NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

November 10, 2012

Case closed as dust settles on election 2012

Bill Plante
Newburyport Daily News

---- — “What did you make of the election?” I asked Big Freddy after he had settled in and waved to the waitress for coffee.

“Nothing,’’ Freddy said.

“Nothing?”’ I asked. “How come nothing?”

“Didn’t bet,” Freddy said. “What did I say last week? I said all bets were off because Bill Clinton had come out strong for Obama. Romney was facing two against one, so I had nothing riding on it.”

“I wasn’t referring to your betting,” I said. “You said the race would be tight, but Obama won it handily.”

“I had a lot of company,” Freddy said. “Everyone had it tight. It wasn’t. There are a lot of reasons.

“No one I know predicted Latinos would go something like 71 percent for Obama. There were a lot more of them voting than there were two years ago, and more are going to be able to vote two years from now.”

“Because they keep on coming across the border,’’ I said. “Their young are getting older, for one thing, and if we don’t stop the border hopping, there are going to be a lot more.”

“But I’m talking about those already here becoming eligible to vote,” Freddy said. “Immigrants have kids — usually lots of kids. They grow up and most of them vote for Democrats.”

“But Romney lost for more reasons than the Latino vote,’’ I said.

“He lost because the more things change, the more they stay the same,” Freddy said.

“Republicans lose only a few seats in the House, but they still have a majority. They lose two more seats in the Senate, which the Democrats had anyway.”

“The big one being Warren beating Brown in the most expensive congressional contest in history,” I said.

“Which could be Act One of Act Two for Massachusetts if Obama picks Kerry to take Hillary’s place as secretary of state,” Freddy said.

“And maybe Brown gets another shot — this one for Kerry’s seat?’’ I asked.

“Maybe, but my guess is his truck has too many miles on it,” Freddy said. “His win the first time around was probably a one-off, because his opposition back then didn’t have what it takes. If Warren had been in that race, chances are she would have beaten him despite the truck.”

“So it’s all over for him?” I asked.

“I doubt it,” Freddy aid. “He’s got a lot going for him. Both of them are national figures because so much was made of their race. He’s still young and he actually did what he said he would do if elected, and he did it straight up. That should count for something somewhere. You’d think there’d be more support by middle-of the-roaders for voting across the aisle when it makes good sense, but there are prices to be paid for doing it.

“But this is Massachusetts, where Democrats rule all the roosts. This was more than a state race — it was big time nationally because she adds to the Democrat majority in the Senate.”

“That’s a big leap for anyone who hasn’t run for any national office,’’ I said.

“And she’ll have some problems because newcomers always do,” Freddy said. “She made a case for her independence during the campaign, but it’s going to be tested more than somewhat down the line.’’

“Well, Brown did that rather well, but it wasn’t enough,” I said.

“Because he’s not a Democrat,” Freddy said. “Case closed.”

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Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and staff columnist. His email address is plantejr@comcast.net.