WASHINGTON – Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine this afternoon said the Massachusetts election was a major wake-up call that has informed the strategy for the upcoming mid-term elections.
“The Massachusetts race, I think, was a ghost of Christmas future experience for us,” Kaine told reporters at a luncheon organized by the Christian Science Monitor. “Better to have that in January 2010 than in November.”
Kaine said that national Democrats did not get involved early enough, but that the shocking victory of Republican Senator Scott Brown has helped them since craft their message. Kaine today also outlined the Democratic Party’s message for the November elections, saying the party would bill itself “The Results Party” and suggest that progress would be halted if Republicans are elected.
“What we got in January 2010 was a 10 month advance on what November would be like unless we think very carefully about what we want to do in the mid-terms,” Kaine said. “The assessments that we’ve done on [what occurred in Massachusetts] have been key part of what we’re now presenting today as this midterm plan.”
“Independent voters in Massachusetts, they want results,” he added. “They want to see action.”
Kaine also said that national Democrats put too much confidence in the assessments of Massachusetts Democrats and, while he didn’t name her directly, Attorney General Martha Coakley, who was the party’s nominee.
“We’re not trusting anybody else’s statements of how they’re looking in the polls, or their confidence level,” Kaine said. “We’re going to have our own kind of validation and verification of where races are. And that’s very important for us to do. Because once we got in and made some realizations about, ‘Hum. This isn’t maybe going as swimmingly as some might suggest,’ we were able to generate an intense amount of activity from our people who really want to be engaged in elections. But just not soon enough. So that was on us, but I think we learned a valuable lesson.”
Kaine said the party was concentrating on the mid-term elections and had not started thinking about the 2012 election when Brown will have to run for re-election.
Matt Viser can be reached at email@example.com.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.