Fair. Balanced. American.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kos on Coakley

Yup:
Teddy never took his voters for granted, no matter how big an icon he was in the state. Brown didn't take them for granted either. He was aggressive, engaged, effective, and ... lucky as all shit. It's not every day you get to go up against a candidate who takes everything for granted, neglects to negatively define you, and heads out for vacation while the race is still on.

There's several messages to learn from this fiasco, but chief among them -- if you decide to run for office, then respect the freakin' voters and work your ass off for their vote. They are angry, frustrated, and looking for a sign that you get their concerns. Going on vacation doesn't cut it. Campaigning your heart out gets you a good of the way there.

10 comments :

Hector S. said...

We really did deserve to lose this one.

omen said...

why wasn't there exit polling?

how many posts do you have blaming all on coakley? that doesn't mean unhappiness with obama and a corporatist healthcare bill (with an excise tax that punished the middle class) wasn't also a factor.

Sini said...

The consortium didn't get its act together on exit polling in time for the special election, presumably because it assumed the seat was safe.

Health care was not a pressing issue for the Democratic base in MA because the state already has Romneycare, which is not too different from Obamacare. So there was nothing in the bill for the Mass. base.

Meanwhile, Obama is still at 60% in the state, and presumably at close to 90% among Democratic voters. Coakley did very well among Democrats who showed up. The problem is that Scott Brown won independents by something like 3-1, and independents outnumber Democrats.

Scott Brown was misidentified as liberal or moderate by 40% of the electorate. African American and Hispanic voters refused to turn out for Coakley. A huge chunk of voters, even her own voters, didn't even seem to know her name or point to any of her achievements, even though she was Attorney General and had won a primary. These three factors have nothing to do with the Obama Administration and everything to do with Coakley's severe disabilities as a candidate.

Coakley did 19 campaign events while Brown did 60. She did everything she could to sever connections between her campaign and the Kennedy family, only to come back to them in desperation during the final week of the campaign.

She won a primary against two extremely progressive candidates who did take on the mantle of Uncle Teddy. Coakley deliberately didn't. Scott Brown, meanwhile, audaciously did in an infamous TV commercial. MA progressives were far more lukewarm towards Coakley than towards the President, especially following the contested primary.

The missteps in this campaign were truly historic. No other candidate could have lost the Massachusetts Senate seat.

None of which to say that there isn't disappointment with Obama. But I'm pretty sure that voters for whom disappointment with healthcare was an issue wanted to kill the bill altogether, not improve it.

Sini said...

The reason for so many posts on Coakley was that I couldn't go out of my way to criticize her once the primary was over, even though I have spent 13 years complaining about her presence in public life.

omen said...

Health care was not a pressing issue for the Democratic base in MA because the state already has Romneycare, which is not too different from Obamacare.

where healthcare costs has gone up instead of down as a result.

omen said...

obama promised to hold corporations accountable. instead, he's coddled them. that failure created a backlash.

Sini said...

I agree that it has created a backlash. The overall electorate might have been less conservative if Obama had given progressives more to work with. But there was no reason for Coakley to lose 9-1 among the 15% of the electorate that supported Obama but not the governor.

omen said...

13 years? she didn't do all that obama praised her for? went after banks, insurance & fought for consumer protection?

omen said...

the cite for the healthcare cost increase argument:

Massachusetts has the most expensive family health insurance premiums in the country, according to a new analysis that highlights the state’s challenge in trying to rein in medical costs after passage of a landmark 2006 law that mandated coverage for nearly everyone.

http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2009/08/22/bay_state_health_insurance_premiums_highest_in_country/

another reason that might have fueled animus.

omen said...

Coakley did 19 campaign events while Brown did 60.

i heard she lacked money to go full out while brown got money poured in from out of state.

why didn't the national party help coakley more with funding? the gop didn't make that mistake.