Social and Political Commentary

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Melrose, once Republican, roars for Obama

... results of national election -- in Hometown, USA

by SilverStringer Don Norris

Oddly, Melrose -- for ancient years the heart and soul of the Republican Party -- went head-over-heels for the Democratic candidate Barack Obama in Tuesday's national election.

Every precinct -- 14 in all, save one -- got on the Democratic landslide. Precinct 2 in Ward 4 -- basically the wealthier heart of the city out Upham Street -- was the only one to go for Republican John McCain.

Of our 27,000 residents, 15,270 went to the polls Tuesday.

The city was solidly against any major change in the state tax system, the people agreed that decriminalizing the use of small caches of marijuana was now in order, voted down dog racing in Massachusetts, and solidly voted to expand wine and beer licenses in local restaurants.

We Melrosians even voted for the sale of beer and wine in three of our food stores -- on a very conservative basis. For a hundred or so years, Melrose has been a "dry" town, and we had to drive to Malden to restock our cabinets. Still, however, no hard liquor -- only beer and wine -- can be peddled in "specialty shops" in our town.

Of the 15,300 ballots cast, 9,000 were for Senator Obama, versus 5,800 for Senator McCain. One could almost hear the grumbling at our Wyoming Cemetery as old-time Melrose voters (synonymous with Republicanism) rolled over in their graves. Times have changed, and the people are obviously dissatisfied with the Bush/Cheney regime.

The detailed story of the numbers was carried in this week's Melrose Free Press, written by Editor Carol Brooks Ball and key writer Daniel DeMaina. Our "cheat-sheet" that we carried into the voting booth -- it was a long, detailed ballot -- however, was supplied by the other local weekly, the Melrose News, which, like the Free Press, is published in another town.

Map from Melrose Community Connection

November 7, 2008

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