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Friday, January 15, 2010

When Martha Dissed Teddy

Martha Coakley's slap-shots fired at Fenway Park fans and devout Catholics, her vacation in the middle of a special election, her refusal to debate one-on-one, her D.C. lobbyist fundraiser, and her denial that she witnessed the subsequent assault on a reporter, all have people bewildered as to how Coakley could be so "tone deaf" (in the words of The Gail Collins).

But no one should be surprised. At the start of the primary season, Coakley was so tone deaf as to start her campaign for the seat before Ted Kennedy died, causing allegations that Coakley had shown disrespect for Teddy (video also available here):

I have detailed Coakley's possible election law violations previously. Coakley ran a barely stealth campaign operation as Teddy was on his death bed, using state campaign funds, so that Coakley could get a jump on her opponents in the primary race.

The optics were horrible. But there were no consequences for Coakley in the primary.

Now the consequences of Coakley's tone deafness are clear. A race which should have been a romp for Coakley given all the institutional factors in her favor has become too close to call, with the momentum clearly in Brown's favor.

There are many reasons why this election is close. Near the top of that list is that while Teddy relished being among the voters, Coakley seems disconnected, dismissive, and yes, tone deaf.

Ted Kennedy, whether you loved him or hated him, was a figure larger than life. The lack of respect Coakley showed to Teddy with her stealth campaign and secret bank accounts was a harbinger of an attitude which may end up sinking her campaign.

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  1. What you say about Teddy is true. My wife is an ER nurse who encountered him on numerous occasions when he accompanied family members when they were in need of care. Both she and I are dyed in the wool conservatives who would never think of voting for him based upon his record.

    Her favorite story has Ted sitting in the middle of the ER where the doctors congregate to do their data entry. He was casually reading the Sunday Globe and holding court as people walked by doing double takes. In person he was quite down to Earth and charming.

    He was elected in spite of his faults as a favorite son.

    *shrugs shoulders*

    It certainly seems to me that we are going to be headed in a fundamentally different direction this time though.

  2. Don't count your chickens. Over confidence will kill the Brown campaign. Just keep plugging away and next week hopefully everything will be jsut fine.

  3. Elise,

    Methinks you're having a "Black Knight Moment":


  4. She's really something, huh? Personally, even though I'm a conservative, I always liked Ted Kennedy as a person and admired him for the strength of his convictions and his sincere interest in the plight of people who were not as well off as he. That man had a heart, and he had principles. And as Martha shows day after day, she has neither.

  5. Ran across this in the WSJ today.... Another appalling reason for Martha Coakley to not ever set foot in the Senate chamber - she is a crap prosecutor too.


  6. Yeah, it just really seems like the Dems have put themselves in the position where the electorate is just itching to give them a big fat one in the kisser. They're like this year's version of Paris or Lindsay, spoiled brats in need of a good spanking.

  7. All we can do is just wait until D-day :)

  8. "I always liked Ted Kennedy as a person and admired him for the strength of his convictions and his sincere interest in the plight of people who were not as well off as he. That man had a heart, and he had principles."

    And I remember the Robert Bork character assassination speech on the floor of the Senate. Something no principled person would do.

  9. @ Jeff, you're right about that speech, that was beneath him.

  10. Mary Jo Kopechne takes a rather dim view of his "heart" and "principles" too, or at least she would if she could.