In the course of an election like yesterday's, I end up tucking away a few takeaway items that don't end up fitting in anywhere. Here are two from yesterday:
1) Beware armies of the faithful. The two big winners yesterday, Ayanna Pressley and Frank Baker, relied on large quantities of unreasonably enthusaistic supporters spreading word one by one all over the place. Pressley had 500 volunteers out working for her on election day, and I think Baker had that many just in his extended family. Both had supporters not just in their home bases or demographics, but everywhere -- mothers in Charlestown knocking doors for Pressley, for example, or Barry Lawton and Carlos Henriquez spreading the word for Baker. Many, many of these folks were volunteering time and effort not out of duty to their local union or political patron, but because they were actual true believers. It showed in the results.
2) Don't rile up a strong-willed woman. I think what got Pressley going was not so much the doomsayers (like me) predicting her loss, but the whispers that, after her mother's death, Pressley had lost interest and focus and would just drift to the election or even drop out of the race. You could tell it got her dander up to do whatever it took to prove people wrong. And in Dorchester, backers of John O'Toole -- including the mayor's people and Maureen Feeney -- made the mistake of attacking Linda Dorcena Forry for endorsing Baker. What might have been a simple endorsement seemed to become a crusade, and when Forry is on a crusade she is a political juggernaut you don't want to get in the way of. I don't know how many voters she personally dragged to the polls for Baker, but it was a lot.
So, I was looking back at these two little items, and it occured to me: I think I know of a high-profile campaign, right here in Massachusetts, where a strong-willed woman has recruited a startlingly large and wide-spread army of volunteer soldiers. Sound familiar to anyone?