In politics, it's mighty nice when you win, but it's damned irritating when you lose, especially if the election was close or you were favored to come out on top.
There were good examples of these opposite emotions in Massachusetts this week, as the Bay State reaffirmed an identification with liberal causes begun in the 18th century.
It was the only state won by George McGovern in his doomed run for the White House, and in only one major contest did a liberal lose to a more moderate opponent.
Senator Edward W. Brooke came away from his impressive re-election victory over Middlesex Country District Attorney John Droney with the news that he may try to succeed President Nixon in the Oval Office.
Like Nixon, Brooke has a strong sense of history. Being the first black President of the United States would rank high in any encyclopedia, but Brooke will have to fight Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, and possibly Sea. Charles H. Percy (R III.) or renegade Democrat John B. Connolly for the 1976 GOP nomination.
The winners in the Congressional contests, who were more closely pressed than Brooke, were more relieved than beautiful on the morning after the election.
But in the 5th District, where favored antiwar John Kerry lost to moderate Republican Paul W. Cronin, and the 12th, where Republican William Weeks '49 was edged by Democratic Gerry Studds, the losers were particularly unhappy.
Kerry, who had been is the lead for most of the campaign but was hurt badly by the late withdrawal of Independent Roger Durkin, made a sour concession speech blaming "the politics of fear" for his defeat.
Weeks yesterday asked for a recount of the ballots cast in his race, finding it hard to accept his losing margin of 1522 votes. Unofficial figures showed Studds on top by 117,722 votes to Weeks' 116,465, severing a long Republican hold on the seat.
In Cambridge, incumbent Democratic State Representatives Thomas H.D. Mahoney, Michael J. Lombardi and John J. Toomey all easily won re-election, and State Senator Francis X. McCann disposed of long-time adversary David F. Wylie.
Asked after the election if Wylie hadn't done pretty well for a sticker campaign, McCann replied "Yeah, except he lost by 25,000 votes."