Twenty-four days ago, on Dec. 28, state Sen. Scott Brown, the Republican nominee in the Massachusetts Senate election, promised he would be the 41st vote against the Democratic health-care bill. Almost no one noticed. Mr. Brown was trailing Democrat Martha Coakley by 20 points, and she was still on her six-day Christmas break from campaigning.
Twenty-two days made a difference. On Tuesday night, Mr. Brown strode to the platform at the Park Plaza Hotel and delivered his victory speech. While Washington reporters were busy speculating on whether President Obama would use his State of the Union speech to prod Democrats into jamming through their health-care bill before Mr. Brown is seated, the new Massachusetts senator delivered what amounted to a State of the Union speech himself.
Interim Sen. Paul Kirk, he announced, had completed his work in Washington. There would be no 60th vote for a health-care bill. The president was always welcome in Massachusetts, he said. And then Mr. Brown channeled Franklin Delano Roosevelt's riposte to the attacks on his dog Fala by saying that he resented Mr. Obama's attacks on his truck.
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Michael Barone is a senior fellow at AEI.