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Republicans Early Targets at Southie Breakfast

Two Republicans - newly elected Sen. Scott Brown and gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker - were easy targets Sunday as the heavily Democratic Massachusetts political establishment gathered in South Boston for its annual St. Patrick's Day roast.

Host Jack Hart, a state senator from Southie, hit both in his opening monologue, noting the "rainbow" of people in attendance, most of all the green-wearing Irish. "We also have a Brown - not you, governor," Hart said, poking Gov. Deval Patrick, the state's first black chief executive.

And he said there were red and even yellow folks in the crowd. "That will be Charlie Baker - for not showing up today," Hart said of the latter. Brown himself was late, fueling even more barbs thrown his way.

He rocked the state's overwhelmingly Democratic leadership in January by upsetting Democrat Martha Coakley to win the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy.

Baker decided to skip the event - where outsiders to the usually Democratic crowd often win over the crowd by taking their lumps - to appear instead at a GOP gathering in Scituate.

The party has its annual nominating convention next month in Worcester, and Baker has been trying to line up delegates to forestall a challenge from fellow Republican Christy Mihos.

The head table was a who's who of Massachusetts politics, from Patrick and Coakey, the state's attorney general, to Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, Treasurer Timothy Cahill, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

Among those making a special appearance was Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, who was closing the event with the song that has become his trademark, "God Bless America." And Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was at the head table.

This program aired on March 14, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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