As I said the day after the Primary election, and I will say again, it is wonderful this morning to finally be able to feel good about the government officials who were chosen to lead our state and country.
Deval Patrick's victory was indeed, as Sen. Kennedy said, "a shot heard 'round the world" although when Kennedy referred to the "shot heard 'round the world" starting at Concord's Old North Bridge, I could feel a collective discomfort fill the room of Lexingtonians we were watching the returns with...
I have been watching Deval Patrick ever since my son signed on as one of his first paid campaign organizers in early 2005. When he came to Lexington on the day he announced his candidacy he was careful about his answers to questions because he admitted that he hadn't thought through many of the issues. As the campaign went on, he learned more about the issues and applied his values and instincts to coming up with stands on the issues. I believe Deval Patrick represents the good values that we all seek -- honesty, humility, openness and most importantly, a positiveness towards government which he views as people doing good things for each other.
In last night's acceptance speech, I listened attentively to his comments about the Governor acting on behalf of all of the citizens of the Commonwealth -- not just the Democrats and not just the people who voted for him -- all people. His actions during the campaign when he matured his positions on the issues facing the Commonwealth makes me believe him when he says his administration will listen to inputs from all sides, and make decisions based on this information and the set of values he showed us during the campaign.
I thought Kerry Healy's concession speech was excellent. She was gracious, and kind -- a side of her which, if she had shown during the campaign, would have made this a much closer election.
Nation-wide, there was a clear message sent to Washington: Americans are very unhappy with the way our country is being governed. Mid-term elections usually result in a similar erosion of the President's party in Congress. And this year was no exception. We will probably hear from the Bush administration that this normal erosion is a clear victory for their cause. But that is wrong. There was a significant impact of that dissatisfaction yesterday and the results will be a Congress more representative of the people. Congress will no longer be a rubber stamp for the President, and that is good. I believe that the Democrats realize we now need to cause some positive action. I urge you to read and consider the newly written 6 point action plan which reflects long held Democratic Party principles. You can find this at http://www.democrats.org
Speaking of rubber stamps, many have complained that with a Democratic Governor and a Democratic Legislature, there will be no checks and balances in State government. I think there is another way of looking at this: with a responsible Governor such as Deval Patrick in office and an active Legislature which is on the same page as the Governor, rather than having the two branches of Government fighting each other, as we have had in the last 4 years, we are about to have both bodies of Government working towards the same goals.
People who voted against Deval Patrick and feel that it has been a good idea to have this form of antagonistic checks and balances, need to admit that a majority of the Commonwealth disagrees with you.
Looking at the Lexington Results:
an amazing 70% of the registered voters participated in the election. I wonder how much of this was due to interest in the election and how much due to the Get Out The Vote efforts by both parties.
In the Governor's race, twice as many people voted for Patrick as for Healy. But it wasn't four times as many: bi-Partisanship is alive and well in Lexington.