Scott Brown's rejoinder to David Gergen in his debate with Martha Coakley the other evening--"With all due respect, it's not the Kennedy seat and it's not the Democrats' seat. It's the people's seat"--is a great line and a memorable line, and may well survive the special election next week and enter the political annals.
Here's another great line, which is still quoted a half-century later: "If your name was Edward Moore instead of Edward Moore Kennedy, your candidacy would be a joke."
Democrats must really be worried about the Massachusetts special election. The DNC dispatched partisan fire-breather Hari Sevugan to help with Martha Coakley's communications strategy. Coakley's in trouble because the Democratic health care bill is unpopular in Massachusetts, Democratic incumbent governor Deval Patrick is a flop, and the unemployment rate is at 8.8 percent.
On Monday night, Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown sparred for an hour over health care, taxes, terrorism, abortion, and the death penalty. In what was the campaign's final debate and the only one broadcast live in Massachusetts' largest media market, Coakley committed at least one serious gaffe when she said there are no terrorists left in Afghanistan because they've all gone to Yemen or Pakistan. Barack Obama would beg to disagree.
The Boston Herald reports that interim Senator Paul Kirk says he would "absolutely" vote for Obamacare even if Scott Brown wins the election, and the Massachusetts secretary of state wouldn't certify the election results until February 20 if Brown wins, so congressional Democrats would have enough time to pass Obamacare:
BOSTON — Martha M. Coakley, the Democrat running for Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts, had seemed so certain of winning the special election on Jan. 19 that she barely campaigned last month.
The AP reports that the American Future Fund will spend $400,000 on an ad in the Massachusetts Senate race contrasting Republican Scott Brown's opposition to taxes with Democrat Martha Coakley's statement that "we need to get taxes up."
The cash-strapped Brown does his best to feign disappointment:
The estimable Allahpundit is pretty fatalistic about Obamacare: Nancy Pelosi says the House and Senate are "very close" to a deal, Obama's weighing in to pressure House Dems to accept something close to the Senate bill, you can't rely on Blanche Lincoln to stop it--and, so, "Dude, I think it's over."
The only way for Republican Scott Brown to win is energizing the Republican base while appealing to moderate Massachusetts voters at the same time. So far so good, writes Michael Graham, who sees Scott Brown harnessing the power of, and giving hope to, the tea party movement, despite his relatively moderate positions:
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned that in very recent private polling, Bay Staters, when asked whether Congress should pass the current health care reform legislation or start over, split 36-53 in favor of starting over.