By Adam Nagourney
. . . what happened in Massachusetts on Tuesday was no ordinary special election. . .
[Quotes from some who should know]
As a result, Mr. Obama will spend the first anniversary of his inauguration watching Democrats tangle in an unseemly quarrel over who lost Massachusetts — Ms. Coakley’s pollster, Celinda Lake, called the Huffington Post four hours before the polls closed to blame Democratic leaders in Washington — and contemplating a political landscape that has been thoroughly upended in the course of only 10 days.
The implications are sure to be far-reaching, and the result leaves Mr. Obama with a long list of tough choices. . . .
“This is a giant wake-up call,” said Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in Virginia last year. “We have to keep our focus on job creation. Everything we have to do is related to job creation. We have to do a much better job on the message. People are confused on what this health care bill is going to do.”
Even before the polls closed, the White House was suggesting the outlines of a recovery strategy, a combination of a more populist tone and an embrace of greater fiscal responsibility. . .
David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, said he did not view the results as a repudiation of the White House’s agenda, but he acknowledged that the administration needed to do a more effective job of signaling concern about the problems gripping Americans.
“We are the party in power, and as such there’s an element of responsibility assigned,” he said. “I think people need to know that their challenges and their concerns are the focus of our work every day.”. . .
“I think there’s been a misreading of where the public is at: having a health care debate when so many people were focused on their jobs,” said Joe Trippi, a Democratic political consultant who managed the presidential campaign of Howard Dean in 2004.
“The failure to understand how anti-establishment the country has become is a big part of the problem,” Mr. Trippi said of Mr. Obama and the White House. “He actually led the way on that in the campaign and didn’t recognize what was happening as he was president.”
I recommend this excellent piece by Adam Nagourney. Click the link for the full article.