Post-election thoughts and observations

Massachusetts was not a good place to be a Republican politician or GOP supporter on election day this year because everything “broke just right” for the Democrats.

All year, Republicans felt that the economy – and the need for jobs – was Obama’s Achilles heel. Nobody figured that the economy would end up helping President Obama‘s re-election bid, but it happened. A majority of voters some-how bought Obama’s explanation that the poor economy was actually caused by the administration of George Bush, four years removed.

As communities like Everett, a Democratic stronghold for years, rallied around the president and his stance on the economy, his political coat-tails proved to be long enough to help a lot of Democratic candidates to victory.

There’s no doubt that Obama’s influence greatly aided Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy for the Senate. When the guy at the top of the ticket is trouncing his opponent, there is a trickle-down effect. If Mitt Romney had run better here in Massachusetts, Scott Brown would have had a chance to withstand the Warren challenge.

But with the influence of Obama – and the help of Democratic political “machines” on Beacon Hill and also the Capitol in Washington – and with the active backing of Boston Mayor Menino with his own political “machine” – the odds were stacked against Brown, and that’s unfortunate since by all objective accounts he has been a good and effective bipartisan senator.

This is not to say that Warren didn’t earn her victory. She campaigned like a whirlwind and was pretty adept on the campaign trail – and on the issues – for a first-time candidate.

It remains to be seen if Warren will be as much of a vocal “fighter” for the middle class as she professed to be during the campaign when she enters the Senate, an institution that traditionally has frowned upon new members seeking the spotlight.

Obama’s coat-tails certainly bailed out Congressman John Tierney.

Before election day, few gave Tierney much of a chance to be re-elected. The gambling mess involving family members, including his wife, haunted him and he was facing a very formidable challenger in the person of former State Senate minority leader Richard Tisei.

Without the Democratic tsunami led by Obama on election day, Tierney would have been a goner, but with the strong Democratic tide, he survived, if only by one percentage point.

Other post-election thoughts:

Even though he was unopposed for reelection, State Senator Sal DiDomenico’s huge complimentary vote (10, 573) to top the local ticket was ultra-impressive, to say the least.

So was the victory of our new congressman Mike Capuano, who had an opponent and still managed to capture 81.9% of the vote in his first time on an Everett ballot.

Don’t be surprised if someday soon you see Ernesto Petrone as a candidate for local city office. The Waverly Avenue resident ran for sheriff and as predicted, he lost by a very large margin to popular incumbent Peter Koutoujian. But here in his hometown of Everett, he netted a creditable 3,914 votes as a   first-time candidate who was running against a well-known and respected veteran politician.

It was interesting to see that Everett voters mirrored the statewide results on the three binding ballot questions.

Just think – now that the presidential/senatorial campaigns are over, the local races for a four-year mayor and the new charter-mandated 11-member city council are sure to kick off in the not-too-distant future.