Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Scott Brown's Upset Victory Puts Dems on Notice

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It is certainly one of the biggest political upsets, as Republican Scott Brown won the U.S. senate seat long held by Ted Kennedy.

Brown's victory over Democratic candidate Martha Coakley has dealt a huge blow to President Obama and Democrats, who have now lost their 60 vote supermajority in the Senate, which could doom the health care bill and passage of legislation on climate change and other top priorities for the White House.

"The political consequences are really potentially devastating," CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Chip Reid told Bill Plante on Wednesday's "Washington Unplugged." "If they can't push ahead at all then the president gets labeled as a failure on his major domestic initiatives. If he does push ahead and somehow gets this through moderate Democrats are in trouble and are going to be very worried. It could be a lose, lose proposition."

According to Republican strategist Kevin Madden, "Democrats today are trying to figure out what do they do next and there isn't any consensus on what the answers are. Right now what you saw were voters up in Massachusetts sending a message, a nationalized message quite frankly, that they are upset with the political overreach, the legislative overreach that Democrats have engaged in."

Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis explained, "You have this volatile electorate. It is anti-incumbent, anti-politician. That creates a very volatile political dynamic."

"In terms of our big priorities, whether it's health care, some of the other initiatives, to be frank about it I just don't think we've done as good a job, as effective a job in messaging this, " Kofinis also noted.

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