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There's been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth about what a poor campaigner Martha Coakley has been, and there's some truth to that. She's not a natural politician - she's a lawyer, and as such, she builds her case and then has to accept the verdict.  While she's won elections as Middlesex County DA and MA Attorney General, she's not a natural fit for the kind of campaigning a Senate race requires, and she is the complete antithesis of the teabagging Himbo running against her.  While she beat a sitting Congressman, the founder of City Year, and a venture capitalist in the primary, she was able to stay "above the fray" because of her name recognition statewide and, in my opinion, the Democratic primary voters DESIRE to send a woman to the Senate.

One of the worst-kept secrets of Massachusetts politics is the inherent sexism in the system.  For a progressive state (that voted for Hillary in the primary DESPITE Kennedy's endorsement of Obama)we have a pretty pathetic record in electing women to Federal office. Until Nikki Tsongas was elected to replace Marty Meehan, the last time we sent a woman to Washington was the unlamented Margaret Heckler.  We've had 1 female Governor, Jane Swift, who was elevated to the office when Bush named Gov. Paul Cellucci Ambassador to Canada.  Swift was planning to run for the office in her own right until Mitt "I won't run against an incumbent Republican" Romney decided to kneecap her in the primary.  Massachusetts politics is dominated by the Democratic party, but that doesn't necessarily extend to women in the Democratic party (see O'Brien, Shannon.)

While I think it's entirely fair to say that Coakley's campaign was caught flat footed, there is more than enough blame to go around.  Where was our Senior Senator, John Kerry?  Where was Bob Menendez and the DSCC?  For that matter, why did it take so long to get the DNC's attention and why did they wait so late in the game to bring in the heavy artillery?  Brown never should have been allowed to get this close.  It's convenient to blame Martha Coakley, and she deserves her share of the blame for this mess, but not ALL of it.  The guy who's got to have steam coming out of his ears is Mike Capuano, who would have wiped the floor with this Romney-esque empty suit.  If today doesn't go our way, he may get another chance in 2012.

If Massachusetts becomes a cautionary tale for the mid-terms, the lesson is this - Democrats no longer own online organizing.  Someone in the Brown campaign clearly went to school on the use of new media - Facebook, Twitter, web ads, and most importantly in Massachusetts, he has been scrupulous in keeping his party affiliation quiet.  He never identifies himself as a Republican in his commercials, web ads, lawn signs.  The 3rd party money for his attack ads is being funneled through the US Chamber of Commerce.  There is never any mention of the RNC or the RSCC, or that he's voted with the Republicans 96% of the time.  Coakley has until recently had a minimal online presence.  Why is that?  Why didn't anyone interested in maintaining the 60 seats in the Senate spot this glaring hole in their defenses?  

If the Brown campaign has figured this strategy out, look for it to go national for the mid-terms...and get ready, because if you thought the August Town Halls were ugly, you ain't seen nothing.

Originally posted to MKDanaher on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:57 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  The simple take away (0+ / 0-)

      is that the republicans will stop at nothing, legal, extra legal, ethical and non to win.

      This is nothing unusual since we catch them at the unethical and illegal most of the time.

      MKDanaher makes a fine point though. Which is, some of them do have a couple of brain cells and can put to good use things they have learned.

      I personally believe tomorrow morning will see Martha confirmed as the winner simply because this is Massachusetts and oh so much is on the line for democrats to let slide to republicans.

      One more thing, the 2010 midterms are gonna be intense EVERYWHERE. Just because we hold the presiency and both houses of congress doesn't mean we should let up on capaigning.

      And MKDanaher, that recipe listed in the thread looks good... nudge nudge...

      Can I have sme of that KILLER beef stew now? ;)

      How much further to the right can the republicans go before they circumnavigate themselves? - MKDANAHER

      by Qantumreflection on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:31:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is diarist's first diary or comment... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, NYFM, soms, Voodoo king, ericlewis0

      Smells fishy...

      •  He makes one comment a year (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itskevin, side pocket, TomP, soms

        4 came up when I did a 5 year search. Not really first time, just a lurker.

        The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

        by SallyCat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:04:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh c'mon (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's all pretty reasonable stuff. Anyway, the diarist in good company. Here's tristero over at Digby's:

        This refusal to pin the blame for spectacular Democratic crash-and-burns on the leadership - meaning the people who set the overall strategy to fund, market, and sell candidates - is, quite frankly, weird. There is far too much evidence and history to ignore or dismiss. Should Coakley have started campaigning earlier? Duh. And you think the decision not to - and the economic decisions related to it - were simply hers to make unilaterally? Please, people. Her strategy, or lack of one, was a collective decision, coordinated with the national party, I suspect.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:13:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  this diarist say blame others but not the (0+ / 0-)

        candidate...bullshit. Did she ask for help? Did she ask Kerry or Menendez for help and they turned her down? I can't see it. Maybe she thought she didn't need any help....If she does not win it is her fault...period!

        •  New Rule: Don't take vacation when you're way... (0+ / 0-)

          ahead in the polls.

          Hello?!  Ned Lamont?!

          In this economy, snarky Limousine Liberals (or perhaps more aptly, simply out of touch, rolling gaff-machine pols -- like Coakley -- e.g. Curt Schilling comment) lose!

          So is 2010 shaping up as a Dem slaughter?

          Hard to say for sure, but when even the sleepy, diabetic middle finally gets angry, incumbency (either side) invariably suffers.

          Thus, a real (not hollow, corporately branded "Change") party/movement -- complete with real, bottom-up (a k a populist) candidates -- is arguably needed to thrive this century.

          So choose now Democrats: More (of the same) Obama corporate fascism OR (some form of economically viable) Marxism/anarchism (e.g. Dean's "Medicare for all") with spending cuts, efficiency increases, higher taxes and shared sacrifice (rather than more "free lunch" deficits).

          E.g. acknowledge (and accept) stagnant/falling wages IF the highest are capped/taxed.  Remove the cap on Social Security taxes.  Enact a .5 percent trading tax on Wall Street (which hurts no one save Goldman Sachs, et al).  Eliminate the TSA and "Homeland Security."  Get out of Iraq (sure) AND Afghanistan.  

          Practical.  Pragmatic.  Majority benefiting.  That is how liberals/progressives can win.  END Keynesian, Wall Street, flop sweat Liberalism now -- before it's too late.

          First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Ghandi

          by neoconsuck on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:29:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  DSCC and DNC control the funding (0+ / 0-)

          you don't ask them for help.  You takes their money, and you dance to their tune.  

  •  Boston Globe Calls it For Coakley! (8+ / 0-)

    A bit early and I think it was a systems test that got put up by mistake, but it will be funny of it actually ends up looking close to this.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:59:48 AM PST

  •  Can we please wait until the votes are counted? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Shahryar, soms, ericlewis0

    Geez...enough with the hand wringing / premature navel gazing.

    The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

    by SallyCat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:00:20 AM PST

  •  Recipe for Potato Leek Soup (8+ / 0-)

    3 leeks
    4 potatoes, quartered
    1/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup light cream
    1 qt. water or chicken stock
    1/4 teaspoon fresh chopped chervil
    2 T each chopped celery and shallots
    1/8 teaspoon celery seed
    parsley to garnish

    Peel and quarter the potatoes.

    Prepare the leeks by removing the green portions, reserving for another use if desired. Cut down the center lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Chop the white portions finely and sauté lightly with the chopped shallots in half the butter for 5-7 minutes. Add 1 quart of water or chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, celery, the quartered potatoes, and simmer 20-25 minutes. Remove potatoes and leeks to a small bowl, reserving using a potato masher, mash to a puree in return the puree to the cooking water. Stir in the milk, cream, and remaining butter, reheating one minute if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and croutons.

  •  Coakley is a Failure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I hope she gets elected and gets primaried in 2012.....She is a joke and I cant believe she is close to losing to this joke.

  •  I haven't done a lot of local readong on the race (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, soms, Sunspots

    ... but it sounds like she's the kind of candidate who could have used a really sharp campaign manager.

    Who was running her campaign?

  •  Huge problem: perfectionism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, soms, James Robinson

    I don't know what Coakley is like as a candidate.

    I know that, throughout the world, people want to change whatever government they have, out of a sense that, given how awful things are, government must not be working.

    That same attitude seems pretty common here, too.

    If the current government officials are Republicans, or really awful Democrats: sure, toss them.

    But Obama, Pelosi and Reid all seem to me to be well meaning, intelligent, hard-working people who are working their hearts out to try to make the world a better place. Pelosi and Reid may not agree with Obama, or us, on every point, but it seems as if they've been as loyal to Obama as humanly possible.

    They don't always do what Daily Kos people want them to do, but, realistically, it's not always clear that what we want is feasible. Maybe we're right, maybe we're wrong. Either way: the fact that Obama, Pelosi and Reid sometimes have a different view of what they can accomplish than we do -- or may even have some actual policy differences -- is not a reason to abandon them to the Republican hate dogs in their hour of need.

    Whenever we here say, "We won't be enthusiastic supporters of the Democratic general election candidate because of that candidate's personal shortcomings, or views on position X," then we're kneecapping Obama, Pelosi and Reid, and further limiting how progressive than we can be.

    I'm not thrilled with the positions of Nelson or Lincoln, and I don't know that I'll be thrilled with Coakley as a senator, but I'm pretty sure I'd rather that Nelson, Lincoln or Coakley be the "60th crucial vote" that Obama needs than that we give de facto veto power over legislation to Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe.

    •  Coakley depended on people like you.... (0+ / 0-)

      People who would vote for her, simply for being the 60th vote........because of you she felt she didn't need to campaign until the last 72 hours.

      •  And Brown is cute and kind of moderate (0+ / 0-)

        One question might be: why didn't the Democrats recruit him a long time ago? Whenever we see good candidates running as Rs on blue states just because that's where the slots are, we ought to try to find slots. Don't force natural indies into the Republicans' arms.

  •  "Why Coakley Lost Before She Loses" (9+ / 0-)

    A five act play as told by DKos Diarists throughout Election Day.

    Watch for a diary an hour explaining why, so you don't have to watch the election returns tonight.


    When you get too big a majority, you're immediately in trouble. -- Sam Rayburn

    by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:14:48 AM PST

  •  I think we will win, but we should be mad at..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    naus, F J G

    The White House, the non existant DNC, and the DSCC.

    We are a national party, with ONE ELECTION to worry about.

    The three groups above should have vetted Coakley before primary.

    Then they should have taken over her campaign the moment she won it.


    If we lose this race, a MAJOR shakeup at the DNC has to go down, we can't lose 3 state wide races in a row, its pathetic.

    •  there needs also to be a major shakeup (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of the progressive movement that is so quick to criticize and slam democrats who are not bending to a specific will/desire/demand for immediate progressive change.

      until progressives learn how to work within the elected system and structure, we/they can expect our desire for change to go unfullfilled... for decades.

      knowing how to work in a political framework with divergent opinions means compromise - not "taking my vote and going home!"

      divisiveness doesn't conquer republicans, it conquers US! (and the rest of the nation pays the price for stubborn bull-headed obstinance.)

      we are the future. no one else. WE are the ones who make change happen in every little detail we do. make it count. we only get one go-round.

      by edrie on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:00:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thats rediculous (0+ / 0-)

        That serves the sensibilities of a life on the internet.

        We know well how to work within the "framework" and we have done a great job for the last 6 years thanks to Dean.

        What is killing us is corporate take over of our party.

        We should make it that a Senator or Congressmen get a 10 year ban on lobbying congress, not 1 or 2.
        Give their staffers 5.

        Nice way to dodge electoral ineptitude, the same thing that caused Kerry to lose in 2004.

        •  you missed my point... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          what is ridiculous is attacking those TRYING to get something accomplished because of purity issues.

          politics isn't clean and cut and dry.  the most important thing is what law gets passed at the end of the day.  how it happens can be made more complicated by attacks without constructive attempts to correct.

          as i'm working right now, don't have time to go deeper, but will be doing so later tonite or tomorrow.

          i think i feel a diary coming on..... wait for it.... wait for it.....

          and watch for a space in the lineup in the very near future!

          we are the future. no one else. WE are the ones who make change happen in every little detail we do. make it count. we only get one go-round.

          by edrie on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:26:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your speaking in vauge terms and events (0+ / 0-)

            I don't see how these various "attacks" had anything to do with speeding or slowing the law writing.

            Ask Max Baucus if the 2 months of attacks on him had an iota of effect on him delaying HCR in the SFC?

            How about Nen Nelson, we ran ad after ad, mailer after mailer attacking him, with no effect.

            Then right wingers attack him for the Corn Huckster kickback and he folds like a deck of cards.

            I would like to think we are that powerfull, but it seems like the last victory for the progressive grassroots was getting Obama nominated, since then what have we gotten?

            Show me one example where a Progressive attacked someone, and that led to legislation failing.

  •  The librls left created a lot of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, soms

    confusion within the Democratic party and now they are paying for it!  Continue to critize the President and watch the Repubs take control of the House, Senate, and in 2012, the White House.  

  •  we usually wait until election results are in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, soms

    before we analyze election results

    right now this is pure speculation and only encourages trolls like 220383

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    --Tom Harkin

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:48:12 AM PST

  •  Let's save the post game autopsy until the last (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    goal is scored.

    Don't waste time, if you haev already voted go and drive someone else to the polls.

    There will always be the morning after. Today there is WORK to be done.  So, what else is new, Massachusets is a male chauvinist eltist establishement haven for white males. GO GIRL  Go Coakley.  Make some more cracks in the ceiling!!!  There is still time.

  •  my take is that we are so busy eating our own (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (such as on this site with the "LET THE BILL FAIL!" attitude) that we have lost sight of reality.

    reality is simple.

    without sixty seats (however weak those sixty are), we AND the american people are flat out screwed!.

    let this be a lesson to all democrats and progressives that this is more than "MY opinion" that counts - it is the collective goal of democratic idealogy and progressive values that are at stake.

    we are the future. no one else. WE are the ones who make change happen in every little detail we do. make it count. we only get one go-round.

    by edrie on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:58:15 AM PST

  •  Aren't most politicians lawyers? nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  1000 UNCONTESTED radio stations made it close (0+ / 0-)

    and dems can bend over for the limbaughs and hannitys in the 2010 elections too if they continue to ignore them and give them a free speech free ride.

    brown could piggyback limbaugh on all the health care and tea bagger and anti obama lies of the last year. very little of which is contested in any significant way before it is reinforced and established in the trad media.

    US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

    by certainot on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:50:51 PM PST

  •  Reading all these comments (0+ / 0-)

    was like watching a David Lynch movie: confusing, weird, and "Can I have my time back?"

    "That is not true, you never had that choice to begin with."--Sen. Mary Landrieu to Howard Dean on public option.

    by just some lurker guy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:36:35 PM PST

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