You'd have to be eligible for Social Security to remember the last time a Republican sat in the Senate seat made vacant last year when Ted Kennedy died. Scott Brown is the first Republican to win the seat since Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. won it in 1946.
On Tuesday, the citizens of Massachusetts voted in a special election to fill the seat with Brown, favoring the former Cosmopolitan centerfold by 52 percent to 47 percent for his opponent, Democrat Martha Coakley.
Democrats have occupied this seat since 1952, when John F. Kennedy defeated Lodge. Seven years later, the eldest of the Kennedy brothers resigned after winning the presidency. Massachusetts Gov. Foster Furcolo, himself a Democrat, then appointed Kennedy family friend Ben Smith to the seat. Smith kept it warm from December 1960 until November 1962, when the president's younger brother, Ted, was sworn into office.
Ted Kennedy held the seat for 46 years, longer than most Americans have been alive. Combined, the Kennedy brothers held the Senate seat for more than half a century. No wonder people have referred to it as the Kennedy Senate seat.
Observers initially thought the race would be a cakewalk for the Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley. However, the American people -- pushing back against big government and health care control -- combined with a lackluster, fumbling campaign and a fabulous Republican candidate turned the tables.
President Obama has been falling in the polls since last spring. The election of Republican Govs. Chris Christie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia last fall proved that the message of limited government and fiscal responsibly resonates with voters. The last straw might have been the Democrats' attempt to push through health care legislation in backrooms without the transparency Obama had promised.
As for Democratic campaign fumbles, there were many. Coakley's campaign misspelled the state in her campaign literature: "Massachusettes."
Coakley appeared totally out of touch with reality when she said: "I think we have done what we are going to be able to do in Afghanistan. ... we believed that the Taliban was giving harbor to terrorists. ... They're gone. They're not there anymore." Don't they have newspapers in Boston?
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