Many Democrats are operating under the assumption
that Democrat Martha Coakley will lose today's election in
Massachusetts to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. In the debate over how
Democrats could possibly lose the race--which has major repercussions
for President Obama's agenda--Coakley herself is taking
more and more of the blame. Some Democrats and liberals aren't waiting
for the polls to close to turn against Coakley and her campaign. Here's
a taste of what they're saying.
The Finger-Pointing BeginsPolitico reports,
"Many angry Democrats blame their candidate, state Attorney General
Martha Coakley, for running a sluggish campaign that let Republican
Scott Brown set the contours of the race." They write, "Coakley is at
the center of the criticism. Democrats complain that her
campaign was caught napping after last month's primary -- and that Brown
was able to use the pause to shape the race." The story cites several
Democratic Congressmen and strategists. It also cites claims that White
House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has privately blamed Coakley.
She's The Reason For Loss The New Republic's Jonathan Chait dismisses
claims of the race's greater significance, saying it's all about
Coakley's failures. "Scott Brown, a former Cosmo nude model who touts
his old pickup truck
and incessantly vows to be an 'independent voice,' is a really strong
candidate. Martha Coakley, who's a poor politician and prone to
terrible gaffes, is not," he writes. "[P]eople are getting carried away
with what it means about the political environment."
Why She Lost: '66 to 19' The Washington Independent's David Weigel calls it
"the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than
anything else. From the primary through last Sunday, Scott Brown held
66 events of varying size. Coakley held 19." This, of course, was a big
mistake. "The incredible thing about Coakley's verbal and visual
stumbles is that none occurred while stumping in Massachusetts," Weigel
writes. "In retrospect, Coakley had plenty to gain by working the
trail. By avoiding it for weeks, she created a massive opening for
Obama Must Be Fuming The New York Times's Adam Nagourney shakes his head. "President Obama should never have had to trek here on a Sunday while he
was managing the crises in Haiti and the closing negotiations on the
health care bill. Agree with the health care bill or not, could you
blame the president for being really upset that this signature
initiative of his administration could get tripped up because of some
basic political miscalculations by people who should know how to play
She's An 'Easy Target' Hot Air's Ed Morrissey sympathizes with the liberal backlash. "Coakley makes an easy target, of course, and it's not at all
unreasonable to lay the blame at the feet of the candidate, especially
this one. Not only did she fail to do the basic retail politicking --
in fact, showering scorn on the notion of shaking hands in the cold at
Fenway Park at one nadir of her final week -- but she couldn't be
bothered to carry out the tasks that would have allowed others to do so
on her behalf."
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