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David S. Bernstein

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Elephant in the Room

Massachusetts Republicans suddenly think this is their year — but if they shoot too high, they might fall hard
Platoons of state Republicans, energized by Scott Brown's stunning victory over Democrat Martha Coakley last week, are setting their sights on November.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 27, 2010


Disaster, then détente

Politically speaking, Hurricane Katrina this was not
From the first days after the earthquake struck Haiti — long before anyone knew how dire the situation was, let alone how the US government would respond — pundits were wagging their tongues about the potential political implications. A poor response, they said, would invite comparisons to the Bush administration's bungled handling of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 25, 2010


How Brown won

While Massachusetts Democrats assess blame for who lost the Senate seat, the truth is that Scott Brown won it
As the Massachusetts US Senate election unfolded yesterday, all that the pols and pundits wanted to talk about was how Martha Coakley managed to lose the race. And there is plenty there to dissect. But there is another part of the story, and that is how Scott Brown managed to win it.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 22, 2010


Ready to rumble

As the Senate race comes to an end, the challengers for Deval Patrick's job are sharpening their knives
Last summer, the upcoming race that got most Bay State politicos salivating was the run for governor.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 13, 2010


Chaos Theory

2010 might be the year Massachusetts politics undergoes an unprecedented reshuffling.
In less than two weeks, when Massachusetts voters elect Martha Coakley to the US Senate — let's not pretend that Republican state senator Scott Brown has any chance of pulling off the monumental upset — they will trigger a massive domino effect that has the state's political class buzzing with anticipation.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 08, 2010


2009: Rants of the Right

Going where few reviewers dare to tread.
Few "respectable" publications were willing to review the year's top-selling conservative books, but the Phoenix has no fear. After wading through 2500 or so pages of right-wing ravings, your brave correspondent reports back with the following analyses.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 22, 2009


Reading is fundamentalist

Conservative screeds dominated the book charts this year. Will future election results follow the bestseller lists?
In 2009, liberals held firm control of the presidency, the US Senate, and the US House of Representatives. But there was one realm where conservatives dominated: the New York Times bestseller list.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 22, 2009


Brown Bagging

Even GOP insiders don't expect Scott Brown to beat Martha Coakley. But they care how he loses.
If you are finding it hard to get enthused about the seemingly preordained drubbing that Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley will give to the GOP nominee, State Senator Scott Brown, in the special election for US Senate, you are not alone.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 16, 2009


State of flux

Inside the Massachusetts State House, a forecast of political chaos for 2010 promises extreme gridlock
A few weeks ago, the state legislature headed into its winter break with what might be called a flurry of inactivity.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 11, 2009


Coakley cashes in at the bar

Lawyering Up
It's no surprise that Martha Coakley has raised much of her money for her US Senate campaign from lawyers — that has been her professional and social circle for pretty much her entire adult life.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 04, 2009


The X factor

Come Monday, it's a one-week spring to the primary — and to capture the hearts of undecided voters.
Martha Coakley should be plenty thankful for the holiday weekend. The polls suggest that, if nothing significant changes between now and the December 8 primary, she should handily claim the Democratic nomination for US Senate.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 24, 2009


Ladies' man

In his race for US Senate, Michael Capuano is using well-known women to battle the race's female front-runner.
Early last week, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government announced suddenly that Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, would speak at a forum that Friday afternoon.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 18, 2009


Has Obama peaked? No, he hasn't

Obama’s days of greatest power and popularity lie before him. But be warned: he might not do what you want with it.
Barack Obama's popularity should not be judged by the day-to-day, media-driven vagaries of politics — nor by the wishful thinking of his opponents.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 12, 2009


The Quiet Storm

In this desperate downtime, is Deval Patrick regrouping, or cluelessly steering a sinking ship?
In recent weeks, Governor Deval Patrick has been receiving some of his best press in a long time — which is to say, he’s gotten very little coverage at all.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 04, 2009


Taking sides

The US Senate election is forcing Massachusetts pols to choose their team. Plus, Pagliuca’s plan, and the state GOP tries to get serious.
The stakes are high in the battle for Massachusetts’s first new US senatorship in a quarter-century.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 04, 2009


Holding his punches

The pundits think a desperate Michael Flaherty needs to throw haymakers at the mayor, but he insists steady pressure will win the fight
All year, Boston’s political observers have been watching for signs of an anti-Menino tipping point in the mayoral race.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  October 21, 2009


Khazei, Like a Fox?

Insiders don’t think Alan Khazei has a chance in the US Senate race. But progressive activists could make him an underdog with bite.
If there is to be a candidate in the Massachusetts US Senate race who inspires the sort of grassroots, progressive following that propelled Governor Deval Patrick into office three years ago — an insurgent candidacy, if you will — it figures to be idealistic public-service advocate Alan Khazei, co-founder of City Year and founder of Be the Change, Inc.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  October 16, 2009


Final four?

The City Council preliminary is seldom a preview of the finish. But this time, it just might be.
Some of Boston's savviest political insiders were confident of one thing going into last week's preliminary election: the top four finishers in the at-large City Council race would not be the same quartet to actually win those four seats in November.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  September 30, 2009


Can Flaherty woo Yoon?

Don't call it a victory just yet; Michael Flaherty's work has only begun. Will Sam Yoon come to his aid?
Michael Flaherty, having earned a spot Tuesday on the November ballot, starts his six-week push to the Boston mayoral final with a big problem. He needs Sam Yoon's voters, and to get them he needs Sam Yoon.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  September 28, 2009


Six for the seat

After a tumultuous week, these half dozen are still in the mix for Kennedy's seat.
Over the next few months, as candidates for the US Senate travel the state, you're likely to hear them say again and again that nobody can ever truly replace Ted Kennedy. That's the truth. But what does the state want next, after such a legendary, larger-than-life figure?
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  September 16, 2009


Menino's 50-Percent Solution

The incumbent mayor is going to cruise through the upcoming preliminary. So why does his campaign seem to be taking it so seriously?
For years, many in Boston (including here at the Phoenix ) have lamented the absence of a vigorous campaign that would force the long-time incumbent to defend his record and discuss the issues.
By: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  September 11, 2009

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