It happened to MA Dems in January. Scott Brown beat a popular AG to win Ted Kennedy's Senate seat as MA Dems watched in horror and confusion. Did we sit around wringing our hands? No. MA Dems know how to get the job done. It was our wake up call.
The next couple of months, my local town Democratic committee saw several new members (including me) who all said the same thing. We joined because of Scott Brown. New blood, new energy, new ideas. And we grew more determined than ever to hold our principles high.
During that same time, we were told that our Gov Patrick had not a snowball's chance in hell of winning a second term. We were told that the GOP was growing strong, organized, and was going to sweep over this state. What did we do? We continued to work.
We organized. We reminded people why MA is a leader in healthcare, education, business, job creation, and green energy. We reminded people how we got in this mess in the first place but how we were leading the nation in getting out of it. We noted every accomplishments and proudly stood by them. We stayed positive. We called out the crazies (and yes we did have a couple) but we never went in the gutter. I heard over and over that people were turned off by the negative ads but appreciated those ads where the candidates told us what they were going to do to help us.
Last night, we were rewarded by a clean Democratic sweep of all major state offices and all congressional districts. We stayed blue because we stayed true to Democratic principles with good candidates and a smart, informed electorate.
Out of 2400 registered voters in the precinct where I work as an election teller, we had 1684 cast ballots. We only had 1700 ballots to give out. We saw a bigger turnout than we did for the 2008 presidential election. And everyone who commented on the turnout said it was because MA voters are engaged again and listening to the issues. And that was from people from all political persuasions.
While the country is not MA, the DNC and Obama should take a lesson from Gov Patrick and the MA Democratic Party. We had a wake up call. We answered it without compromising who we are and what we stand for.
And btw, that popular AG, Martha Coakley, won her re-election to AG easily. Sometime you just need a wake up call.