Rich Galen

A poll done for the AFL-CIO after the election showed that union families voted for the Republican, Brown, by a margin of 49-46 percent. True, Brown only carried union households by three percentage points, but he should have LOST that bloc by 40 percentage points.

Why? According to Democratic pollster Celinda Lake on CNN's State of the Union program yesterday, it's because they don't like the taxing of so-called "Cadillac health plans" which includes many plans negotiated by unions for their members.

A poll done by the Washington Post showed that the health care issue was "Extremely" or "Very" important for 93 percent of voters who cast their ballot for Brown.

Also on the health care issue, 65 percent of Brown voters thought they would be worse off if the Congress passed and the President signed a health care reform bill. Only 38 percent of those who voted for the Democrat thought they would be better off. Fully half of Coakley's voters said it wouldn't make much difference.


The next two most important issues for Brown voters were "jobs and the economy" (91 percent) and "The way Washington is working" (90 percent).

For nearly half the voters (48 percent) Barack Obama was not a factor in deciding their vote. They just didn't care.

This may be the earliest point in history that a President has stood on the brink of being a lame duck: 364 days into his Administration.

Adding a political operative to the inner circle of the White House will not help. It misses the essential point: Starting in November when the GOP won the Governors' mansions in New Jersey and Virginia it has been clear that the Obama/Reid/Pelosi style and substance were not resonating with the voting public.

The result in Massachusetts last Tuesday showed that for yet another segment of the population which has had the opportunity to express itself at the ballot box, Obama's policies have diminished from a lack of resonance to active dissonance.

Obama can tinker with the political shop all he wants, but to misquote my neighbor James Carville: It's the policies, stupid.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at