Friday, March 30, 2012

Reading The Tea Leaves In Massachusetts...

...and they don't seem to portend the easy victory that the Democrats assumed Elizabeth Warren had coming in the 2012 Senate race against Scott Brown. In some rather surprising commentary, Boston Mayor Tom Menino - a Democrat - refused to give Warren an outright endorsement over incumbent Scott Brown when given the opportunity:

Popular Boston Mayor Tom Menino — an influential Democrat many have credited with bringing the party's convention to his hometown in 2004 — told WBZ this week that he wasn't taking sides in Massachusetts's high-profile Senate race.

But Menino's reluctance to put the weight of his campaign operation behind Harvard professor and consumer rights activist Elizabeth Warren is a tough blow for the Democrat, who is hoping to upset incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

"When you vote, it's a secret ballot. I think, I've watched both these candidates, I know Scott Brown real well, I've interacted with him, I've watched Elizabeth Warren also. It's going to be a tough race. It's going to be a very close race," Menino said.

Menino went on to say that the campaign would hinge on mobilizing voters, noting that Scott Brown needed to turn out Republican and Tea Party voters, while Warren had "the Democratic establishment—for the most part."

Love that last sentence. Menino can read polls, apparently, and he knows that Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley 49%-46% in union households. Will these folks now switch their votes to Elizabeth Warren, a shriller and more elitist version of the cacophonous Coakley? Menino also is aware that despite current polls showing Warren with a 4-5 point edge, Mr. Brown overcame a deficit quadruple that amount two years ago.

Furthermore, Mitt Romney will run strong in Massachusetts, and while Obama may have coat-tails in November, they will like be made of cement, dragging fellow Democrats down into the briny electoral deep with him.

Menino knows a weak horse when he sees one. Or two, apparently...

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