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  • November 11, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In my article in this week's Boston Phoenix, I make note that during the 2008 Presidential election cycle, I heard repeatedly -- from Democrats, Republicans and Independents -- about how frustrated and fed-up they were with the US Congress. In their view, Washington had become impotent to address the country's big, serious problems, because the Congress was completely frozen up by (take your pick) hyperpartisanship, corruption, special-interest groups, corporate lobbyists, inertia, and/or weak-kneed pandering pols.

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  • November 11, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- my estimable colleague Steven Stark and I go toe-to-toe on the future prospects for our President's popularity. Stark argues that Obama has peaked, and it's all downhill from here. I counter that his glory days lie ahead.

    Read both, and render your own verdict:

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  • November 11, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In my article in this week's Boston Phoenix, I make note that during the 2008 Presidential election cycle, I heard repeatedly -- from Democrats, Republicans and Independents -- about how frustrated and fed-up they were with the US Congress. In their view, Washington had become impotent to address the country's big, serious problems, because the Congress was completely frozen up by (take your pick) hyperpartisanship, corruption, special-interest groups, corporate lobbyists, inertia, and/or weak-kneed pandering pols.

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  • November 11, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    With the recent announcement that Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell, a Republican, will not run for re-election, there is a realistic, if slim, possibility that Democrats could hold all six New England governorships come January 2011. According to my extensive research -- OK, scrolling through Wikipedia, mostly -- I believe this would be the first time that has happened ever, in the 200+ years of the party (including when it was called the Democratic-Republican Party).

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  • November 10, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    From a strictly dispassionate political calculus, Martha Coakley's declaration that she would have voted against the House health-care bill looks like a dumb move. A frontrunner never wants to open up new differences with her opponents, which this obviously did -- since Michael Capuano actually did vote yes. And this is not just any old issue, this is the Big Vote, the Ted Kennedy Legacy, and all that.

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  • November 09, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In the week or so since I posted at length about the meager outlook for women Republicans in elected office, I have some updates that seem to show the problem only worsening.

    First of all, as you probably know, DeDe Scozzafava was chased out of the race and, one assumes, out of the party altogether. Meanwhile, the GOP added two male governors, meaning that they now have 3 women out of 24 governors, dropping the percentage to 12.

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  • November 09, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    --Tom Menino had surgery to repair a torn quadriceps tendon on his left knee, an injury he sustained when KICKING MICHAEL FLAHERTY'S ASS LAST TUESDAY. (Although that's not the official reason released by the mayor's office.)

    --If you're, say, the SEIU or IBEW locals, and you kicked Steve Lynch to the curb for Martha Coakley b/c Lynchie wasn't strong enough on health care reform, how do you feel now that Lynch voted yes and Coakley says she'd vote no? Has Coakley effectively announced that for her, women's issues trump labor issues? And since the unions don't particularly care about abortion access, are they pining at all for Capuano right now?

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  • November 05, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In just the few days since I posted at length about the meager outlook for women Republicans in elected office, I have some updates that seem to show the problem only worsening.

    First of all, as you probably know, DeDe Scozzafava was chased out of the race and, one assumes, out of the party altogether. Meanwhile, the GOP added two male governors, meaning that they now have 3 women out of 24 governors, dropping the percentage to 12.

    Read More

  • November 04, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I take a look at Governor Deval Patrick, who has found himself, for once, left out of the spotlight and off the front pages. In theory, the distraction of the local elections and US Senate race is providing a perfect respite for Patrick and his team to regroup, re-staff,strategize, prepare, and be ready to emerge with some political victories heading into his re-election year.

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  • November 04, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    No question, the two GOP gubernatorial victories matter to the 16 million people who will now give a try at living under a Republican. But beyond that, can we say that yesterday's elections mean something?

    I don't believe that they are predictive of what the 2010 election cycle will look like. But it could end up affecting behavior -- ending up making it predictive.

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  • November 04, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    --I think Michael Flaherty ran a terrific campaign. Not much more that he could have done. It just wasn't in the cards.

    --Ditto for Tito Jackson. And Carlos Henriquez. And Alex Selvig.

    --And yes, I was wr.. wr... wr.... I was wr... wr... Damn! I was wrong about Boy Wonder Felix Arroyo.

    --Biggest surprise, to people I spoke with last night (and to me): Steve Murphy's outstanding showing, nearly topping the at-large field.

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  • November 04, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Tom Menino's victory speech in the packed Fairmont Copley ballroom was as much cautionary as celebratory. The papers may write about a historic fifth term, he said; but "when we've put our residents in jobs, shops in vacant spaces, students through college, and this city past a fiscal downturn, then let's talk about history."

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  • November 03, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    As of 3:00 this afternoon, just under 60,000 ballots had been cast in Boston -- a 16.7% turnout so far, with five hours left, including the after-work rush. Based on the trends in the preliminary -- which had a relatively high late vote -- we can expect roughly 115,000 votes.

    One thing I'm looking for is where voting is up (or not) relative to the September preliminary -- and were those Menino strongholds or anti-Menino neighborhoods in the preliminary?

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  • November 02, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Ayanna Pressley's campaign passes along their list of pols who have recorded robo-calls for her:

    US Senator John Kerry; Sheriff Andrea Cabral; city councilors Mike Ross and John Tobin; state senators Sonia Chang-Diaz and Steve Tolman; and state reps Willie Mae Allen, Gloria Fox, Byron Rushing and Marty Walz.

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