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News of Democrat Martha Coakley's loss to Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts special election is sweeping through the blogosphere like wildfire. Here are some of the first reactions from liberal and conservative pundits as the upset hits headlines:
  • Despite All, Astounded "I didn't think," writes Reason's Tim Cavanaugh, "there was any way the Democrats wouldn't pull this out at the last minute."
  • Everyone's Fault  Saying it's time for Democrats to stop blaming each other and focus on "closing the loop on the health care bill," Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall is losing patience:
Message of the day to all Dems, Coakley, Rahm, Celinda Lake, national Dem committees, Axelrod, whoever, whatever: Shut the *$%& Up! I don't know how else to say it. I'm watching MSNBC and hearing all the key players dumping on each other. As I've said, the Coakley campaign seems to have been run just terribly. And that's just the beginning of it. But really, with all that's at stake, the White House political office left this to Coakley, unsupervised? Really?
  • So Much for Ted Kennedy "This seems like fairly decisive evidence," tweets The Washington Post's left-leaning Ezra Klein, "that the dream can, in fact, die."
  • Tiring of Obama "You think," wonders New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, "Obama is becoming the next Gordon Brown, w/ voters tiring of a leader so emotionally reserved and cool?"
  • Just the Beginning  Writing "from a Brown victory rally," Michael Graham on the right-leaning Corner blog of the National Review says "these people have had their first taste of political success in a long time ... And they're spoilin' for another brawl in the Bay State."His prediction? "Gov. Patrick does not run for re-election. Massachusetts will elect one Republican congressman ... for Massachusetts liberals, the nightmare is just beginning."
  • Scott Brown for President  Tom Schaller of FiveThirtyEight, which put the odds of a Brown victory at 3:1, sees three possibilities for Brown's future: (1) "he's the flavor of the month ... loses in 2012," (2) he "wins re-election in 2012, emerges as a Republican cornerstone in the Senate in a state where his party normally fares poorly," or (3) he becomes "a rising star in a party desperate for fresh faces." Explains Schaller, in this scenario "Brown is immediately elevated to role of GOP icon--a party savior." Which does he think is most likely? Scenario #3: "all the elements are there," including "a symbolically powerful victory" achieved "in a very liberal state," as well as a "telegenic, compelling" appearance--"let's face it: Brown has the look of a presidential candidate." The reputation Brown will get as "the 'guy who won Teddy's seat'" shouldn't be underestimated, Schaller concludes: "You can't buy branding like that."

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