Martha Coakley just returned from six days on vacation in the middle of a special election. Ever since the December 8 primary, Coakley has attempted to portray an air of inevitability, by seeming not to care about Scott Brown’s candidacy, refusing to debate him one-on-one, and by touting misleading fundraising numbers to make it seem as if money is pouring in (Martha, will you release your post-primary numbers?)
Welcome back from vacation. Your political house is on fire.
Brown has gone viral, is gaining support, and money really is pouring into his campaign, which is astounding because just three weeks ago he was relatively unknown. Three things have happened in the last three weeks to make this election competitive:
- Coakley’s “read my lips” moment: During the campaign, Coakley promised as a matter of “principle” not to support the Senate health bill if it contained restrictions on abortion. This promise was a prime fundraising tool. Just days after the primary, Coakley went back on this promise, and now is in the Harry Reid/Ben Nelson camp, to the anger of the left-wing base.
- Obamacare is sinking in popularity: Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate demonstrated, in the weeks leading up to Christmas eve, the absolute moral corruption in Washington, D.C., by legally bribing Senators to vote for the health care bill. By supporting these efforts, Coakley has shown herself to be just more of the same (and her own maneuvers around the campaign finance laws drive that point home). At a time when the country is facing monumental deficits and national debt, Coakley handed Brown the central issue in the campaign – Democratic efforts to force through a health care bill which is unpopular and economically ruinous. Had Coakley stood by her “principles” she would not be in this position.
- Brown has gone viral: Largely shunned by the Republican establishment, Brown has utilized an online strategy which has ignited a grassroots campaign to get Brown elected. Do a Google search of blogs, and you will see that Brown is the talk of the internet, and most posts about Coakley are negative. While the mainstream media still holds great sway, Brown is seen as rising and Coakley as more of the same. Brown is winning the online battle.
The best sign that Coakley knows she is in trouble is that she has gone negative, running television ads comparing Brown to George W. Bush. Just more proof that Coakley doesn’t get it. The blame Bush tactic worked last year but now people are blaming Obama and the Democrats in Congress. We have seen what a year of Democratic rule means, and people are scared that the wheels are falling off.
The political story of 2010? Martha Coakley’s political house caught fire while she was on vacation. The only question is, will the house burn to the ground by January 19?
Update: For analysis of Coakley’s fundraising spin, check out Coakley $25 Tweet A Sign of Trouble
Update: While Coakley remained aloof, Brown was outside
the Boston Garden Fenway Park greeting fans before a Bruins game, where he ran into well-known Boston comedian Lenny Clarke, who expressed a “we’ve had enough” attitude felt throughout the country:
And, here’s an interesting graphic comparing Scott Brown’s Twitter followers with those of Coakley over the past month. As you can see, the number of Brown’s followers rose dramatically in the past two weeks in “hockey stick” fashion, while Coakley has pretty much flatlined: