When Scott Brown won the Republican nomination for Senate in Massachusetts in early December 2009, Brown was given close to no chance of defeating Martha Coakley.
Coakley had almost a 30 point lead in the polls and much more money. Democrats held an enormous registration advantage, and SEIU was working to get our her vote. Coakley was the state Attorney General, with almost 100% name recognition, whereas Brown had been a state Senator with little statewide appeal. The open seat was held by Ted Kennedy, so winning the seat held a special importance for Democrats.
Democrats mocked Brown because in his younger years Brown had posed almost totally nude for Cosmo; Brown was not a serious candidate, they said. As a candidate whose support arose out of the Tea Party movement, Brown was painted as extreme.
Brown received little help from mainstream Republicans. Mitt Romney helped logistically, as did the Republican National Senatorial Committee, but otherwise Brown was on his own. John McCain gave an early endorsement, but otherwise, Washington, D.C. Republicans stay clear of Brown. Lacking establishment Republican support, everyone speculated whether Sarah Palin would endorse Brown, and whether that would help or hurt in Blue Massachusetts.
But Scott Brown won the election by several percentage points. But it wasn’t easy. Coakley supporters in the nutroots and in Democratic Party circles tried to paint Brown as a “Birther” and hostile to rape victims (and racist too).
Brown, however, was able to tap into the rising disgust in the nation with Washington, D.C. politicians. In hindsight, it probably worked to Brown’s advantage that establishment Republicans kept their distance. But at least none of them actively tried to undermine Brown.
Fast forward to Nevada 2010. There are two narratives the Reid campaign wants to develop.
First, that Angle is “extreme” and crazy. But that cannot win the election for Reid. Because Reid has too long a history as the engineer on the Obamaconomy train wreck. With double digit unemployment and the highest foreclosure rate in the country, Nevada is a much better candidate for a revolt against massive deficits and debt, stifling over regulation of businesses, destruction of the health care system, and lobbyist funded professional politicians epitomized by Harry Reid.
Second, like the Coakley campaign, Reid seeks to create a sense of inevitability. Reid has been there so long, has handed out so many favors he now can call in, and is so good at “vaporizing” his opponents, that Sharron Angle doesn’t stand a chance. Notwithstanding her lead in the polls (which undoubtedly will tighten quickly), Angle should just hang it up. Demoralizing the opposition and getting voters to choose “None of the Above” (which is an option on the Nevada ballot), is Harry Reid’s best chance.
This narrative of inevitability has been picked up by the disgruntled and bitter Bob Bennett, current Republican Senator from Utah who claims that his inside sources tell him Harry Reid is sure to win. Bennett is hardly neutral; he could not even convince delegates in Utah to put him back on the ballot as a result of a Tea Party inspired revolt against establishment Republicans. So now Bennet has decided to get even by trying to undermine Angle.
Angle’s job is to keep the focus on Harry Reid, and keep pushing forward despite back stabbing by people like Bob Bennett.
As long as Harry Reid’s role in destroying the economy is on the ballot, Angle has a good chance of winning. At least as good as Scott Brown.
But as pointed out at The American Spectator, Oblermann was the one who screwed up the history lesson:
… Keith Olbermann was not only wrong but so wide of the truth and the facts as to give Bill Clinton on Monica a good reputation. Sharron Angle, on the other hand, was right. Making her remark 100 percent factually correct.
Lincoln ran 13 times, according to biographer Sandburg, not eight as Olbermann said with such assured smugness. Lincoln lost not once, as Mr. Drama Queen asserted, but, again according to the Pulitzer winning biographer, five times. Once for the state assembly, once for Congress, once for vice-president and twice for U.S. Senator. The latter Senate race famous to this day.
With supporters like Keith Olbermann, how can Harry Reid lose?