Why was Coakley such an awful candidate?

Well, the Democrats did it again. They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. This should have been very much a safe district, but they blew it.
Anyway, maybe someone from Massachusetts or someone who just paid a lot of attention to this particular race can chime in. What did she do wrong? Why was she so awful?
And for the Democrats out there, who would your ideal candidate have been?

Listening to her “I lost” speech, she sounds a lot like Sarah Palin, a lot of the same annunciations, just a little higher voice. Sounds just as dumb.

Really? I thought IQ was just a made-up number that has no meaning and no real-world application.

Coakley had a few negatives. She got a lot of criticism for her conduct regarding the Armirault sexual abuse case, where she fought to keep Armirault in prison after a good deal of evidence surfaced that he didn’t do what he was convicted for.

She also proved to be a bad campaigner, She pretty much suspended campaigning and went on vacation for about a week around Christmas, when she got criticized by the Boston Globe for spending too much time with party leaders, her response was “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?”, which made her look arrogant. She called Kurt Schilling a Yankees fan, and then when she was called on it pretended she was making a joke. She also doesn’t come across as very warm or inviting.

Maybe some of these things shouldn’t be important in governing, but they are important in campaigning.

I have such a visceral aversion to what I perceive as deeply inappropriate behavior from prosecutors (and Coakley raises that impression in my mind) that, even though Brown does not excite me in the least, if I were a Massachusetts voter, I likely would have chosen to abstain from the election for that reason.

Brown ran a campaign against the rush to bring a health care vote to Obama so the President’s last minute appearance was a boost to his campaign.

In addition, Coakley was a corrupt, worthless AG. MA is a very corrupt state, where offices are bought and sold. In addition to the Amirault case, we had:
-Boston FD members granted disability pensions (one was given to a man who then entered a body building competion). These guys are under Federal indictment-and their medical records"disappeared".
-The current Mayor of Boston (Menino) has an aide who admits to selling drugs in city hall.
-A city councillor (Chuck Turner) took bribes from a developer.
-A state senator (Diane Wilkerson) was videotaped taking cash payments. She also never filed state tax returns for5 years.
None of these criminals were prosecuted by Coakley’soffice-the Federal DOJ did the work.
Coakley should be spending time in jail.

Ah, ralphie dear – I was wondering who you’d be savaging now that you don’t have Teddy Kennedy to kick around. Coakley’s actually pretty clean and competent as far as Democratic politicians in Massachusetts go. Can you point out the statutes giving the Mass. AG preferential jurisdiction over the particular criminals you cite?

As I point out here, there’s more than “Coakley bad!” involved in this loss. Which is not to say that I think well of her campaign; I don’t, and I wish like hell Capuano had been the candidate; he’d have kicked butt and had a much better shot at winning.

Over at Daily Kos, there’s a diary from someone whose mother is a long-time Boston Democratic insider that basically states that the MA Democratic Party was a house divided. Coakley was a western MA pol who beat the Boston Dems’ favorite, Capuano, in the primary. Apparently, Coakley got NO support from the Boston Dem machine. She was basically abandoned in the eastern counties by her own party.

This doesn’t absolve her from being tone-deaf politically and completely lazy in re campaigning (who takes a vacation in the middle of a FIVE-WEEK campaign season?!).

Please provide citations that show Coakley refused to investigate and/or prosecute these crimes. Just because they happened during Coakley’s tenure doesn’t mean anything.

IMO, the reason Coakley lost was:

  • bad campaigning
  • health care reform backlash.

I also think that Brown was irrelevant. It wasn’t Brown’s qualifications that got him elected it was the breaking of the super majority his vote represents.

For starters, she said that Catholics should have fewer rights in a state where half the population is Catholic.

Brown’s qualifications are quite impressive, though. Maybe he’ll get over his personal predilections.

She ran possibly the worst campaign since…McCain, actually.

She was making dumb-ass stoopid mistakes even the rawest newbie wouldn’t make up through yesterday.

Check me on this: if you’re in a really tight election and your only hope is to motivate people to get out and vote do you, roughly 9 hours before the polls close:

A) Do a bunch of whistle-stop meet-n-greets, showing everyone how happy you are that you’re gonna be the newest rep, encouraging people to get out the vote, looking senatorial and motivating the afternoon “I’ll vote when i get off work” crowd to come out?

or do you

B) Fire off a psychotic letter to the DNC and the President (that you also send to the media) screaming “OMG!!! THIS WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU GUYS DIDN’T TOTALLY SUXXOR?! WE’RE SCREWED!!!”? And make the letter so insine that a President who has a good chunk of his agenda tied up in you winning and who made (at some risk to his reputation) a personal visit to campaign for you a day before the election send back a letter saying “Lady, seek help. You’re delusional.” ON ELECTION DAY–WITH 8 HOURS OF VOTING TIME LEFT.

Ditto with her stupid “Catholics can’t be trusted in emergency rooms” type statement. Even if you believe that, you don’t say it a week before the election in a state that’s close to 50% Catholic.

Ditto with the “There are no terrorists left in Afghanistan” comment said about the time that we were burying about 8 Americans killed by…um…terrorists.

I’ve read a couple of articles this morning speculating that Coakley didn’t want to win–she was happy where she was and was pressured into running. That sounds plausible to me.

PS: I’m paraphrasing all her “quotes” above. Obviously.

Wow, I didn’t hear about that letter yesterday. Can you link to it? It sounds entertaining!

Seriously? You think Jack E. Robinson would have beat Coakley if he was nominated?

Brown ran a great campaign. He’s a handsome, friendly guy who came across very well on his TV ads. He’s been in the National Guard for decades. His pickup truck ads were genius. He beat Martha like a gong in the debates. I don’t think any Republican candidate could have beat Martha - a badly run Republican campaign or an idiot candidate (like JER) would have lost by a huge margin.

Sure thing:

Link goes to the White House response and links to her original letter.


The link goes to an Atlantic article with YouTube-worthy comments. :confused:

I agree. It isn’t like “Obamacare” and the Dems super-majority in the Senate are issues that just popped up, yet Brown was something like 30 points behind just a few weeks ago. I find it hard to believe that this need to send a message to Obama and the Dems just suddenly swelled up on its own in the past few weeks without some help from the campaigns.

The most frequent advantage I’ve heard Brown had on recent evening talk shows like Chris Matthews is that he drives a pickup truck with over 200,000 miles on the odometer, and that he knows who various entertainers are including some sports star Coakley didn’t know about. I’m not hearing anything about their positions on affairs of state except that Brown promises to ruin health care reform and Coakley didn’t.

Here is the memo content (a few clicks from your link):