No one mentions the minor Republican victory in traditionally-Democrat Massachusetts, or reads too much into it. Ha! In opposite world! You can't move for Senator Scott Brown's smug face on the front pages today.
Was this a referendum on Obama and the Democrats, or just a bad political campaign by Martha Coakley? Chuck Todd tweeted the Democrat view that "by the time they asked for help, they'd already lost." But the papers settle firmly on the former. The theme seems to be that Brown rode a wave of anger to victory — the New York Times, Washington Post and New York Post use versions of the same image.
The paradox that the healthcare bill may be crippled because the Democrats failed to defend Ted Kennedy's seat is not lost either. In the New York Times story the late Senator is quoted as saying healthcare reform was "the cause of my life." Which puts Republican crowing over their increased chances of preventing affordable, fair healthcare over some undigested claims of fiscal responsibility into a sobering context.
Other non-political news:
- The New York Times quotes i09's Annalee Newitz all over the freakin' show in this piece on different interpretations of Avatar.
- The Washington Post looks at the fight against al-Qaeda in Yemen.
- And the Wall Street Journal scoops every reporter in Afghanistan and gets an interview with the most notorious new warlord in the country — the man responsible for the Kabul attacks, no less.
Disclosure: I freelance write and report for newspapers that are included in this roundup. Where there is a direct conflict of interest I will make it clear.
The New York Times: run two stories on the election — one a straight report and the other an analysis piece. There's more from Haiti, a report on budget cuts in Albany and the news that kids like the internet. i09's Annalee Newitz is quoted extensively in this article about the different causes and flaws people see in Avatar.
The Washington Post: have no fewer than three different articles on last night's upset; a news story, an analysis of this "key reversal" and a look at how this affects healthcare reform. There's also news that a bipartisan panel will form to look at the nation's budget deficit. American troops' arrival in Haiti and a piece on the fight against al-Qaeda in Yemen rounds out the front page.
The LA Times: have a nice juxtaposition of literal storm clouds and political ones — the story about Scott Brown's victory is above the picture for one about a menacing storm gathering in LA. But home sales are increasing in the area, so at least more people will have comfortable places to sit it out. There's a dispatch from Haiti, and a piece from Afghanistan.
The Wall Street Journal: go as far as to say the Senate has been upended by Brown's victory. There's an excellent story on the most notorious among a new generation of Afghan guerrilla warlords — expect to see the name of Sirajuddin Haqqani in more reports now he's been given celebrity bad guy status. And there's news of the battle over a 10-year-old child genius in Asia.
The New York Post: pulls out all the stops — two headlines, red font and a picture of Obama looking downcast.
The Daily News: figured out that 'Mass', the abbreviation for Massachusetts, sounds like 'ass'.
Tyler Morning Telegraph: here's a quote, from a bizzaro enterprise piece on what arsonists might look like. "Fire investigators say arsonists look like any other person and can be from a low-income family with a poor education or be highly successful." That narrows it down. Thanks.
i (Portugal): comic book Obama!