News / USA

Obama Campaigns in Crucial Massachusetts Senate Race

TEXT SIZE - +

U.S. President Barack Obama made a last minute campaign stop Sunday in Massachusetts, where a crucial election Tuesday will fill the Senate seat held by the late Edward "Ted" Kennedy.  The race is extremely tight, and the president's legislative agenda is at stake.

When Democrats in Massachusetts went to the polls last month to choose their nominee for this special election, there was little cause for concern.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state by a 3-to-1 margin.   And party leaders felt they could coast to victory.

They were wrong.

A little known Republican state senator named Scott Brown has turned this into an extremely tight race, and Democratic candidate Martha Coakely is fighting for her political life.

With time running out, President Obama traveled to Boston to energize the party faithful. "Understand what is at stake here, Massachusetts, is whether we are going forward or going backwards," he said.

Also at stake:  the president's health care reform plan.

If Martha Coakley loses, Democrats will no longer have enough votes to keep Republicans from blocking action on the president's top legislative priority.

Concerns about health care and the rising federal deficit are seen as helping Scott Brown and the Republicans in Massachusetts.  President Obama reminded a campaign rally at a Boston-area university that voters should think twice before trusting Republicans to cure the nation's ills. "We sure aren't going to get there if we look backwards and try to re-institute the same failed policies that we have had over the past decade.  That is not going to work. We've been there.  We've done that," he said.

But Republicans counter the president's policies are a blueprint for fiscal disaster.  During an appearance on the Fox News Sunday television program, the top Republican in the Senate, Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, described the Massachusetts election as a referendum on health care. "If it is unpopular in Massachusetts, it's unpopular everywhere.  The American people don't want us to pass this bill," he said.

The irony, perhaps, is that health care reform was one of Ted Kennedy's signature issues.  Kennedy, who served for almost 47 years in the Senate, died in August after battling brain cancer.
 

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid