Brown will give Republicans a 41st seat in the Senate, robbing Democrats of the filibuster-proof majority the party had used to pass President Obama’s health care plan late last year. In the immediate lead-up to tonight’s vote, Democrats — including the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — insisted that the party would move forward on health care but it is unclear whether that bravado will carry over in the coming days as the party seeks to deal with Coakley’s stunning upset.
“I have no interest in sugar coating what happened in Massachusetts,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.). “There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient.”
Congressional strategists had warned in the closing days of the Massachusetts Senate race that a Coakley defeat had the potential to trigger a series of retirements within the Democratic ranks as members flee a political wave that could wash out dozens in the House and high single digits on the Senate side.
“My message to my clients? Jump ship now,” said one Democratic operative who advises a number of targeted Members of Congress. “Obama can’t help you.”
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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