Despite failed candidate Martha Coakley’s assurance that “the dream lives on,” emotional supporters called the loss a “total disaster” for the Democratic Party.
Coakley took the podium Tuesday night at the Boston Sheraton Hotel to concede the race for US Senate to Republican Scott Brown. She lost by 5 percent of the vote, or about 106,000 voters.
“It’s kind of sad that we had a productive congress for a year, and now we can go back to doing nothing,” said Matt Kagan, a student volunteer who made phone calls the last several days for the Coakley campaign.
Like most of Massachusetts, Kagan thought Coakley was a shoo-in for the late Ted Kennedy’s seat. He jumped in to volunteer after Brown “became a threat.”
“We just did too little too late,” said Sharon Rosenberg of Brookline, who’d been with the Coakley campaign since the primary.
She then compared Brown to a “terminal illness.”
“A month ago, she was above and beyond,” Rosenberg said. “It was like a terminal illness. Brown came out of nowhere and spread so fast.”
Barbara Weniger of Arlington said she thinks voters only backed Brown to “snub the establishment.”
“Scott Brown is just an empty vessel they poured all their anger into,” she said. “They don’t understand what they just elected.”
Even Senate President Theresa Murray said she wished for different circumstances.
“She stood up for what was true and what was right,” Murray said, as onlookers chanted “Martha Coakley,” holding up navy blue signs.
Travis Quincy of Boston worked at a Coakley phone bank for the past month. He said Brown supporters often argued with him about Coakley’s alignment with Obama’s policies, expressing dissatisfaction with the status quo.
“No one who voted for Brown can complain about the economy or heath care or global warming, since he does not believe in that,” Quincy said.
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“I didn’t want people to think the only reason Brown won was because Coakley ran a poor campaign,” said Beth Kerner of Scituate. “This is what America wants.”
“Get down with Scott Brown,” yelled Mike Doherty of Hanson, MA.
Two years ago Barry Scott was beaten up by police officers after being handcuffed. He contacted Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office and she promised him she would help prosecute the officers who abused him. Four days later, he received a note saying there was nothing she could do.
“You know why?” said Scott. “Because she wants the police union’s blessing.”
Scott then made a website to document Coakley’s unjust acts. In November he was contacted by Scott Brown himself.
“I told Brown I’m gay and a lot of gays don’t like him, he said I don’t care,” said Scott, a registered democrat. Since that conversation, Scott became an avid Brown supporter.
“[This election] was a choice between a fraud and a human being,” he said. “I chose the human being.”
Scott said he will now dedicate his website to getting Coakley fired.
People came from all over to celebrate election night with Scott Brown. John Evans, who came in an Uncle Sam costume, and his fiancé Patricia Evans came from Houston, TX.
“This is about the whole country,” said Patricia, who rode the campaign bus to all the rallies with her fiancé. “It’s not just for Massachusetts.”
Lynette Villano came from Pennsylvania on a bus with 40 other Brown supporters.
“This is going to make history for the nation,” she said. “We’re going to change healthcare.”
From Alabama came Michael Staley, the chief of staff for Rep. Spenser Bachus.
“This race was about principles, not politics,” he said. “Scott Brown won on principle. The people of Massachusetts believe in him.”
Staley said he made phone calls from Alabama and is hoping the republicans “take the majority back. The Democrats are going to have to recalibrate now.”
Diane Agganis first met Scott Brown in November when he attended a flag football tournament for the special olympics at the Patriots stadium in Foxburough. Since then, she has been an active supporter. She spent last night making phone calls on his behalf.
At Tuesday’s election night event, Agganis came with her friend Jacqueline Millette, carrying signs saying “We Love Scott.”
“We love everything he stands for,” said Agganis, whose son is in the army, currently stationed at Ft. Hood, TX. “He’s a class act, a real gentleman.”
Bob Clark, 50, said he was nervous earlier today, but is now excited.
“This is a great step forward, but this is only the beginning,” he said. “We’ve got a long way to go.”
Warren Kindler, 55, a commercial lender from Epping, New Hampshire, leapt into the air when he saw Coakley concede.
“This is the most excited I’ve been in a long time,” said Kindler, who grew up in Framingham.
Kindler, who said he still feels a close affection for Massachusetts, volunteered for the Scott Brown along with is wife, Nancy.
“This is better than the Civil War being won,” she said.
Kindler leapt again, when Brown took the stage. “This is just so, so sweet.”