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GOP's Scott Brown sworn in, ends Senate Democrats' super-majority [Updated]

February 4, 2010 |  9:17 am


[Updated: A photo (above) and video (below) of Brown's oath-taking have been added to this item.]

This is the day it all changes.

Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown, who toppled political and historical expectations by winning the U.S. Senate seat held for almost 50 years by Ted Kennedy, the last surviving son of that....

,,, Democratic touchstone known as Camelot, will be sworn in Thursday afternoon. The White House just announced that Vice President Joe Biden, who officially presides over the Senate, will do the honors.

With Brown's arrival comes the end of President Obama's first year in office, and the start of what might be called the Era of Republican Payback.

One early casualty could be Craig Becker, an attorney for the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO nominated by Obama to the five-member National Labor Relations Board. Republicans want to filibuster the man who thinks employers should have no say in whether employees unionize. With Brown's 41st vote, they can.

Other Obama nominations could also be targeted, one reason why Democrats are rushing to vote today on Martha Johnson's nomination to head the General Services Administration -- before Brown's 5 p.m. swearing-in.

Of course the more substantive battles loom -- over healthcare, a second stimulus package, cap-and-trade legislation and the like. But let the record show that it all began today, when a little-known state legislator from Massachusetts came to Washington to turn the place upside down.

-- Johanna Neuman

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Photo: Courtesy of C-SPAN2       Video credits: C-SPAN2  and  bctvguy via YouTube