On Monday morning I wrote a post describing how Republicans were salivating over making Illinois the next Massachusetts — taking the U.S. Senate seat once held by Barack Obama and giving it to a Republican, North Shore five-term congressman Mark Kirk, a Naval Reserve intelligence officer who is untouched by corruption and exceedingly strong on national-security issues.
I live in Chicago, so the name David Hoffman has been in the back of my mind for a few years. He was the city’s inspector general, rooting out corruption in Mayor Daley’s City Hall — some of it, anyway; a team of 200 IGs would be needed to really make a dent. He was said to give Daley hives, and the mayor was surely relieved when Hoffman came to him last August, just a couple of weeks shy of his four-year term, and told him that he was resigning the next day to run for the U.S. Senate seat that Barack Obama occupied briefly before moving up to the White House.
The following piece appears originally in The Washington Times.
Whether White House adviser David Axelrod admits it or not, the president knows in his heart Tuesday’s election was about him and his agenda. That’s why he traveled there last week — to see if he could personally salvage that race.
As President Obama and his advisers begin to digest the shock of Tuesday's defeat in Massachusetts, and devise a way forward, it is clear they have accepted only so much culpability at this point and have yet to shake their denial.
Yesterday Robert Gibbs held his press briefing and made several television appearances, top adviser David Axelrod also made the rounds, and the president himself gave an interview to ABC News. All three acknowledged the anger Americans are feeling, and which helped Scott Brown (R) win the seat held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) in Massachusetts, just as it helped Republicans beat Democrats in gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia in November.
When Republican Scott Brown looks back at his unlikely victory, he can thank Martha Coakley, his inept opponent, but he should also thank CNN’s David Gergen and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
During a debate between Brown and Coakley, moderated by supposed wise man Gergen — an adviser to presidents of both parties but obviously entranced by President Barack Obama, and one of the pundits who met with him in the White House — Gergen asked Brown, “Are you willing … to say, … ‘I'm going to sit in Teddy Kennedy's seat and I'm going to be the person who's going to block [healthcare reform] for another 15 years’?”
It is extremely difficult to understand how the president and his White House feel that the loss in Massachusetts is no reflection on his leadership, policies or agenda.
Have they become so arrogant and out of touch? Will they remain stubborn, blind and deaf, only to continue to ignore the will of the people? The people personally like and respect our president, but he needs to hear their outcry, anger and disgust with the direction our America is quickly headed.
The following piece appears originally as an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. — Ed.
Liberal Democrats might attempt to spin the shocking victory of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts by claiming the loss was the result of a poor campaign by Martha Coakley. In fact, this was a defeat not of the messenger but of the message — and the sooner progressive Democrats face up to that fact, the better.
It's the substance, stupid!
Republican Scott Brown's stunning win in Massachusetts will undoubtedly shake Democratic leaders in Washington to the core.
It should. If they choose to be in denial and hold off until the 29th of January to swear him in (which technically could happen) and try to ram through ObamaCare, ignoring the will of the people, next November's elections will be 100 times more interesting than pundits have been predicting. Bloodbath might better describe it.
Scott Brown’s insurgent campaign has shocked political insiders, the media elite and the Obama White House. But in a bigger context, it really shouldn’t have shocked anybody. This is just a further example of the political seesaw coming back in alignment.
Remember that tune from ’60s, “Spinning Wheels”? “What goes up must come down, spinning wheels go round and round.”
Repetition of the 1930s in the year 2009 is an experiment doomed to failure. Likewise repeating the ’60s. But here in the Boston region where Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, Jack Kennedy and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi first took root, the ’60s have never really ended. It is very much like Faulkner’s South, where the past was never really dead, it wasn’t even past.
One way or another, the past ends today in Massachusetts.