Special elections come and go. And the party that wins the White House one year ordinarily loses seats in the next Congressional election that comes along.
But what happened in Massachusetts on Tuesday was no ordinary special election.
Scott Brown, a Republican state senator for only five years, shocked and arguably humiliated the White House and the Democratic Party establishment by defeating Martha Coakley in the race for a United States Senate seat. He did it one day short of a year after President Obama stood on the steps of the United States Capitol, looking across a mass of faces that celebrated the potential of his presidency.
As a result, Mr. Obama will spend the first anniversary of his inauguration watching Democrats tangle in an unseemly quarrel over who lost Massachusetts — Ms. Coakley’s pollster, Celinda Lake, called the Huffington Post four hours before the polls closed to blame Democratic leaders in Washington — and contemplating a political landscape that has been thoroughly upended in the course of only 10 days.
The implications are sure to be far-reaching, and the result leaves Mr. Obama with a long list of tough choices.
Stripped of the 60th vote needed to block Republican filibusters in the Senate, will Mr. Obama now make further accommodations to Republicans in an effort to move legislation through Congress with more bipartisanship, even at the cost of further alienating liberals annoyed at what they see as his ideological malleability?
Or will he seek to rally his party’s base through confrontation, even if it means giving up on getting much done this year? Source...