Thursday, January 21, 2010

Turn off CNN and read this instead

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 6:22 PM

While I don't feel good about adding to the All-Scott-Brown-All-The-Time news cycle, there is a new Boston Phoenix story worth reading about how the little-known Republican managed to win what had been Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat.

David S. Bernstein, the altweekly's excellent political writer, points out that "To pull off this kind of huge upset, a lot of things have to go right — only one of which is having your opponent run an atrocious campaign."

Among those other things: Brown made people "feel that they were a part of something that would strike a dagger at complacent, arrogant, corrupt politicians"; his campaign "defined the race around mood, not issues"; and he simply outworked Democrat Martha Coakley in the small cities and towns that would turn out the vote.

Selling Brown — a wealthy lawyer who has held political office for the past 18 years — as the champion of that populist, anti-politician cause may seem a stretch, but again, his strategists were the people responsible for the packaging and marketing of Willard Mitt Romney.

They did their job with Brown brilliantly, turning the well-to-do political hack suburbanite into a pickup-driving man of the people. And Brown, like Romney, is an outstanding candidate: disciplined, hard-working, and malleable.

It includes detail and insight that you'd probably get only from a Boston reporter, but remains totally accessible — and impressive, considering the election ended Tuesday night, and the Phoenix goes to the printer on Wednesday.

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