SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election Forum

October 12, 2012

Benton: Brown, Tisei could tackle gridlock

A poll this week showed U.S. Sen. Scott Brown holding a slight edge over Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. John Tierney’s efforts to link opponent Richard Tisei with the more extreme elements of the Republican Party shows the desperation the incumbent is feeling as he seeks to hold onto the seat on which he has had a stranglehold for most of the past 16 years.

Both races hold significance nationally, as the election of moderate Republicans like Brown and Tisei is essential to breaking the partisan gridlock in Washington regardless of who occupies the White House beginning in January 2013.

Elsewhere in the country, tea partyers like Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann and Illinois’ Joe Walsh are in deep trouble. Their extremist positions on everything from taxes to social issues have resulted in a stalemated Congress.

Indeed, we suspect House Speaker John Boehner would welcome more moderate voices in the Republican caucus — voices like that of Tisei who, despite the best efforts of the Tierney campaign to paint him otherwise, is a pragmatist who during a long legislative career proved himself willing and able to work with the Democratic majority on Beacon Hill. That may be why Boehner was in town this week to help raise money for Tisei’s campaign committee.

---

Despite their much-proclaimed differences in style and philosophy, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney face limited choices when it comes to reducing the deficit and dealing with conflict in the Middle East. The major fear for both is a Congress obsessed with things like limiting a woman’s right to choose and making the possession of firearms more of an obligation than an option for Americans, to the exclusion of anything else.

In last week’s debate, Romney scored major points by noting how, as Republican governor in a state whose legislature is dominated by Democrats, he was nevertheless able to get things done — things like the passage of a health care reform law that became the model for Obamacare. While Romney has not always been anxious to claim credit for that piece of legislation, he has seemingly come to the realization that the bipartisanship that produced it is what a majority of Americans are looking for in this election.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Election Forum

Local News
  • Ipswich selectmen act to stop clam raiders IPSWICH -- The Southwest is not the only border under siege. Ipswich is taking emergency action to deal with clammers coming across the Essex and Gloucester border on Sundays to harvest on the richest clamming beach in Ipswich. It's not as serious, o

    July 22, 2014

  • fessendens Volunteers planning playroom makeover for Beverly's Riley Fessenden

    For Riley Fessenden, a fun day at home might include playing games, building with Legos and watching a movie with her family. This week, a whole lot of people are going make sure she has a great place to do all of those things. About 70 volunteers ar

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos 4 Stories

  • New Brimbal Avenue design to be presented Thursday

    BEVERLY -- Residents will get their first chance to weigh in on the new design proposal for the Brimbal Avenue/Route 128 interchange on Thursday. City and state officials, along with designer Jacobs Engineering, will host a community meeting Thursday

    July 22, 2014 6 Stories

  • Gettysburg Ipswich students honor Gettysburg Address's 150th anniversary

    IPSWICH -- A group of 30 kids gathered at the Ipswich Public Library Tuesday evening to recite the Gettysburg Address to their friends and family from the balcony. The students, who are in grades 3 through 8, have been studying the document as part

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marblehead diver rescue 2 Body of diver recovered off Marblehead

    State Police divers found the body of a 59-year-old man in the waters off Marblehead at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story