Ten years ago this week, East Boston voters joined with the rest of the Commonwealth in electing Mitt Romney as our governor, sending him on a trajectory that would take Romney within a whisker (or two) of becoming President of the United States. But a decade later, East Boston joined with the rest of Romney’s home state in rejecting his Presidential aspirations by a wide margin.
Similarly, two and a half years ago, a little-known Republican State Senator from Wrentham, Scott Brown, was chosen to fill the seat left by the late Ted Kennedy, a Democratic icon both here and across the country. Yet in Tuesday’s election, Brown found himself out of a job by a decisive margin, losing to Elizabeth Warren, a newcomer to the political scene.
America remains a deeply divided nation of red and blue states, but in Massachusetts, we have found a formula of moderation in every aspect of government that works well and that has resulted in our state ranking at the top for our public education system, for health care for our citizens, and in many other areas that measure the quality of life. We certainly are not perfect, but we understand that the radical Republican extremism exemplified by Presidential candidate Romney and Senator Brown is not the path to a better future for our state or our nation.
Beyond the immediate problems of taming the federal deficit and the myriad of issues we face globally, the biggest challenge facing President Obama and our other leaders is the preservation of the middle class in America. What has always set our nation apart from everyone else in the world has been the strength of our middle class. However, we do not need to read the grim statistics to know that even though the upper one percent is doing very well, the rest of us, the 99 percent, are not. Economic mobility now is lower in our country than in most of the rest of the world and is shrinking every day as the very rich gobble up more and more of our national wealth.
We know that this issue is at the top of the agenda for Democrats, from President Obama, to Senator-elect Warren, to Congressman Mike Capuano to House Speaker Bob DeLeo and Rep. Carlo Basile, to State Senator Anthony Petrucelli. We congratulate them on their great victories and we trust they will continue to work to reverse a trend that began with Ronald Reagan and to lay the foundation for the restoration of the great American middle class in the years ahead.