1. 50 point plans don't sell, but a hopeful message and a promise of leadership does. It's unreasonable to expect every politician to have bold plans about a million things, but not to expect them to seek out the experts who do and get them to create innovative, new policies for Massachusetts. Deval Patrick may not have 50 detailed plans, but he has "a few good plans." He's going to enact them and enact other good plans he finds along the way - just what any candidate for Governor should do.
2. Fear has no power in Massachusetts. Kerry Healey tried to scare the bajeezes out of Massachusetts and it blew up in her face. Amen.
3. Minorities can - and do - win. Always have hope and don't be afraid to run for office just because you're a minority. In this election, African American candidates have run strong campaigns across the country. Deval Patrick is going to win. Michael Steele and Harold Ford probably aren't. However, that has little to do with the color of their skin (especially in Steele's case, as he's a nasty Bush-loving Republican). Furthermore, there are gay and lesbian candidates who sprung up all around the country, from Cape Cod to Alabama, who will soon be helping to legislate laws across the country. The days where either African Americans or gay people can't win are over.
4. Progressive politics is alive and well. For years, progressives were the neutered base in the Democratic Party. We were the votes the Party could count on, yet there was no accountability. Yet, not only are we the base of the party, but we're also likely the plurality. We are stronger than the establishment. We've seen it in Deval Patrick. We've seen it in non-establishment guys like Jon Tester, Jim Webb and Claire McClaskill holding the line all across the country. We saw it in Ned Lamont's victory during the primary - even if he can't quite close the deal in the general. The Progressive and Netroot movements are burgeoning and growing faster than any other political movement in the country; in the years to come, the Democrat Party is going to look a lot more like us and the country will be better (and happier) for it.
5. Scot Lehigh is an idiot.
6. Newspapers suck, but that doesn't matter. Bad article after bad article didn't amount to a hill of beans. The Herald loved to gossip about Deval Patrick on the front page, seemingly on a weekly basis, reporting on such high entertainment as his sister's marriage problems. The Boston Globe let Frank Phillips run amok during the course of the entire primary season (primary season
Yet, again, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. If newspapers are wondering why their distributions are declining fast, they need look no further than the fact that they've ceased to be journalists and are now PR specialists, reporting press releases instead of serious stories. One day they'll figure it out, increase their reader base (be it online or in print) and create a lasting business model. That day isn't today.
Update: I'm well aware of the fact that there were more than one ads against Ford that were racist. However, those ads backfired for the most part - during the time they were aired, the race was essentially a dead heat. The reason Ford, in my mind, has fallen back in the polls has little to do with the color of his skin and more to do with the fact that he's a hypocritical, DINO SOB who could care less about the Democrats. People in Tennessee see this; consequently, he's not amassing the excitement for change necessary to win.
He's just like Joe Lieberman - the rare case of someone actually being as bad for the Democrats as a Republican majority. Quite frankly, I don't care whether or not he's elected - even at the cost of a possible Senate majority. He'd work against the Democrats so often that it wouldn't make up for the fact that we'd be able to have the committee chairs. He'd provide the same exact cover (and relish the position) as Joe Lieberman does for Republicans.
Agents for change in Tennessee must realize this. It has nothing to do with his voting record - I'm excited by guys like Webb, Tester and Scot Kleeb, who are all moderate to right of center - yet they don't actively work against the Democratic Party. It probably doesn't have a lot to do with his skin. He's just not offering the kind of clear picture and messages to resonate as someone wholly different than his Republican counterpart, so the people of Tennessee are going with their default pick.
Furthermore, I didn't say race or prejudice wasn't impacting the election. What I did say was "in this election, African American candidates have run strong campaigns across the country." Those campaigns have given a lot of candidates, including Ford, the chance to win. Sure, those candidates had to work against hundreds of years of history and mount an uphill battle. However, it wasn't an insurmountable uphill battle - as it would have been in years past. Even Ford could (and should) have won, but he lacked the message, ideas and differences to pull it off. And of course, I could be wrong and he *could* win. We'll find out late tonight.