The Home Stretch

Well, the race for the right to fill Ted Kennedy’s (voluminous, rum-soaked) seat in the US Senate (yes, I know it isn’t “Ted Kennedy’s seat,” but “the people of Massachusetts’ seat,” but Ted-bashing is NEVER inappropriate) is almost at an end, and it’s becoming clear that current Bay State Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) wants that seat in the worst possible way.

Which is exactly how she’s trying to get it.

I’m trying to remember the last time a candidate for major office made so many unforced errors. I can recall times when a candidate makes a single game-ending gaffe (my colleague Baron Von Ottomatic cited the example of Clayton Williams), but I don’t know of a case like Coakley — where the leading candidate just steadily self-destructs with a never-ending stream of blunders, misstatements, mistakes, gaffes, flubs, and missteps.

In just the last few weeks Coakley has done the following:

  • Referred to Boston Red Sox legend (and demigod in the eyes of Red Sox Nation) Curt Schilling as a “Yankees fan.”
  • Mocked Brown for campaigning in the snow outside Fenway Park (where a Bruins hockey game was being played as a publicity stunt).
  • Released an ad that blasted her opponent, Scott Brown, as a supporter of corporate bigwigs and featured an image of the World Trade Center on the day Rudy Giuliani was coming to Massachusetts to campaign for Brown, handing “America’s Mayor” — who once was mocked for including in every sentence “a noun, a verb, and 9/11” — an instant point of outrage.
  • Declared that devout Catholics have no business working in hospital emergency rooms.
  • Declared in a debate with Brown (oh, and independent Joseph Kennedy) that the Taliban had been defeated and driven out of Afghanistan.
  • Skipped campaigning in Massachusetts to go to a big fund-raiser in DC held for her by Big Insurance and Big Pharma.
  • After the event, watched as a staffer of hers (an Obama nominee and “loaner” from the Democratic National Committee) shoved a reporter into a fence and to the ground for asking impertinent questions.
  • Released an ad that referred to “Massachusettes” in the fine print at the end.
  • Got Ted Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, to cut an ad endorsing her — where Kennedy repeated Scott Brown’s famous line that “it isn’t Ted Kennedy’s seat, it’s the people’s seat.”
  • Got Bill Clinton to drop everything and come to Massachusetts to campaign for her — immediately after President Obama named former presidents Clinton and George W. Bush to head up fundraising on behalf of Haiti.

This is in addition to her own almost criminally inept career as a prosecutor in Massachusetts, folks. This is the best the Bay State’s Democrats could scrape up.

Fortunately for Coakley (and unfortunately for the rest of us), the race isn’t over until Tuesday. And there’s still time for her supporters to pull some kind of shenanigans to drag her across the finish line.

I’m going to make a prediction: Coakley’s rumpswabs at the Boston Globe (who endorsed her both in the primary and in this election) will unleash a “hit piece” on Brown tomorrow that will attempt to smear him and render him unelectable.

I’ll go even further and speculate on the angle they’ll attack Brown on.

Brown is a career member of the National Guard, and Colonel Brown is the leading defense counsel for New England. He’s been involved in a lot of cases, and the Globe will try to tie Brown to something they seem as unseemly about the military. It might be the “don’t ask – don’t tell” policy about gays in the service, it might be about alleged war crimes committed in Iraq or Afghanistan, it might be about cases involving deserting war protesters, it might even be something to the Fort Hood shooting.

Yeah, I’m going out on a limb here, but I’ve been an amateur scholar of the Glob’s political shenanigans for years and years. And the secret to predicting their actions in cases like this, it’s simple: think of the most unprincipled, underhanded, dishonorable, disgusting smear tactic that they think they can pull off with a straight face, and wait for them to do it.

Check back in tomorrow, when I’ll post a followup — after perusing the Glob online.

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