Let the Democrat feeding frenzy begin if Coakley loses
As they face the growing possibility that Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley will lose the race to fill the seat formerly held by Sen. Ted Kennedy, some Democrats are settling on a new strategy to blame the defeat not only on Coakley's inept campaign but also on her personality and strained relations with both the Kennedy family and President Obama. At the same time, Democrats are working to position themselves to push Coakley aside and focus on defeating a Sen. Scott Brown, should the Republican run for a full six-year term in 2012.
"Everybody is scrambling and freaking out," says one Democratic strategist of the mood among Democrats now. Coakley's run has taught the once-triumphant party that "a lackluster, uninspiring campaign is not going to get it done, even in the bluest states." But with feelings running deep, some Democrats are blaming Coakley in a much more personal way.
"She's kind of aloof," the Democrat says. "There are people who will vote for her who don't really have a sense that they like or trust her. The Kennedys aren't really fond of her. She basically announced her campaign the day Ted died, and didn't give Vicki the opportunity to think about [running to replace her husband]. From the Kennedy side of the ledger, there's no great love for Coakley. They look at her as kind of a predatory politician."
Coakley made no secret of her desire to run for Kennedy's seat well before Kennedy died in August of last year. Kennedy nephew Stephen E. Smith later told the Boston Herald, "She set up a committee six months before my uncle died. There were people on the corner with a huge 'Coakley for Senate' sign two days after his funeral." Coakley formally announced her candidacy a week after Kennedy's death. One of Coakley's main rivals for the Democratic nomination, Rep. Michael Capuano, told the Herald, "I couldn't do it. I couldn't step over someone's grave."
As far as Obama is concerned, Coakley was an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Coakley, a Massachusetts superdelegate, announced her support for Clinton in May 2008, after it was clear that Clinton had little or no chance to win the nomination -- and long after Sen. Kennedy and prominent Kennedy family members backed Obama. Even at the Democratic convention, as Obama's forces tried to unify the party behind his candidacy, Coakley cast her vote for Clinton. Only later did she switch her support, reluctantly, to Obama.
If Coakley loses, the resentments those actions created will come to the fore in a wave of recriminations and blame-placing. "There's going to be a lot of finger-pointing after the fact," says the strategist. And at least among Democrats, all the fingers will point at Coakley; besides allowing Democrats to vent at Coakley, blaming her will have the effect of insulating President Obama from criticism that the election was a referendum on his policies, particularly the Democrats' unpopular national health care plan.
It's not her fault that Barry decided to make an ill-advised play this past Sunday, making it clear that this election is the nexus of his health insurance reform, and she jumped on board that meme like a good, little soldier. But even the Democrats should have seen the problems she created in jumping into this race, and positioning herself early to take the seat that Kennedy held for over 50 years. It didn't help her in the early goings of this campaign to constantly remind people she believed this seat was a "legacy seat" and should remain in the hands of Democrats.
Her campaign was poorly run. She made no case for the voters to support her, really, other than "vote for me because I'm a democrat, and Kennedy was a Democrat." The debate that was held between her and Scott Brown was a disaster for her. She consistently used the "legacy seat" excuse as to why voters should vote for her, and when pushed on the issues, such as national security, she didn't know her @$$ from a hole in the ground. When pressed on the health insurance reform that is winding its way through the Congress, like the very Congress-critters that "wrote" the bloody thing, she didn't have any specifics on what was in the draft. (I emphasize "draft" because, as far as most people know, there isn't anything really on paper yet. What we know of the Senate bill was literally hammered out by Senate Democrats with little input from Republicans during the debate over the proposed legislation.)
We know that this always happens. When John McCain was defeated in the 2008 presidential election, the GOP wasted little time in pointing fingers at his mistakes. (Disclosure for readers: We did this, as well, but the point of our observations was in noting his mistakes, and analyzing his campaign. And unlike most GOP strategists, we didn't put the blame on Sarah Palin, and her alone. There was plenty of blame to go around.) IF Martha Coakley loses today (and we believe she will) the knives will come out for her, and her aspirations of national office will be done. No Democrat will come near her. Instead of trying to help her hone her message and iron out her drawbacks, they're going to throw her to the wolves. (Not that she doesn't deserve it, but the Democrats have a tendency to "eat their young" in the wake of a failed election. Unless you're Al Gore, and you have a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud nations of their wealth in a hoax that's been thoroughly outed.)
Turnout in Massachusetts is said to be high today. Brown has all the momentum behind him, and this election is literally his to lose. Based on the polls, he's beating her by three to six points, depending on which polls you watch or believe. Zogby is predicting a Coakley win though the margin is small, and the other polls don't show that at all. (Mind you that Zogby hasn't exactly had a great track record in predicting electoral outcomes recently, the 2008 presidential election aside.) The voters of Massachusetts know exactly what Martha Coakley represents.
She's the sixtieth vote in the Democrats continuing march towards turning this nation into a socialist state. (Yes, we have a level of socialism in America, but not to the extent the Democrats would like, hence their rush to get as much enacted before the midterms as possible.) Massachusetts unemployment numbers are sitting at 8.8% (right sidebar on the page) which means they're suffering just as much as the rest of the nation is, and just like the rest of the nation there appears to be no end in sight. Much of that is due to Massachusetts blue-state politics and policies. But Martha Coakley doesn't represent an end to the state's woes. She represents a continuation of them, and this is why she should lose today. And make no mistake that if she does lose, the Democrats will throw her under the bus quicker than the president does with anyone who embarrasses him.
ADDENDUM: Via "Rogue" at Hot Air Geraghty the Indispensable is already reporting on a level of voter fraud in Massachusetts with at least one poll worker handing out an absentee ballot at a polling place. Michelle Malkin is also keeping an eye on any reports of potential voter fraud (she has the same story Geraghty has about the absentee ballots ... written in Spanish, no less, and not being handed out in a polling place. The activist is walking around handing them out):
"They’ve just posted video of a woman in Lawrence, MA, carrying around blank absentee ballots in Spanish today. She explains how she’s telling people to mark Martha Coakley’s name. The woman handing out the ballots identifies herself as “Isabel Melendez” and says she has a talk show in which she promoted Coakley’s candidacy."
Michelle also pointed out back on 15 January that the SEIU union thugs were out in force in Massachusetts.
Just remember folks, "if it's not close, they can't cheat."