TPM News

Scott Brown's Win Could Impact More Than Health Care The Hill points out that Sen.-elect Scott Brown's (R-MA) victory last night could impact more than just the health care vote: "Democrats, already fractious, are likely to be even more on edge. Lawmakers already worried about addressing issues such as climate change and immigration may grow more anxious about taking politically dangerous votes in an election year where voters have suggested they are disillusioned with Washington. An early legislative victim may be climate change, though its future was in doubt before the rumblings in Massachusetts."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. Obama will deliver remarks and sign an executive order at 10:15 a.m. ET, aimed at preventing companies that are delinquent in paying taxes from obtaining new government contracts. Obama will meet with senior advisers at 11:50 a.m. ET. Obama will deliver remarks at 4:05 p.m. ET, in honor of National Mentoring Month.

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In an interview with the Huffington Post, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod insisted that "we should finish health care."

"We need to move forward aggressively, continuing on job creation, and on financial regulatory reform," Axelrod told the Huffington Post. "But we should finish health care because the caricature of that bill is there and everyone who voted for it will have to live with that. The way to deal with that is to pass the bill and let people see... the value of it."

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Errol Southers, the man the Obama administration had tapped to lead the Transportation Security Administration, and whose confirmation had been blocked by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), is withdrawing his nomination.

"It is clear that my nomination has become a lightning rod for those who have chosen to push a political agenda at the risk of the safety and security of the American people," Southers said in a statement. "This partisan climate is unacceptable and I refuse to allow myself to remain part of their dialogue."

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Rachel Maddow read a lengthy -- and surprising -- statement on her show tonight from Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). Reacting to Republican Scott Brown's win in the Massachusetts' special election for Ted Kennedy's senate seat, Frank said it would be wrong for Democrats to try to muscle health care reform legislation through Congress now that they only had 59 Senate votes.

Brown's win gives Republicans 41 votes in the Senate and robs Democrats of the fragile 60-vote supermajority.

Frank seemed to suggest that without support from at least some Republican senators, health care reform, at least in this iteration, wouldn't happen.

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It didn't take long for the Dems to start the finger pointing in the wake of Martha Coakley's loss in the Massachusetts special Senate election.

As the election night returns came pouring in so did the blame. Coakley, a Democrat and the Massachusetts Attorney General, was ahead of Republican State Senator Scott Brown by double digit margins well into December. But, her lead faded in early January and her campaign was never able to recover.

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New Democratic talking points are emerging after Republican Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, with officials saying the election wasn't a referendum on President Obama or health care.

Republicans have made that exact point in their reactions tonight, but a senior Democrat told TPMDC tonight that while Martha Coakley's loss stings, it wasn't the White House's fault.

Obama wasn't asked to campaign until the final 10 days of the race, when Brown's surge was already underway, the Democrat said. White the party logged a lot of phone calls and doors knocked for Coakley, it wasn't enough to make up for the time she lost by getting her general election campaign off to a slow start.

Brown "tapped into the anger and anxiety Americans are feeling and he won," the Democrat said, adding "This is something the President is familiar with considering it's why we won in 2008."

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Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, released a statement on the Massachusetts Special Election. See the full text below:

House Democrats have been preparing since day one last year for what we knew historically would be a very challenging election cycle. After winning five straight competitive Special Elections, the DCCC knows first hand how difficult they are and we are not taking anything for granted this cycle. The DCCC is aggressively focused on ensuring House Democrats have the resources, strategy, message, and get-out-the-vote operation necessary to win in tough districts.

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National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions issued the following statement tonight regarding the special election in Massachusetts. Here's the full text:

Scott Brown's win confirms the serious ramifications that will haunt Democrats all the way to the November elections. Tonight, Massachusetts voters relived their historic roots with a mass revolt against the Obama-Pelosi agenda of bigger government, higher taxes, and fewer jobs. No matter how Democrats want to spin it, there is a movement building in America that threatens their majority in Congress. All across this country there are candidates like Scott Brown who have had enough and are running to put an end to a culture of fiscal recklessness in Washington.

The dynamics at play in New Jersey and Virginia have manifested again in the bluest of blue states. With Republicans motivated, independents disgusted, and once-reliable liberals disaffected, Democrats are wholly unable to piece together victories - even in states where they once came easily. Should Democrats continue to ignore these results and double down on their attempt to ram a government healthcare takeover down the throats of the American people, they will have far more at stake than a Senate seat in Massachusetts.

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