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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Massachusetts Dreamin'

Optimism is a good thing in politics. After all, Rick Santorum thinks he can win the Republican nomination. And an obscure state senator did defeat a well-known attorney general for "The Kennedy Seat."

But Setti Warren, Kim Driscoll and Bob Massie are even more unknown than Scott Brown was at the time he entered the race as what was widely considered a sacrificial lamb. And Brown today has the money and name recognition that Martha Coakley had -- plus the awareness of the pitfalls that she apparently did not.

A Western New England College poll offers discouraging tea leaves for Democrats: Brown's 57-24 job approval rating is better than John Kerry's 57-34 results. The potential challengers -- two mayors and a former lieutenant governor candidate -- are even less of household names than Brown was.

Yet the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee appears focused on the fact Brown's deserves reelection number of 53 percent makes him vulnerable. And in the volatile world of American politics of the 21st Century, who's to argue lightning won't strike twice?

The slim reed on which to hang that hope is the fact the Tea Party, which claimed the credit in electing Brown, has grown disenchanted with the Wrentham Republican. The reason? Too moderate.

While that might be an acceptable ground for concern in Idaho or South Carolina, Brown's seeming move to the center is not harmful in Massachusetts.

If Democrats hope to oust Brown, they'll need to focus on what lies behind that "moderation": favoring banks over the unemployed, opposition to health care reform, support of wasteful military spending.

Arrayed against that is a huge campaign war chest that's only going to get bigger.

But hey, everyone loves the 1967 Red Sox and who knows how the continuing ripples in politics will move in the ensuing 20 months.

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