Warren Prepares for the National Stage [OPINION]
Massachusetts voters turned out in huge numbers yesterday, but did nothing to change the dreary representation at all levels of government that they love to loathe. There were no surprises here or anywhere. Everything went pretty much as expected.
The fact that Liz Warren defeated Geoff Diehl to win another six-year term in the U.S. Senate was expected. The margin of victory was larger than I anticipated, but this is the People's Republic of Massachusetts. It is nearly impossible for a conservative to win here. Diehl fought the good fight.
My colleagues in the media, including my pals Phil, Chris and Ken, were quick to note on election night that Warren's victory was a repudiation of President Trump. "Massachusetts hates Trump," they insisted. Indeed it does, for some illogical reason, but to suggest Warren's win was nothing more than a Trump snub is short-sighted.
Are they suggesting that Warren would have lost had Obama been president? Or George Bush? Or even Hillary Clinton? Of course not. Warren would have won handily in Massachusetts regardless of who is in the White House.
Certainly, Warren's opposition to Trump's policies contributed to her victory, but she has become a very powerful figure in her own right, and there are many other issues that make Warren popular with voters. Warren's positions on immigration, abortion and student debt among other things have generated a following for her that is not to be taken lightly. To dismiss her success as simply being the anti-Trump candidate is ill-advised. Warren has cemented her image as a national candidate.
Let there be no doubt about it, Warren is a candidate for president.
The Democrats have regained control of the U.S. House for the first time in eight years, but have seen their numbers in the Senate further shrink. By retaking the House, Democrats can be a pain in Trump's side, but really can't do much to stop him. The Senate is where the action will take place with judicial confirmations, treaties, trade deals and potential Supreme Court appointments.
We will hear for weeks about how and why the vote went down as it did, but the bottom line is the Democrats were bound to win something after losing so badly in recent years. They were able to energize their base in local House races, but were less successful in larger Senate contests where they paid the price there for their foolish resistance to everything Trump, including the Kavanaugh lynching.
The next two years will be most interesting. The Democrats have been given some responsibility again by the voters. Let's see how they use it. I hope it is wisely.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.