PAYING ATTENTION! WITH TOM DUGGAN
By: Tom Duggan – February, 2010
Well, it’s been a while since I last wrote a column under this title, but maybe it was worth the wait. Last month’s special election here in Massachusetts was electrifying. But not just here in Massachusetts, all over the country people were energized and excited and watching this race very carefully. Senator Scott Brown’s win may have been a terrible upset and surprise to many, but I could feel the energy of voters during his rallies, and I knew he was going to win.
One such rally was right here in my backyard on Main Street, North Andover. Over 1000 people came out right after a snow storm to meet Brown and show support. There were adults and children holding signs and American flags, cheering and taking pictures of themselves with the next U.S. Senator. (number 41).
And right after these rallies, pictures were posted on Facebook for everyone all over the country to see.
Facebook really played a roll in this election that the democrats totally underestimated. The network of Republicans across this country tied into Facebook kept growing as the race progressed. My college roommate from New Jersey was closely watching and getting just as excited as the polls changed in Brown’s favor. She was constantly sending me messages on Facebook. Another friend from Ohio sent me a Face book message that she had just donated to Brown’s campaign. And I continued to read messages from people of all different states showing support and enthusiasm.
Fox News and talk radio also had a huge impact. All of a sudden Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity began talking about Scott Brown on their radio shows and TV shows. And Brown began calling into those national radio shows and appearing on national TV. I heard Laura telling her listening audience to go to her webpage if they wanted to donate to Brown’s campaign. She had it all set up.
But, how did Scott Brown get here? Ironically, he won both his State Senate seat and U.S. Senate seat through special elections. The State Senate race was a result of Cheryl Jacques vacating her seat early. The U.S. Senate seat was partially because of Ted Kennedy’s passing but also because our state legislature changed the rules, calling for a special election. Originally, the governor would fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat until the term ended. The legislature voted to change this while Senator Kerry was running for President as they feared that then Governor Romney would be able to appoint a republican to fill the seat if Kerry became president. Pretty funny, huh?
So, now I hope this momentum continues as my faith in the Massachusetts voters has been renewed. I look forward to the Republican State Convention in April and the upcoming elections this fall. The “Scott” heard round the world sent some message that the people will not accept politics as usual. Change has come and I am privileged to be a part of it!