Thus confronting the Democrats about their obstructionism while he’s still got media following him around. Excellent.
Insurgent Massachussetts Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown told CNN he expects to be installed quickly as Massachusetts’ next senator should he win the state’s special election Tuesday.
Asked about the state of the race, Brown said he’s still campaigning as if he’s running “down 30 points.”
But sounding confident, the GOP state senator says he’s made plans to travel to Washington Friday if he’s victorious.
This is one of two reasons why the margin of victory will matter. The first, obviously, is that the bigger the win, the more likely that people like Nelson and Lincoln will panic and crumble. The other is that a comfortable margin makes it hard for Massachusetts’s Democratic machine to drag their feet in seating him. If it’s 53/47, why delay certifying it? Just punch his ticket.
In fact, congressional Dems don’t even appear to be talking seriously at this point of trying to get another bill through the Senate with Paul Kirk as the 60th vote. Never mind the legal question of whether Kirk can vote up to the minute that Brown’s seated. The optics of it would be so horrible, they simply wouldn’t dare:
“This has now turned into a referendum on health care in the bluest state. If Brown wins, technical 60 vote aside, there are a lot of mod[erate] Ds who are going to flip and this thing will be in trouble, not dead, but delayed and possibly scaled back,” said a Democratic health care industry insider, adding that a Republican win will make it that much harder for Democratic congressional leaders to sell a final deal to their members.
Republican strategist Phil Blando agreed. He said the argument over whether Kirk’s vote will count or not is “a legal technicality in the broader political earthquake that a Brown victory would signal. The concern isn’t that you lose Kirk’s vote, but that you lose Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln and Joe Lieberman and a bunch of Blue Dogs.”
And any Democratic move to slow-walk seating Brown in order to pass reform, Blando said, is “just naked, pure power politics where, at that point, you’re just thwarting the will of the people.”
So it is, but aborting the House/Senate negotiations and ping-ponging it through the House to do an end-around after Brown is seated won’t be much better. Exit quotation: “We are in deep s— if we lose on Tuesday.”