What a difference a year makes
The Doug Flutie Band entertained a couple of thousand celebrating Republicans with the old Free song It's Alright Now. Even if Republicans don't quite believe it is alright now, it has certainly just got a whole lot better for them.
The former presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney told the crowd: "This really does change everything." It was a shot that would be heard around the world, a message to liberal, arrogant Washington, he said.
The victor, Scott Brown, told his supporters people didn't want a trillion dollar healthcare reform which would raise taxes, destroy jobs and get the country deeper into debt. He said: "We need to start afresh" on healthcare, "we can do better!". "Yes, we can!" chanted back the crowd. He told them that what had happened there, could happen all over America.
Over at the other camp, the defeated Martha Coakley rejected the blame that will inevitably come her way, telling campaign workers to give themselves a round of applause. But she said it was clear that people were unhappy about the economy and worried about healthcare.
Even before the result was officially announced, aides said President Obama was surprised and angry. To lose a state that was won by John F. Kennedy in 1953 and held by his brother Teddy Kennedy for 47 years until his death last year is a calamity in its own right for the Democratic Party.
It stings all the more that it comes on the very day that the president has been in power a year and it has real, immediate political impact.
The Democrats are now one vote short of the 60 out of the 100 seats they need to control the Senate and prevent the Republicans from filibustering.
This puts healthcare reform in danger. It's not dead but the options for getting it through are either unpalatable or unlikely to succeed. It makes other tricky legislation, like passing climate change laws more difficult.
This a morale boost to Republicans who already felt on a roll. We will now see a battle for interpretations.
Republicans will portray this as the rejection of healthcare reform and big government by a people who voted for Obama but got more than they bargained for. The word "arrogant" will be used a lot.
Democrats, I suspect, will see it as an understandable anger about the economy and jobs, and argue they are getting the blame for something that began on the last president's watch.
Of course people don't vote, or change their votes, for one single reason and both may be true. It will be a part of my job in the coming months to try and discern what the mood really is.
Either way it is an uncomfortable anniversary for the president.
Obama won by promising change from the old way of doing things, being against the establishment, against Washington. Now he is in power the Republicans seek to portray themselves as the representatives of the people, not only against those in power, but against the way they wield power.
Washington is, and has been for a long time, filled with people who say they despise the political establishment. Not for the first time the race to be the biggest populist on the block is on.