The U.S. Senate seat Scott Brown won in Massachusetts tonight has been in Democratic hands since John F. Kennedy ousted Henry Cabot Lodge in 1952; no other Senate seat had been held by the Democrats longer than this one. This marks the second defeat in ten weeks in one of the nation’s bluest state: Christopher Christie was sworn in today as governor of New Jersey – a state that went longer (twelve years) without electing a Republican than the other 49.
Brown’s victory was a loss for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Committee. But it’s hard to blame Menendez for the defeat – national pundits say Bay State voters were sending a message to President Barack Obama. And it didn’t help that the Democratic Senate candidate, Martha Coakley, seemed eerily similar to Jon Corzine; she never seemed to fully capture the essence of politics. For Menendez, it’s the second time in the last few months that Democrats didn’t follow his advice.