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Earlier versions of this article, including in the print edition of Thursday's Washington Post, misstated the game in which former Red Sox pitching ace Curt Schilling led his team to victory over the Yankees despite an ankle injury. It was Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series.

Scott Brown's Senate win in Massachusetts had echoes of Ted Kennedy

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The Republican taking over the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat plans to go to Washington tomorrow. Scott Brown gives Senate Republicans the 41st vote they need for a filibuster and to possibly block President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

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By Karl Vick
Thursday, January 21, 2010; 8:16 AM

BOSTON -- On the morning after his upset victory in Massachusetts's Senate race, Scott Brown complained of getting no sleep at all, yet sounded far less grumpy than the voters whose rage everyone seemed to be saying he rode to victory.

"If you would have told me growing up that, you know, a guy whose mom was on welfare and parents had some marital troubles, and I had some issues, you know, growing up, that I would be here, standing before you now and going to Washington, D.C., are you kidding me?" Brown said at a news conference. "It's not only overwhelming, but it's so -- I can't tell you how proud I am to be here."

The Republican elected as the crucial 41st Senate vote that would stop the Democrats' health-care bill went on to strike a conciliatory tone. "We're past campaign mode," he said, adding that it is important to find a way for "everyone to get some form of health care."

While asking the Massachusetts secretary of state to speed the formalities for assuming office, Brown said he would travel to Washington on Thursday to pay courtesy calls on Capitol Hill. He also promised to reach across the aisle in the tradition of the late Edward M. Kennedy, the Democrat who held the seat for 47 years, after his brother John had it for eight.

Moderator David Gergen's reference to it as "Teddy Kennedy's seat" in the campaign's only debate prompted a comeback from Brown that became a rallying cry: "It's the people's seat."

"Backstage, he didn't even know who I was," Brown told a local television reporter Tuesday night.

But in a state that last elected a Republican to the Senate in 1972, Tuesday night's result took some by surprise.

"I never thought I'd see the day it'd happen in Massachusetts," said Kristin Kelly, 22, at an Irish bar after midnight.

Kelly grew up in a large Irish Catholic family in Brockton, majored in health and human services at Suffolk University, minored in political science, and talks politics with the regulars at the Beacon Hill pub where she waits tables. The screensaver on her phone is a photograph of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, silhouetted in the French doors of the White House.

Of Edward Kennedy, she said: "There was alcoholism. Scandal. I truly believe he was a good politician and had a lot of good ideas even though he wasn't perfect." She gestured toward her best friend, Alice Fallon, on the next stool. "I was explaining Chappaquiddick to her earlier."

"I'm not from Massachusetts," Fallon said.

"Everyone thinks Massachusetts is so liberal," she added. "And coming from outside, I see it as a very split state, with no middle ground."


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