The most bizarre was the president's, in his interview with George Stephanopoulos, where he indicated there was a kind of a failure to communicate, a failure to explain this. First of all, the president has been ubiquitous arguing for this. The longer it's been before the public, the less support there has been for it.
ROBERTS: You're talking about health care?
WILL: Health care, yes, and this really was a health care election. Tip O'Neill's axiom that all politics was local was stood on its head up there. This was a referendum on a particular piece of legislation that is the signature legislation of the administration, and the people of Massachusetts and the country are hotly angered over its substance, but coldly contemptuous of the process that brought it about, the serial bribery.
ROBERTS: I think it's much more the process than the substance. I don't think anybody knows what's in the bill. But the -- but I think everybody is just furious with Washington, and Barack Obama rode that tide last year, and -- and now he's feeling the waves breaking on him.
The fact is, is that everything that's happening in that beautiful building right there is making people mad. And -- and Scott Brown was the beneficiary of that.
MORAN: Do you think George is right that the president doesn't get it?
DONALDSON: Oh, I think the president gets it after the fact. I mean, that's always the best time to get it. Cokie's right. I mean, remember the anchorman, the old one, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore." That's the way the voters are in this country, and the great American slogan when that happens is, "Throw the bums out." The bums at the moment happen to be in. They're the Democrats. And, therefore, I don't care what your name is, or how much experience you have or don't have, or what your positions are even. You're the other guy.
DOWD: Well, what I -- what's funny (inaudible) think it's funny is that, unlike Las Vegas, what happens in Massachusetts doesn't stay in Massachusetts, and this is something that's a wave that's moving across the country.
I think this is a signal for both political parties and members of Congress in both sides. I think what the country has been saying for the last few years, when the Republicans held office and the Democrats took -- came in, they said, "You're not listening to us. You're not doing what we want. You're not doing the process the way we want."
Barack Obama wins a big election. They expand their majority. And within a year, the Democrats lose New Jersey, they lose Virginia, and they lose a Senate race in Ted Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts. And it wasn't a Republican victory. It was a victory for an outsider that says Washington doesn't get it, Republicans and Democrats, you guys don't get it. We're going to try something else.
MORAN: Well, the Republicans seem to think it -- many -- that it was a Republican victory, just as the Democrats did in 2008. Take a look at a chart that -- that refutes that a little bit. This is a chart that shows how people identify themselves. Are they liberal, moderate, or conservative? Over the course of the last five years, there's basically been no change -- that's the message, that this country didn't swing to the left in 2008 and it's not swinging to the right now.