Commentary Magazine


Topic: Ted

Martha, Meet Creigh Deeds

The venom directed at a failing candidate by her own party is often directly related to the margin of the anticipated defeat. If true, then Martha Coakley is going to get thumped, according to Byron York’s report:

“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.”

Well, she did win a primary, after all — by nearly 20 points, in a multi-candidate race. Just a little over a month ago, the entire Democratic establishment was backing her, and the mainstream media declared her the decided favorite in the general race. Now she’s flawed, personally defective, and unloved by everyone. I’m sure Creigh Deeds can relate. He too was beloved, yet wound up the goat as Democrats realized he was headed for a big loss. He too ran a mediocre race. But neither Deeds nor Coakley would have been caught fending off incoming artillery from the Democratic spin machine had the national political environment — namely, the Obama agenda and the public’s disdain for the Reid-Pelosi-Obama leftward lurch — not turned off voters.

Don’t get me wrong — Coakley has made her share of flubs. But in any other year, a Democrat who had committed just as many flubs would still win. That looks highly unlikely now.

The venom directed at a failing candidate by her own party is often directly related to the margin of the anticipated defeat. If true, then Martha Coakley is going to get thumped, according to Byron York’s report:

“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.”

Well, she did win a primary, after all — by nearly 20 points, in a multi-candidate race. Just a little over a month ago, the entire Democratic establishment was backing her, and the mainstream media declared her the decided favorite in the general race. Now she’s flawed, personally defective, and unloved by everyone. I’m sure Creigh Deeds can relate. He too was beloved, yet wound up the goat as Democrats realized he was headed for a big loss. He too ran a mediocre race. But neither Deeds nor Coakley would have been caught fending off incoming artillery from the Democratic spin machine had the national political environment — namely, the Obama agenda and the public’s disdain for the Reid-Pelosi-Obama leftward lurch — not turned off voters.

Don’t get me wrong — Coakley has made her share of flubs. But in any other year, a Democrat who had committed just as many flubs would still win. That looks highly unlikely now.

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