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MA: How Clinton Won It

By Lyndsey Layton
Hillary Clinton was propelled to victory in Massachusetts by women across the state, blue-collar workers in old mill towns and a formidable political organization that delivered voters precinct by precinct.

While Obama basked in glamorous endorsements from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, as well as support from Sen. John F. Kerry and Gov. Deval Patrick, Clinton benefited from a deeper, wider political network.

"We had real people doing real work," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who ran Clinton's effort in his city. "It wasn't about the big rally or the fancy conversation. It was working people going out there knocking on doors, the seniors who came out."

In addition to Menino, Clinton relied on the speaker of the Massachusetts House, the Senate president and four of the five members of Congress who made endorsements -- all of them lent their political networks.

Obama beat Clinton in Boston, where minorities make up the majority, but Clinton bested him in central and southeastern Massachusetts communities such as Fall River and Worcester.

Michael Goldman, a longtime Democratic political operative, said Clinton's advantage among women was decisive. "A lot of women simply came to her rescue," he said. "Massachusetts has always been a Clinton state and particularly a strong Hillary Clinton state."

Clinton's ties to Massachusetts go beyond vacations on Martha's Vineyard. "There's a reservoir of good will in this state for Bill and Hillary Clinton," said one Democratic political operative. "She went to Wellesley, there must have been 500 people from Massachusetts in the Clinton administration -- including the governor. And you really have to give some credit to the mayor, the Senate president, the House speaker. Tip O'Neill said all politics is local, and this turned out to be local politics."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 6, 2008; 12:10 AM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , B_Blog , Barack Obama , Hillary Rodham Clinton , Northeast / Mid-Atlantic , Primaries , The Democrats  
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