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Citing fear of health-care bill, and voting Brown

Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, waves from his truck to supporters after voting. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)

By Karl Vick
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Jaimee Vassallo stood in the entrance of Boutwell School, facing a Currier & Ives scene of a New England village wreathed in falling snow, and considered what she had just done.

"Oh, Mary," she said, grabbing the arm of a friend on her way in to vote. "I'm switching over to the Republican side for the first time ever."

She staggered a bit, half comically, but half serious, too.

"It's a tough day," she said.

Registered as an independent, Vassallo has nonetheless voted Democratic in every election of her adult life. So has her mother, who Vassallo, 52, said also supports Scott Brown over Martha Coakley in the U.S. Senate race being decided in Massachusetts today.

"I don't agree with all his policies," Vassallo said. "But I felt strongly that I didn't want that candidate in office.

Of Coakley, she said: "It's a personality thing. And that negative campaigning really pushed me over the edge. To stand up for your issues, fine. But to go after him the way she did, that's disgraceful."

Vassallo's judgment, if widely shared, is bad news for Democratic strategists who went into Tuesday looking for independent women to swing the vote toward Coakley, the longtime frontrunner overtaken in recent polls by Brown's surge.

"I feel badly for Obama," the teacher went on. "I like him. I think he's a good person. I feel sorry for him." But what she hears about the health-care reform bill has her mother "just terrified," Vassallo said, and she has grown mistrustful as well.

"I think he's trying too hard to shove it through," she said. "I think they should take their time and get the bugs out."

Turnout appeared strong in this town 18 miles northwest of Boston, in the heart of the corridor between I-495 and Route 128 that campaign strategists call crucial to the Brown candidacy. Wilmington is half the small town it always was, and half a suburban refuge for doctors and other professionals who commute to Boston on either of the two commuter rail lines nearby.

"We are ducky," said the woman directing voters to either Precinct 1 or Precinct 2. "We're inside."

By 2:30 p.m., almost a third of voters had turned out, with the heaviest flow still ahead "tonight, at suppertime," said assistant town clerk Carolyn Kenney. The snow that had turned to rain in Boston was coming down steadily, but the flow of traffic into the school was almost constant, sedans and SUVs turning past the snowman wearing a flannel shirt and holding a Scott Brown sign. A live human stood next to him.

"I don't think the weather is affecting Wilmington," Kenney said.

The Republican appeared to be doing well here.

"Most definitely," said Luann Mitchell, 56, a registered independent who also voted for Brown in the primary. "I just agree with everything he has to say. And I'm tired of Massachusetts politics. It's time for a change."

A handmade sign just off the I-93 freeway from Boston read: "Thanks Teddy K But Vote Scott Brown."

"I think it has a lot to do with the health care, which I was up in the air about, but I decided to go with the Democrats," said Lisa, 26, a registered independent. A dental hygienist, she declined to give her last name, saying she feared public support of the Democratic reform might look bad at work. "I voted for Martha Coakley," she said. "I support Obama."

For Chris Zollner, a city employee who moved from New Jersey a decade ago, "it's not as much I like her as I don't like Brown," he said. "To be honest with you, the amount of phone calls I got from Scott Brown, it was kind of overkill. I was getting two calls a day, most of them pre-recorded from private numbers. It kind of sat bad with me."

In terms of registration, the town of Wilmington roughly approximates the state: Declared Democrats outnumber declared Republicans better than two to one, but independents outnumber the two parties put together by a substantial margin. Local politics is dominated by the Democratic Party.

"Scott Brown," said Susan Tocci, 53, who veered on the way to her car to declare herself to a reporter.

"I don't want the health-care reform to go. I see what my parents are going through. I don't want more of that."

A registered Democrat, she voted for Coakley in the primary. The candidate was the speaker at her daughter's commencement at Framingham State. "And I liked her then," Tocci said. "But I had a look at the issues."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 19, 2010; 4:27 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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D: 0,046,406
R: 0,052,219

source: Drudge---the Master of all Media

Posted by: ProCounsel | January 19, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

The Massachusetts Massacre
a political autopsy- how and why obama’s presidency failed

coakley was the least significant among the losses on tuesday night. obama’s presidency not only failed, but was soundly rejected. but due to his predictive profile, obama will not comprehend the nature and extent of his failures.

obama had a systemic political failure in massachusetts.

political autopsy results–

1. while obama slept–how could massachusetts NOT be on obama’s radar screen?

obama has spent most of the year bribing senators due to a razor thin margin in the senate. yet obama sleeps while brown attacks.

more ominously obama had two systemic failures–strategic and tactical which will reappear with far more serious consequences in national security, as homeland napolitano makes coakley look like a genius.

2. strategic –obama failed to designate someone to monitor massachusetts. thats what presidents do--and obama didn’t.

obama is not only asleep at the switch, obama denies there are trains while the whistle gets louder and louder.

3. tactical–obama does not multitask well, he is hopelessly mired in a reactive mode. team obama has some great players, but the bench lacks depth.

Posted by: ProCounsel | January 19, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

mharwick, you will not think so highly of
Michelle Obama when you read her 1985 Princeton thesis..the word racist takes on a new Meaning One statement she wrote
"America was a nation founded on crime and hatred" Please take the time and read that
thesis....And you will also ask why has it been unavailable until Nov 5, 2008?

Posted by: akeegan2 | January 19, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Since Massachusetts has near universal health care coverage, many people there seem to be concerned about how the Obama/Reid/Pelosi bill will detrimentally affect their health care coverage. Most people, other than partisan Democrats willing to settle for any bill to give Obama an ego boost, are understandably concerned about how increased federal regulations of health care, intended to reduce costs, will almost inevitably result in restrictions, perhaps rationing, in accessing some forms of health care.

People are also concerned about how the bill and a Medicare commission will reduce Medicare benefits. Highly ironic how a Democratic president, Congress seek to expand health care coverage to many in the lower middle class on the backs of persons sixty-five and older. This is not what Franklin D Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson would have approved of, but contemporary Democrats have become primarily a center-right party.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 19, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

This is all about Obama not his children or his wife.
Obama is president. He has two lovely children. He has an intelligent wife and he was elected. HIs accomplishments were nil and they still are. He has broken his word to the American People too many times. He and Pelosi and Reid have embarked on the corruption of Senators and House members using bribery and extortion to get a horrific bill forced down the unwilling throats of a large majority of the country. This alone makes him unfit to be President.

Posted by: mharwick | January 19, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Report: Franken recount lawyer leading MA legal team

Posted by Eric Roper

Last update: January 19, 2010 - 2:59 PM

"The twittersphere is awash today with concern that today's Senate race in Massachusetts could become a repeat of Franken v. Coleman. And judging by a recent story from Politico, the stars might just be aligning.

The website reports this afternoon that Al Franken's lead attorney during the recount, Marc Elias, "has arrived in Massachusetts to head up the Democratic legal team."

Providing the race is a nail biter, the Washington-based attorney may find himself once again fighting to secure a Democrat supermajority in the Senate." Minneapolis Star Tribune
MA be well aware of Phantom ballots or non-existent ballots being counted or Coakeley ballots being counted and similarly situated ballots not being counted for Brown even if the absentee ballot addresses are in the same apartment building.

Posted by: kwoods2 | January 19, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I supported President Obama in 2008 - oh it seemed so long ago - thinking that he would get this great nation out of the war, help folks get back to work, save people's homes from foreclosure and bring back some common sense to the White House.
Instead, he and his crack team of advisors have continued fighting the war, offered little to get folks back to work besides an out-of-control stimulus plan and failed to keep good people from losing their homes (while at the same time helping big banks stay big and powerful). To make matters worse, Obama has seen fit to ram this health care bill - one that few on either side of the political aisle even support - down our collective throats. So let the folks of Massachusetts have the audacity to speak for us all and send a message to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Posted by: miamiskinsfan | January 19, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

tazmodoius wrote:
Posted by: boomer131 "Relax reform will survive, although in a more reasonable format. Obamacare, Pelosicare, Reidcare (call it what you will) is dead. The pendulum is swinging back to the middle..."

"What you meant to say was that Republicants won't do a thing to pass healthcare reform, like they haven't done for the past 60 years."

Nice bait...but not good enough. We'll start seeing some smart ideas from both sides of the debate now that BHO, Nancy and Harry have fallen back to earth. A bridge too far my friend...GovCo has a role to play but it won't be the only actor on stage from this point forward.

Posted by: boomer131 | January 19, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Considering Mass already has Government Mandated Health Care how is this vote a referrendum on National Health Care?

Posted by: bhickson | January 19, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: boomer131 "Relax reform will survive, although in a more reasonable format. Obamacare, Pelosicare, Reidcare (call it what you will) is dead. The pendulum is swinging back to the middle...

What you meant to say was that Republicants won't do a thing to pass healthcare reform, like they haven't done for the past 60 years.

Posted by: tazmodious | January 19, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

""Scott Brown," said Susan Tocci, 53, who veered on the way to her car to declare herself to a reporter. I don't want the health-care reform to go. I see what my parents are going through. I don't want more of that."

So Susan Tocci then votes for the guy and the party who will do whatever they can to make sure your parents keep going through what they are going through and worse.

All I can ask is why don't people think anymore?

Posted by: tazmodious | January 19, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

kubrickstan - YOU LIE (like BHO).
Who are the rich elitist pontificating and pocketing UNEARNED money?

bho, OPRAH, HOLLYWEIRD, Kerry, edwards, and the rest of the trial lawyers, Kennedys, .

Hard WORKING Americans - who don't mock AMERICANS who BUY American - don't vote Demoncrap

Posted by: Justice26 | January 19, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Relax reform will survive, although in a more reasonable format. Obamacare, Pelosicare, Reidcare (call it what you will) is dead. The pendulum is swinging back to the middle...the opportunity to create a Leftist utopia will die tonight as well...good riddance.

Posted by: boomer131 | January 19, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Gee whiz there outta be a law against "political malpractice" in Massachusetts. With all that back and forth finger pointing between Coakley's campaign and the DNC before ballots are counted, something really must be wrong. I blame Obama for abandonding the principle of universal care. Without that, Democrats gave up the high ground.

Posted by: Aurellano | January 19, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for demonstrating the Republican approach so perfectly.

In other words, it's pure bullocks--based on nothing--containing not a single fact but plenty to fear, hate, mock. . .

A more apt application of your theory could be applied to the Great Narcissist Himself--the one who put his own political standing above everything else. Talk about Repression-- "You're doing a great job, Brownie." Remember that one?

Notice the specificity of the reference, which fits even if you look at the larger context--something you'll never get from Rush, Hannity, Beck . . . Even O'Reilly is forced to exaggerate Obama's positions in order to argue against him.

Posted by: writinron | January 19, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how Brown used to support a health reform measure just like this one. More liberal than this one, even. Not anymore, now that his Republican handlers have told him to oppose it.

I keep hearing that the worst thing Coakley did was to insult the Red Sox. So, when you lose your job and don't have health insurance, keep that in mind.

Republicans will just keep saying no to everything and blame the inaction on the Democrats and people will believe it.

Posted by: chi-town | January 19, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

To everyone that votes for Coakley who BTW - gives probation to Pedophiles in Mass - you are all dumbaszes!

Posted by: Sparky15 | January 19, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Tax breaks for the rich, unregulated banks, unregulated housing industry, no plan for health care reform, no plan to reduce the deficit, and forget global warming. This is what you get for voting republican. Enjoy it America.

Posted by: kubrickstan | January 19, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

PC above (the self described Pro) continues to scribble really stupid stuff.

Posted by: michael4 | January 19, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"Citing fear of health-care bill, and voting Brown"

This is CLEARLY a vote against the economy and against President Obama. He needs to do a 180 and start supporting small business. Not with loans but contracts via TARP - and that's ALL small businesses - including both Black-owned and Hispanic-owned.

Posted by: question-guy | January 19, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama’s Failed Presidency
Predictive Profile AFTER the Massachusetts Rebellion

Obama's Presidency is in free fall FAILURE.

When a Republican even had a CHANCE in Massachusetts-- the verdict is in on the Obama Administration.

Team Obama was voted off the island by angry Americans fed up with the stimulus waste, cap and trade, obama's incessant asinine attacks on capitalism as he kills jobs, obamacare and most importantly 10% unemployment.

A failed embittered Presidency can be extremely dangerous--
so a profile of Obama's like FUTURE actions is critical.

In his monumental work "Hitler and Stalin" Alan Bullock notes both Hitler and Stalin were narcissists. ProCounsel is NOT stating Obama is either Hitler or Stalin. But his analysis, written long before Obama's ascendancy, is a useful model.

Bullock explains narcissism on page 11:

"In such a state only the person himself, his needs,feelings and thoughts, everything and and everybody as they relate to him are experienced as fully real, while everybody and everything otherwise lacks reality or interest."

Bullock describes the effects of narcissism and provides a predictive model useful for Obama on page 343:

"Narcissistic personalities are convinced of their special qualities and their superiority over others, and any threat to this self image--such as being criticized, shown up, or defeated--produces a violent outrage and often a desire for revenge."

Bullock cites 3 psychological reactions Stalin used to guard his narcissistic self image. Bullock credits Robert Tucker for these insights on page 356. The 3 reactions to expect for the Obama profile would be:

a. Repression–simply blankly deny the truth, no matter how obvious or even if caught on video

b. Rationalization-Admit but use the fault as proof of his zeal

c. Projection-Obama will attribute to others the motives and attitudes he refuses to admit in himself

Ironically, per the Profile Dems in the House and Senate will be in much more danger from a wounded irrelevant White House than the Republicans, as Obama will deem the Dems unworthy of him--THEY failed NOT him.

Don't believe the profile??

Just go back and review Obama's response to the Detroit airplane bombing. Obama went through all 3 stages above and that analysis is especially instructive as Obama was naked--without senior staff.

Posted by: ProCounsel | January 19, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"they should take their time and get the bugs out" is the Republican strategy to kill health reform so that Obama can't take credit for it, which Republicans want to do more than they fear what will happen if they have to try health care reform on their watch if they ever regain power. pathetic.

and that girl's mother has nothing to fear except what will happen to her health care if nothing is done to save Medicare and the economy from the out of control costs.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 19, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

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