I voted for Martha Coakley in the MA Democratic Primary, but reluctantly. Lukewarmly. I almost went instead for her liveliest opponent Alan Khazei, since he exhibited more ‘spark.’ Then a robo-phonecall from my personal political rock-star Bill Clinton pushed me over the edge. Maybe I should have gone with my gut.
Our blog’s ‘beat’ is personality/media/star power. How big a role did that play here? Nixon observed that you can be anything in politics– except ‘boring.’ Will Health Care reform founder because of another worthy charisma-challenged Democratic candidate? Of course, real anger about the economy and health care among many voters fueled Brown’s fire. But how big a factor were the two perceived ‘personalities’ here?
Like a young George W. Bush, Brown won over working class voters with his jaunty ‘populist’ style. Like former beauty queen Sarah Palin (below, in red swimsuit), former Cosmo. pin-up Brown capitalized on his telegenic looks and campaigning flair. Martha Coakley made matters worse on the image front by mixing up her Red Sox facts and calling Curt Schilling a Yankees fan three days before the election.
Many voters in the original Bush/Gore match-up voted for George W. because they wanted to have a beer with W. But we never got that beer: only war and recession.
Liberal winners like JFK and Obama have capitalized, too, on good looks and showbizzy campaigning skills. It’s the American way. But have the same voters who returned Ted Kennedy to the senate for decades taken such a sudden sharp turn to the right that they support Brown’s pro-life right-winger views? If one of Kennedy’s sons had run, would they have won? What tipped the balance to bring Brown his upset win? Was it his showman-style debates and his showbiz-ready daughters (above)?
And what of our superstar President, sworn in exactly a year ago? Is Obama’s star power waning? Or will this wake-up call recharge his own potent charisma? WDYT?
PS: Thanks to Penny2 for Brian McGrory’s hilarious morning-after article, Seduced by Our New Senator…
(photos- Brown nude: jezebel.com & Cosmo mag.; Palin: thetodayexperience.com; Brown & daughters: the-912-project.com)