John Silber, the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts, lost to Republican William Weld by about 76,000 votes out of more than 2 million cast. His thoughts on the matter, in the Boston Sunday Globe:
"When one loses an election as closely as I did -- a change of 38,000 votes out of 2.3 million cast would have reversed the outcome -- it is tempting to excuse one's performance and also wonder whether one could have won by doing a little better. Or to put it more bluntly, to take comfort in thinking that you have just been run over by the locomotive of history or to experience the disquieting thought that you've blown an election that you could have won. In my case, I can see evidence for both diagnoses."
Silber, a Texas native, said his outspoken style -- "I have a fondness for hyperbole" -- would better serve a Texas politician but was "easily misinterpreted in Massachusetts."
Late in the campaign, he referred to Weld as an "orange-headed WASP" and a "back-stabbing son of a bitch." Silber apologized for the latter remark. He also made statements about women, blacks, Jews and other minorities that repeatedly caused controversy.
"In the genteel atmosphere of New England, these were used to divert attention from more important issues," Silber wrote. "These faults hardly add up to a temperament unfit to govern. But perhaps they cost me 50,000 votes. If they did, then perhaps I did blow the election, although I am not sure."
He concluded on a positive note: "Don't cry for me, Massachusetts."