The Hiller Instinct: Election Results
While Ted Kennedy's name wasn't on the ballot today, he's always been a factor in this race.
A big enough factor, I think, to make all the candidates who did run look small.
And that, I'd say, was the story of this race: because none of the candidates could match Ted Kennedy's energy and electricity, this race became unexciting and even dull.
We may have called it a race to replace Ted Kennedy, but we all knew we wouldn't be replacing his influence in the senate...we would merely be sending another senator to Washington. And given our frustration with government and our increasing sense it's disconnected from us, how surprising is it that so few showed up to vote today?
It's very telling that--in the 1996 senate primary--turnout was nearly 12%, and there was no contest: just one Republican and one Democrat were running to be nominated.
Still, give Martha Coakley credit. She was smart, professional, and classy, not flashy. In a word, she was senatorial.
If she wins next month, she'll easily fit into Washington, though I think she'll be seen more than she's heard, and not seen very much.
Republican winner Scott Brown deserves a shout out, too. He hasn't gotten nearly the attention the Democrats have, but he got enough to convince a lot of people he's a serious candidate with a serious agenda.
Six weeks from today, Massachusetts will pick its next senator.
In many ways, the January 19th election will mark the end of the Ted Kennedy seat in the Senate.
During the final campaign that starts right now, I think we'd be better off to forget Ted Kennedy, and concentrate on the candidates fighting to follow him, and the problems they'll have to help solve.
Perhaps that will make us more enthusiastic about who we have, and less likely to think about who we don't.
I’m Andy Hiller, that’s my instinct.
(Copyright (c) 2009 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)