Brown Supporters Down But Not Out
By Loren Savini
BU News Service
BOSTON – Robert G. Burke came to Scott Brown’s Election Night event sporting an icon he hoped would represent victory for the Republican senator.
“This symbol is very important,” he said, pointing at an American flag he had fastened to his camera bag. “When you vote for Scott Brown, you’re voting for America. When you vote for Elizabeth Warren, you’re voting for an ideology.”
Signs and symbols were scattered through the Park Plaza Hotel ballroom on Tuesday night, but they did little to keep away the gloom for several hundred supporters who hoped to see Brown defeat Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
Entering the ballroom, guests were greeted by a large projection that read “Scott Brown: He’s for us.” Blue and red lights lined the sides of the room and patriotic flags were draped around a 50-foot stage.
Kate Kane, a 58 year-old volunteer for the Republican Party, stuck out in the well-dressed crowd by fashioning a vest by cutting armholes into a Scott Brown banner. She stood in front of a television with a confident smile on her face.
“We’re very excited,” she said. “I want to be sure money from taxes is going to the people paying taxes.”
Kane is the mother of a special needs child and had a personal stake in Brown’s re-election. In his time as a U.S. senator, Brown had donated $3,500 to Autism research, she said.
Joe Tringale, a 20 year-old student at Fitchburg State University, said that he had driven an hour and half to come to the election night event. Tringale had been working on this campaign and considered himself friends with Brown.
Tringale’s plan if Brown lost?
“Work on Scott’s next campaign and move my money offshore,” he said with a grin.
But the grin was gone after the votes had been counted.
“She’s the least qualified person for this position,” Tringale said. “The voters [in Massachusetts] will only vote for whoever has a D behind their name.”
Moments before Brown’s concession speech, a woman with a Scott Brown sticker proudly stuck to her forehead watched the official announcement of Warren’s victory on a nearby television.
“I hate her guts!” she yelled before storming back into the crowd gathering in anticipation of Brown’s arrival on stage.
Brown was greeted by an uproar of cheers and applause.
“I don’t want to see any sad faces, we ran a fantastic campaign,” he said.
Brown shared with the audience that he had just called Warren to offer his congratulations. The crowd did not take kindly to the mention of the new senator’s name – loud boo’s drowned him out before he could finish his sentence.
Then he offered hope.
“Defeat is only temporary,” he said. The crowd responded with “Go, Scott, Go!” pumping their fists in the air.
“I’m kind of psyched that you guys hung around,” Brown said with a smile.
After Brown’s speech, some supporters looked for solace in hugs of condolence, tears and a bit of alcohol. To ease the pain bartenders sympathetically handed out a few free shots of tequila to a group of disappointed guests.
“We lost everything tonight,” one said as he choked back the liquor.