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Brown supporters revel in an exultant victory

Updated 11:40 p.m.
By Karl Vick
Until the news of Scott Brown's victory flashed Tuesday onto the massive video screens in the ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel, it was hard to believe anything could be louder than the James Montgomery band, a blues ensemble that was making the most of the Senate campaign's concert-grade sound system.

Then came the roar.

Ayla Brown, the daughter of the senator-elect, thrust an arm into the air amid a thunderous, sustained cheer. Flags waved. Women wailed. The words "U.S. Senate" under "Scott Brown" suddenly looked like a title.

When the voice of the crowd ebbed, the band resumed with "Dancing In the Streets," and at the next break Ayla Brown -- who at the start of the campaign was by far the best-known member of her family, by dint of reaching the semifinals of "American Idol" -- directed the attention of the crowd to the table behind the press risers.

"I'm going to stay until every single one of those CDs is gone," Ayla Brown said.

Word of Martha Coakley's concession call to Brown had whipped around the campaign staff minutes earlier, through the earpieces that had the lowliest volunteer looking like Secret Service.

But it was just information until the eruption on the floor.

"Yes we can!" the crowd chanted a few minutes later. And it was impossible to say how much the slogan was intented to taunt Obama, or how much it was appropriation, by supporters who saw the Brown campaign as a revival of certain appetites that drove the Obama presidential movement.

"I would think it's more of a taunt, to be honest with you," said a man watching from the balcony, who would give only his first name, Paul, saying he was a police officer.

Still, both candidates called for a return to comity in Washington, earnestly calling for an end to partisan extremism that was aimed squarely at the middle. Brown downplayed his Republican affiliation to "address every independent-thinking voter," as he put it in the most-played of his television spots, the one where he's standing in a kitchen. .

"In every corner of our state, I met with people, looked them in the eye, shook their hand, and asked them for their vote," Brown said in his victory speech. "I didn't worry about their party affiliation, and they didn't worry about mine. It was simply shared conviction that brought us all together."

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele chatted in the hotel kitchen behind the stage, by far the fastest way to get from one end of the ballroom to the other, the fire marshal having ordered the doors shut on the jammed ballroom.

At 10:11 p.m., a new roar went up as the freshly minted front page of the Boston Herald went up on the screen. "He Did It!" ran the headline, over a photo of Brown giving a thumb's up.

About 20 minutes later, the candidate came out to address the crowd, and he quickly saluted his exuberant supporters: "I bet they can hear this cheering all the way in Washington, D.C."

At the final line of Brown's remarks  -- "I am nobody's senator, I am nobody's senator except yours" --  the balloon nettings overhead rustled and the confetti guns kicked in. The senator-elect waded into the crowd, the recorded music ("Tonight's gonna be a good good night")  went into continuous loop, and the people left onstage chatted among themselves, looking like they didn't know what to do with their hands.

By Karl Vick  |  January 19, 2010; 10:34 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: At Brown's election party, 'feeling pretty confident'
Next: Democrats look to regroup, cast blame


Brown of Boston, was the NY23. The power brokers thought that everything was under control. Ya know, like.
'Keep moving, nothing to see here'.
The significance is the the rabid fringe was dusted of both sides.

Posted by: RayOne | January 21, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Massachusetts isn't overwhelmingly Democratic. The majority of registered voters are OVERWHELMINGLY Independents.

The vote was a referendum on the socialist Obama, Pelosi and Reid agenda.

Americans have OVERWHELMINGLY rejected socialism and its supporters. And will AGAIN in November.

Posted by: bob59 | January 20, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

To the Democrats:
Please don't delude yourselves into thinking this is less significant that it is. This is a rejection of the out-of-control spending and the ugly politics that Democrats are using to try to ram their agenda through. Reconciliation should be off the table at this point since it is precisely the type of underhanded crap that voters won't tolerate. Democrats should view this as the whistle of a freight train coming in November. Trying even harder to get this healthcare thing through is a bad idea. You can't get out of a hole by digging faster. If you don't make some serious concessions, November is going to be rough.

To the Republicans:
Please don't delude yourselves into thinking this is more significant than it is. This is a certain victory for fiscal conservatism. However, Scott Brown is very moderate (leaning liberal) on social policy. This is not a wholesale endorsement of the Republican agenda by the people of Massachusetts. On gay marriage, Lt.Col Brown takes the (Constitutionally correct) position that it should be up to the states. He's pro-choice. If you want a Republican resurgence, you must be the party of fiscal conservatism and not the party of the Christian far-right. In short, a good take-away from this is to run more Scott Browns and fewer Sarah Palins.

Posted by: flyingRobot78 | January 20, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't get too giddy about this one. It was a referendum on health care reform. So go to Washington and kill that monster. But, Sen. Brown, you'd better be prepared to create something to take its place.
And the by the way, the insurance industry should have embraced that sweetheart deal. Now, health care reform is going to get thrown out the window, perhaps along with the bloated insurance bureaucracy.

Posted by: dparks2 | January 20, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

He won on rejecting the fringes of both parties. That will change things up I hope. Neither party has such a hard drawn line now. That should bring some moderation out if we're lucky.

Posted by: Nymous | January 20, 2010 3:43 AM | Report abuse

OK, so Democrats get punished by their own people, what's new? In any case this election result reiterates the futility of the two-party system. It's like -- hey, I'm going to boycott that lame Buick brand and go for a Chevy. State of terminal myopia.

Posted by: ih82blog | January 19, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

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