal crusade to spread the word, not just to vote myself. Tweets and websites and robocalls no doubt work, but person-to-person contact among ones' peers is enormously effective in getting out the vote.
8. I've never enjoyed voting so much in my life! It mattered! My votes usually didn't matter in the past, my guy almost never won. But on Tuesday morning, I took my sweet time in the voting booth, slowly and deliberately filling in the oval dot next to Scott R. Brown, savoring the moment. It felt real good! I'll remember that feeling always.
9. Democrats were astonishingly clueless. Not just Martha's campaign people, all the Democrat bigwigs just kept making it worse and worse. I loved the press conference with Victoria Kennedy, Joe Kennedy and Senator Paul Kirk - they didn't realize that they represented what many people here are so disgusted with! Bringing in Bill Clinton and Obama just made it worse for Martha. Sweet!
10. About a year ago, when Republicans and many others were depressed about Barack Obama winning the presidential election, Charlie Baker (candidate for MA governor) said (in effect) "Don't be so glum, chum!" Baker predicted that the Democrats would greatly overreach, and that eventually there would be a backlash, and this actually would be a tremendous opportunity for Republicans. How's that for a spot-on prediction? Thanks, lefty Democrats in Beacon Hill and Washington, you guys helped Scott Brown win this election!
Question: So what would have happened if Ted Kennedy had resigned from his Senate seat back when it became obvious that due to his grave illness (brain cancer), he couldn't serve as senator?
Jeff Jacoby penned an op-ed asking Ted to resign in August 2009, noting that "Sickness has kept him away from Capitol Hill for most of the last 15 months." I wonder if the Democrats could have successfully filled his seat had Ted resigned much earlier. I suppose we won't really know, and we can only be grateful that this most surprising and exhilarating election has turned out the way it did.
GO, SCOTT, GO! Make us proud and do good by us!