Maybe it’s not Martha Coakley’s fault. Likely, she was just given the same advice that anyone else would have received. She’s a Democrat in a Democratic state, filling in for the venerable Ted Kennedy, miles ahead in terms of name recognition, running away in the primaries. She was very probably told to lay low, establish relationships with the union bosses and other Democratic heavy hitters whose support she would need down the line. It’s a special election with a short time span, any time she opens her mouth brings risk. Best just to run a silent campaign, with her ahead by over 35% in the polls, the election would take care of itself.
Then this happened:
Coakley bristles at the suggestion that, with so little time left, in an election with such high stakes, she is being too passive.
“As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?’’ she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that.
That quote was in an article meant to portray Coakley in a positive light. But in my opinion, it stands for everything that is wrong with her candidacy and MA Democrats. What I think she was trying to say was that, in such circumstances as this special election, she has to carefully budget her time, and it is better spent dealing with people who can bring out larger blocs of voters, rather than individuals.
The problem is, this is no longer the world in which we live. We now live in the world of The Interwebs, where the individual has a lot more power to cause a ruckus. So, when Coakley publicly eschews – even appears to deride – meeting the people who will vote for her, it reveals an arrogance, a taking for granted of the very voters who can vote her in, to whom she says she will be responsible in one of her ads.
The negative ads have more than a whiff of desperation. I got one in my email, announcing a rally with Pres. Obama. But here’s a juicy line:
With right-wing reactionary Scott Brown and his Swift Boat allies launching new attacks every day, we need to get out there and show our support for Martha Coakley.
Uhhh…no. That’s not even close. And how exactly is Coakley being Swift Boated? The Brown campaign has not spread a single lie about her. They have had no reason to do so. Coakley apparently is Swift Boating herself.
This election, however, is about bigger things than the idiotic campaign by Coakley, or Brown’s great zingers. It’s about whether or not we wish to see the most progressive piece of legislation in our generation pass. It’s about giving help to a President who I believe in and I feel deserves it. So I will hold my nose, take a Dramamine, and vote for Coakley because I care about these things. But the MA Democrats are officially on notice as of this campaign.