Was It Something Howie Wrote?

*** UPDATE: DEMS MAY BE BACKING DOWN ***

*** RUSH WEIGHS IN ***

Since the election, the situation has become increasingly inexplicable: with no uncertainty regarding the outcome of January 19’s vote, why is appointed Kennedy family crony Paul Kirk still in the US Senate? And for what reason must Scott Brown wait weeks for his victory to be certified?

Beyond partisan politics, there’s no logical purpose served whatsoever.

For the first few days, it seemed appropriate for Brown to visit Washington and get the lay of the land. If legally dubious, Kirk’s continued presence there could be argued by some as legitimate.

As of two weeks later, however, with more than a week of stall tactics ahead of us, there’s simply no excuse.

But what surprises me most is the extraordinary patience of Brown and so many others as this process drags along for no apparent reason. That patience wore out suddenly today as Brown and supporters wondered why Kirk won’t leave the chamber.

So what changed? Blame WRKO’s Howie Carr- his column in today’s Herald takes it straight to Kirk & Company:

Hey Sen. Paul Kirk – screw!

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here, here being the U.S. Senate.

It’s been 15 days now since a Republican won the special election in Massachusetts, and Kirk is still squatting in Ted Kennedy’s office.

Hey Paul Kirk – how can we miss you if you won’t go away?

What’s it going to take to pry this guy out of office, the Jaws of Life?

From there, something seemed to click and Brown suddenly demanded to be seated immediately. But that led to a instant backlash from the state-run media, which seems to be adopting partisan talking points in accusing him of “breaking the deal” to wait until February 11.

Show me a similar “deal” that has a Republican appointee keeping a seat warm while a Democratic Party victor happily waits patiently for weeks after a special election- good luck in your search.

If Cockroach of the Year Paul Kirk had any decency, he would step down immediately, but clearly has no interest in giving up the seat.

By the way, Howie’s right about something else: the left really is spreading conspiracy theories about the Massachusetts vote being rigged by Diebold machines. It began around the time it became apparent Brown was ahead in the polls.

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The Latest

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— Olbermann cries racism

— CNN can only see negative factors in Brown’s win

— CBS not happy with the results

— Brown 2012? Blame Paddy Power, not us

— NOW, on to the next battle: when will Brown be seated?

— BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh reacts to Brown victory

— Globies call it for Brown – can you imagine the long faces in that newsroom?

— Maddow holds back tears as she reports AP projection that Brown would win, minutes after other networks report Coakley has conceded the race

— Maddow’s making cracks about Scott’s truck, what a sore loser

— Rachel Maddow is alleging all kinds of fraud- robocalls for Joe Kennedy, filled in ballots for Brown (these concerns have already been dismissed)

— Not sure where Martha would make up her deficit at this point – half of Boston’s already in

— MSNBC / Dean blaming Coakley loss on “partisanship” and BUSH!!!

— MSNBC: Dem party leadership pounding Coakley for her “Caribbean vacation” – easy scapegoat, isn’t she?

— From RCP: 8:51pm For what it’s worth, Bostonian Howie Carr says on Fox that Brown is a lock to win. – Tom Bevan

— GLOBIE WEBSITE SUCKS! It is down, down, down

— Maddow links robocalls for Joe Kennedy to voter confusion, then why does Joe have only 1% of the vote

— Another unwatched MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow appears to deliver the bad news

— Chris Matthews is rambling on about Haiti and “wars”, have another drink, buddy

— Brown winning Quincy is huge, that’s not GOP territory, it’s a fairly large city

— some of Brown’s best suburbs on the North Shore have yet to report

— It looks like a funeral at MSNBC right now, Chris Matthews looks glum, am I the only person watching?

— Brown not doing as badly as one would expect in Boston, but it’s a bit early there

— Brown wins several outer / lower Cape towns that went for Obama in 2008

— Brown winning Plymouth, Obama won there in 2008

— Very difficult to reach Herald and Globie websites, isn’t it?

— Just returned from last-minute sign-waving outside the precinct. Brown supporters upbeat, one die-hard Coakley backer there as well. Lots of friendly waves and honks…

— State-run media still obsessed with Camelot

— Will the Scott Brown stock market rally continue?

— MSNBC / Chris Matthews turn against Mass voters

— Looks like Martha’s banking on placing a cloud over the election with her crazy tampering allegation. But who will believe that the GOP has fixed the election in Cambridge and Brighton? Isn’t that a joke?

— WaPo hacks can’t figure out why race is so competitive

— RNC’s Michael Steele arriving in Boston to celebrate potential win. But if Scott wins, it will be despite the national party’s efforts, not because of it.

— Scott hopes to get a chance to drive his pickup truck to Washington. Beltway snobs are aghast.

— What kind of national role will Scott Brown play? Once again, underestimating Scott is a big mistake.

— McCain redux: Brown owns too many houses

— Coakley’s pointing fingers right back at the DNC and White House

— WSJ tries to fathom how this could be a close race

— Who knew Coakley could be such a laff riot? She’s alleging voter irregularities in Cambridge and Brighton

— RCP: Another disturbing incident between Coakley’s people and a reporter

— WTKK reports heavy suburban turnout

— GLOBIES CALL IT FOR MARSHA? Yes, it’s a practice page, but you’ve got to love their wishful thinking

— I’m hearing from a number of listeners who are baffled as to why WRKO would preempt Rush Limbaugh at such an important time. Sure, local talent is filling in, but Rush is talking about Massachusetts! So why the switcheroo?

I believe this is Entercom’s way of sticking it to Limbaugh’s syndicator ahead of a likely move to Clear Channel’s new talk station, scheduled to debut here in April. Expect more petty silliness between now and then.

In my area, however, this isn’t a problem: WXTK-FM offers a excellent alternative.

We’ll cover the issue more after the election is sorted out.

— As you head to the polls, think about the Amiraults

— A lot has changed since December 8, hasn’t it?

— Marsha predicts victory

— Is this election fraud?

Senate Race Gets Hotter, Weather Gets Colder

The latest (please leave comments below):

— RTE covers the race here and it is no surprise the focus is on Ted Kennedy and Obama’s “ambitious reform agenda”

— Another London paper, the Torygraph, weighs in as well

— New Globie narrative: Brown’s supporters are “bullies”. Didn’t Mass Dems write the book on political bullying?

— Brown leads home page coverage at Times of London

— Coakley hasn’t been ahead in any of the last eight polls

— Scott Brown’s Open Letter to the People of Massachusetts

— “Do it for Teddy

— Scott Brownbranded cookies?

— My EQ clip featuring MSNBC’s Ed Schultz promoting voter fraud in Massachusetts has been linked at Drudge, Huffington Post, RealClearPolitics and dozens of other sites today.

— WSJ: Coakley’s soft on political corruption cases involving Dems

— Fellow libtalker Stephanie Miller couldn’t find anything substantive to say about Martha Coakley, so she resorted to crude sexual remarks about Scott Brown

— Martha still claims she’ll win tomorrow

— AP puffery: Martha’s win would be “historic” for Bay State

— CBS dreams of delaying Brown’s swearing-in

— How many robocalls are you receiving? My phone’s been ringing every 15 minutes or so all day, to the point where I’ve shut off the ringer.

— Polling shows wide Brown lead in key swing areas

— Much ado about nothing – one stray Facebook comment

— Brown crushing Coakley at Intrade

— CNN: Brown’s made effective use of Internet– future template for GOP candidates?

— John F’n Kerry: Brown supporters are bullies

— Charting the polls: a clear trend emerges

— Marsha’s in freefall!

— Obama in Martha’s TV spot- doesn’t that merely remind voters what they’re fighting against?

— MSNBC hatemonger Chris Matthews can’t contain his disappointment, he knows it’s over for Marsha

— Another MSNBC talker believes we’ve lost our minds

Cape Cod Times For Brown?

— Here’s a surprise: the Cape Cod Times has endorsed Scott Brown. Coming from a fairly hard core lefty newsroom, that was not expected. But Cape Wind may have been the deciding factor: Brown is opposed, Coakley supports.

The Times has adamantly opposed Cape Wind for years.

— SEIU up to their usual no good, see it here

— The Sun-Chronicle in Attleboro: have the stars lined up for Brown?

— Watch for: can we have our state back please? I realize the Senate race has national implications, but it feels like we’ve been hijacked by outside interests who’ve poured in at the last minute. I’ll have more to say about this soon.

Wrong Strategy For Brown’s Supporters?

*** UPDATE: WTKK SENATE DEBATE UNDERWAY – POST YOUR REACTIONS BELOW ***

A number of well-meaning Scott Brown supporters have been led to believe that in-state polling is key to waking up sleepy Beltway GOP leaders who’ve so far missed what is clearly a much closer US Senate race than outsiders realize.

To that end, they’ve pushed for polling, even collecting donations to fund such an effort. And there is additional excitement over an expected Rasmussen Poll that was supposedly conducted in the Bay State last night.

One survey has already been released by the Weekly Standard, which apparently sponsored it. Their effort shows Brown behind Democrat Martha Coakley by just 11 points, reduced to mere single digits when counting only likely voters on January 19.

Unfortunately, polling is the wrong way to back Brown, for these reasons:

— No pollster in his right mind would release results showing a Republican ahead in Massachusetts, even if the data supported it. They’d redo the survey for the sake of political credibility.

— If Brown is catching up with Coakley, it isn’t something you’d want plastered all over the news, because it could increase Democratic votes. Low turnout is key to any Brown victory (and I DO mean low).

— Any money diverted toward polling would be better spent making sure his clever spots actually reach the airwaves.

Meanwhile, at National Review Online’s Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty believes primary results show Brown probably doesn’t have a chance, but he’s missing a key point: Dem turnout was higher proportionally due to a hotly-contested, four-way race. That was not the case on the GOP ballot, where Scott had no real competition.

In addition, unenrolled voters, who make up a majority in the Bay State, will be up for grabs. Beltway coverage of Massachusetts politics almost always overlooks the huge percentage of independent voters here.

In further analysis, Geraghty publishes a note from a reader who sees Plymouth County as key to a Brown victory, but wonders how voters there could be motivated to visit polling places. Missing here is the fact that a very unpopular meals tax increase is also on the ballot in the town of Plymouth.

It was passed during fishy Town Meeting proceedings by just three votes. Small business owners there are rabidly opposing the tax hike, fighting it tooth and nail. This could help Brown in a key stronghold as voters turn out in greater numbers to repeal it.

He’s REALLY Getting To Her

Not only has Martha Coakley confirmed our suspicions that Scott Brown’s feisty effort has her worried, but the Democratic Party’s US Senate nominee has made the mistake of revealing her surprisingly unsophisticated campaigning skills.

In attempting to fire back at Brown after a series of challenges to her non-presence on the campaign trail, Coakley made the rookie mistake of repeating the primary charge against her:

“It’s not clear to me that he’s articulated anything other than he feels I’m not campaigning hard enough,” Coakley said. “Having no plans is not an option.

In Campaigning 101, the first thing prospective candidates are taught is NEVER to repeat your opponent’s charges! It only lends credibility to the allegations.

From there, it quickly goes downhill as Coakley claims she’s working hard during the campaign by creating “white papers” on issues. Too bad she’s forgotten to let us in on what these profound documents actually address.

Meanwhile:

— At The New Republic, Editor Marty Peretz believes Brown may win the election. A supporter of Democrat Alan Khazei during the primary battle, Peretz calls Coakley “a run-of-the-mill candidate” and believes sudden Democratic Party panic over the US Senate race may be “apt”.

— For what it’s worth, Mitt Romney is taking an upbeat public stance regarding Brown.

Sure, they’re on the same side of the fence, so this should be expected. But Romney has a history of keeping a firm distance from candidates he believes don’t have a chance at winning, most notably in the last Massachusetts gubernatorial election.

If Romney really believes this, he should make a greater effort to steer money Brown’s way in short order.

Scott Brown Turns ‘Kennedy Legacy’ Question On Its Ear

For the US Senate general election, here’s a clever way to approach the “Kennedy legacy” question: turn it on its ear.

With a new ad unveiled today, State Senator Scott Brown (R-Wrentham) has done just that, by choosing a different Kennedy to address. By echoing JFK’s onetime call for tax cuts, Brown is able to project a positive economic message and show just how far from the mainstream the party opposite has come over the past half-century.

It’s clever and powerful, but the likelihood that the spot will air extensively is in doubt, thanks to continued ineptitude from the GOP at the national level:

The Globies and Politico have their own coverage here and here. Interestingly, the Boring Broadsheet notes that Coakley has yet to air a single television ad for the general election. Does she ever stop coasting?