For the re-election, she isn't overwhelmed that new Sen. Scott Brown snagged Ted Kennedy's seat in some of the same towns in her dictrict. She recognizes voters' confusion and anger in the hard economic times. She figures that the special election differs substantially.
Rep. Tsongas explained her views and votes on the PATRIOT Act and don't-ask-don't-tell. She sees both of them working toward progressive ends by processes that are already underway.
She discussed some of her successes from the Armed Services Committee, in areas as diverse as body armor, sexual assault in the military, and enabling the National Guard to attract doctors and dentists.
She also discussed differences in how the House and Senate operate, seeing her chamber push through numerous progressive reforms that stall in the Senate. For example, one they have been able to pass, thereby beginning to pressure the other body, is ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act). She said after the House passed it, she congratulated our Rep. Barney Frank, who had led the effort. She said that he told her, “You know that was Paul's bill,” referring to her late husband. He had introduced the first form of that bill as a U.S. Senator in 1979.