Top Political Stories of 2012
After a campaign season that seemed endless, 2012 turned out to be the year of the Democrats: in Massachusetts, the party recaptured Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. And in Washington, President Obama prevailed, winning a second term by defeating former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Romney won the Republican nomination after GOP voters considered and then eliminated all his challengers. But the Primary process hurt Romney -- forcing him to take more conservative positions than the nation at large supports. Still, given the weak economy, by the time the Republican Convention rolled into Tampa in August, the White House was in reach.
As always, debates were pivotal in this presidential race. President Obama was so unexpectedly weak in the first debate, Romney momentarily pulled ahead in the polls. But the president fought back, stressing the needs of new Americans; promising to raise taxes on the rich; supporting gay marriage, and on Election Day, the man who made history four years ago, did it again.
President Obama’s victory was mirrored here in Elizabeth Warren's win over Scott Brown for a U.S. Senate seat. For the first time, Massachusetts voters are sending a woman to the upper chamber. An inexperienced candidate, Warren was wounded by her claim of Native American heritage, but she attacked, too, painting brown as pro-Wall Street, and anti-women's rights.
Now, after just three years in Washington, Brown will be driving his pick-up back home to Wrentham.
In Congress, a Kennedy will once again represent Bay State voters. Fresh-faced Joe Kennedy III was elected to Massachusetts' 4th district.
Senator John Kerry was nominated to be the nation's next Secretary of State in 2013. So once again, the Bay State is gearing up for a special election to replace a senator.
On Beacon Hill, 2012 may be a year Governor Deval Patrick would like to forget.
He was in charge when several shocking events shook voters’ confidence in state government: the state lab testing scandal and the deadly meningitis outbreak linked to NECC compounding pharmacy. Several state workers involved in oversight were fired, but criminal investigations are on-going.