Scott Brown, a Republican, is Massachusett's newest US Senator, after defeating Martha Coakley, a Democrat. This was a special election to choose a
person to serve out the remaining 2 years of Teddy Kennedy's term. Kennedy died from a brain tumor last August.
Ironically, this didn't need to happen, if Kennedy had left well enough alone.
Here's the back story:
Presidential election, 2004. Bush (incumbent) running against US Senator John Kerry (D-MA). The governor of MA. is Mitt Romney (R).
Massachusetts has historically been a solidly BLUE (Democrat) state.
If Kerry wins, he becomes POTUS. Who would have filled his Senatorial seat? That is the right and responsibility of the governor. Mass. law at that
time gives the governor the power to appoint a new Senator. Remember, the governor is Romney, a Republican.
Naturally, Romney would have named a Republican to fill Kerry's seat.
Anticipating this, Kennedy successfully implores the Massachusetts legislature to change the law to require a special election for Senator. He's
stolen a powerful tool from Romney.
Fast forward to yesterday: the special election to fill Kennedy's empty seat gives the win to the Republican. Exactly what Kennedy was trying to
avoid in 2004.
Had Kennedy not meddled in state law back in 2004, yesterday's election would have never taken place. The current governor, Deval Patrick (D), would
have chosen a Democrat to replace him, and Obama would still have his 60 member super-majority in the US Senate.
A lesson from Teddy: Be careful what you wish for.