I’m speaking about the true winners in every campaign seasons – those who not only run ahead of their parties, but also manage to win the elections that their party doesn’t hope to win even in the best of seasons. I think of Jack Kennedy coming to the Senate in 1952, the year that Republican Dwight Eisenhower was winning right across the country – including in Massachusetts. I think of Joe Biden coming to the Senate in 1972, a year that Democrat George McGovern was being crushed right across the country – including in Delaware. Both Kennedy and Biden beat Republican incumbent senators; both beat respected veterans who’d nobody had been able to defeat before. Kennedy and Biden not only won in bad years, but also beat opponents that people had a hard time imagining as losers. There are five states with Republican Senate seats up for grabs this November: Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire and Ohio. The Democrat who can win in that kind of race will come into the Senate as a superstar. Watch those five states. Those are the places where we are going to see the real winners arise in 2010. Why? Because if you can win in the worst possible year, and if you can win in states where the other side has won before, then you are somebody to watch for higher things.
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