Funny thing, Brown drew most of his votes from suburban Boston. Out here in the boons, where cows rule and people might think no one pays attention to issues, Coakely led 2 or 3 to 1. Brown's message---which, frankly, was hard for me to discern from the two debates I watched, as well as his advertising—certainly resonated with a lot of people.
The only concrete issue I heard loud and clear was health care reform, which he vowed to quash. Brown promised he would place the 41st vote against it so the people of Massachusetts would not lose their relationships with their own doctors. Apparently, many of those who elected him do not read the newspapers (or blogs), otherwise they would know that health care reform is a non-issue in this state, since we already have mandatory insurance, our own form of public option, etc. Maybe they don't want the rest of the country to have what they already have?
Whatever. If this election taught us anything, I think it’s this (in addition to what all the usual pundits have written):
1. Never underestimate the power of sex appeal in an election.
2. Assume all voters are ignorant, then educate them.
3. Underdogs have an unlimited advantage, no matter what the issue. You can always find something to combat.
4. Political parties don’t like to spend money on campaigns unless they must. The Democrats thought they were going to get away cheaply on this one. The Republicans never lent a hand until they smelled blood in the water, then the millions poured in to bring campaign workers from Texas, of all places.
5. Even in 2010 and even in Massachusetts, a woman---no matter how accomplished or respected---will fall beneath the wheels of a not-so accomplished guy in a flannel shirt if he plays the testosterone card, implying she’s (what?) not a “real woman", in some way. Pick-up truck, indeed! What a gimmick!
The message we must take from the nationwide elation over the election of Scott Brown is a sizable population is still hungry for the George W. Bushes and other regular Joes --the ones with the square jaws, the straight talk and the uncomplicated names -- who say they are man enough to take the air out of those we elected a short year ago to get us out of the mess those same Joes left us in.
Why is that?