Democratic candidate Martha Coakley has run such a clueless race for Senate in Massachusetts that Democrats are already comparing her to Creigh Deeds, their hapless nominee for governor of Virginia who lost last year in a landslide.
But other comparisons are even more cutting. Michael Barone, co-author of the Almanac of Americans Politics, wrote yesterday: “If Republican Scott Brown wins this election — and every day his chances look better — Democrats might conclude that Martha Coakley was a Republican plant, a Manchurian candidate inserted into the race in order to deprive Democrats of their 60th vote in the Senate.”
How bad has Ms. Coakley’s effort been? This week she took time off from her desultory campaigning to go to a Washington, D.C. wine bar and collect $10,000 in checks from health care lobbyists. Afterwards, an aide shoved a reporter to the ground for trying to ask the candidate a question (an action the aide has now apologized for). The Weekly Standard reporter had been trying to ask Ms. Coakley about her incredible statement in a debate this week that there were no longer any terrorists in Afghanistan.
But perhaps her worst error was appearing to have dissed baseball fans who congregate at Boston’s Fenway Park, a Massachusetts shrine even in the off-season. Asked to answer charges that she wasn’t campaigning hard enough, she fired back: “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?” (An ad for her GOP opponent Mr. Brown showed him shaking hands in front of the ballpark.)
The crack drew an instant response from former Red Sox star Curt Schilling, who attacked Ms. Coakley for being one of those pols who are “so far out of touch with their constituents it’s laughable and pathetic.”
Ms. Coakley’s campaign has indeed been a disaster, and that’s certainly what Democrats will emphasize should she lose. Democrats will studiously ignore the fact that her cookie-cutter liberal ideas were viewed by many independents as out-of-date and conventional. Her inability to talk about issues such as jobs that are a pressing concern to voters will be every bit as much to blame as her innumerable tactical missteps.
‘John Fund is a Wall Street Journal columnist. To read more stories like this one, please subscribe to Political Diary.’