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 Begins Politico 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 campaign trail. By avoiding it for weeks, she created a massive opening for Scott Brown."
- 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 this game?"
- 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."