The fun in the race between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brownn ramped up when Coakley provided voters her shrewd take on the terrorists in Afghanistan during her final debate with Brown: “They’re gone. They’re not there anymore.”
In search of money to shore up her campaign after the debate, Coakley jetted down to Washington for a closed-door dinner with health care lobbyists at the Capitol Hill restaurant Sonoma. After the event concluded, Coakley took two questions from the media but declined to say whether or not she stands by her statement at last night’s debate that there aren’t any terrorists in Afghanistan.
After taking a question from a CNN reporter on the street outside the restaurant, the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack asked her: “Attorney General Coakley, you said last night that there are no terrorists in Afghanistan–that they’re all in Yemen and Pakistan. Do you stand by that remark?”
The question was akin to lèse majesté. Coakley responded: “I’m sorry, did someone else have a question?”
As Coakley walked away from the restaurant, McCormack walked behind her asking why health care industry lobbyists were supporting her at the fundraiser. She didn’t reply. Coakley media consultant Michael Meehan pushed McCormack into a freestanding metal railing and down onto the sidewalk.
Asked for a comment on Meehan’s assault on McCormack, Coakley responded: “I know there were people following, including two from the Brown campaign who have been very aggressive in their stalking,” Coakley pleaded ignorance. “I’m not sure what happened. I know something occurred, but I’m not privy to the facts.”
That’s laughably lame. As Jim Geraghty observes, “photos show McCormack on the ground, illuminated by television cameras, in Coakley’s line of sight[.]” Meehan was working for her, so she was “privy to the facts.” If she didn’t know what happened and wanted to know, she could have asked Meehan. As opposed to her showing in the debate with Brown, however, Coakley was only feigning ignorance.
Coakley is ending the campaign on a high note of condescension. William Jacobson highlights a classic quote from a Boston Globe feature on Coakley’s campaign. In an election with such high stakes, with so little time left in the campaign, the Globe wondered if she was being too passive.
“As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?” she fired back, in an obvious reference to a Brown video of him doing just that at the Winter Classic hockey game played at Fenway.
Michelle Malkin comments: “So: What’s French for ‘Let them watch ice hockey.’”
UPDATE: Reader Lynda Bowen alerts us to Brown’s Boston Globe column “A new day is coming: Restore faith and balance.” It’s an excellent column. Here is one notable quote:
Amid all our domestic challenges, our nation is still at war with radical Islamic terrorists determined to destroy our way of life. The Christmas bombing attempt on a Northwest Airlines plane is a wake-up call. But instead of being interrogated by military professionals at Guantanamo, the plane bomber has been given taxpayer-funded lawyers in a US courtroom. Because he’s been granted constitutional rights, he’s invoked his privilege to remain silent. Would-be killers should be treated for what they really are: enemies of a country at war, not ordinary criminals.
My opponent would accord such terrorists all the rights our Constitution grants to citizens. I will treat them as enemy combatants who should face military justice.
Will somebody say amen?
JOHN adds: Coakley has achieved a remarkable two-fer. First, she alienated Massachusetts’s hockey fans with her careless jab at the Winter Classic hockey game, a big deal to local sports fans. Now, former Red Sox star Curt Schilling is on the case. He has posted an item by Cassy Fiano about Coakley’s faux pas on his blog, in a post titled “Want ANOTHER reason to NOT vote for Martha Coakley???”:
If she hasn’t done it yet, Martha Coakley may have just killed her campaign.
She’s apparently been trying to win the title of Worst Political Campaign Ever, and she might have just clinched it with her little dig at Scott Brown over Fenway Park [quoting the Globe article].
The appearance characterizes Coakley’s approach to this truncated race. Aware that she has little time for the hand-shaking and baby-kissing of a standard political campaign, she has focused instead on rallying key political leaders, Democratic activists, and union organizers, in hope they will get people to the polls….
Coakley bristles at the suggestion that, with so little time left, in an election with such high stakes, she is being too passive.
“As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?” she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that. “This is a special election. And I know that I have the support of Kim Driscoll. And I now know the members of the [Salem] School Committee, who know far more people than I could ever meet.”
There are just so many things wrong with that statement.
It shows her elitism and arrogance unbelievably. Aside from the apparent feeling that the seat belongs to her just by virtue of her party, she just admitted that she doesn’t need to bother meeting with constituents because she’s meeting people like Kim Driscoll, and political leaders, and Democrat activists. I guess they’re the ones that matter, huh? I know it’s a “special election” and all, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need to fight for this seat. Prancing around with this mindset of “Oh, I’m a Democrat, therefore Ted Kennedy’s seat just automatically belongs to me regardless of what the people think,” is idiotic. Acting as if she doesn’t need to give her constituents the time of day is ludicrous. She can make all the snide remarks about Scott Brown shaking hands with people in the cold that she wants, but that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re trying to get elected. She seems to have forgotten that she’s trying to get elected in Massachusetts, and not in Washington D.C. — if she remembered that, maybe she’d spend more time trying to impress Massachusetts voters and less time rubbing elbows with the Democrat establishment, Big Pharmacy lobbyists, and union leaders. Most normal politicians, Republican or Democrat, do go shake hands with voters. Even if it means standing in the cold outside of Fenway Park.
Finally, has she forgotten who she’s talking to? What state she’s wanting to represent in the Senate? It’s Massachusetts. You do not make sneering insults about Fenway Park. What’s she going to do next, insult the Red Sox? That’d really just be the cherry on top of a delightful campaign. Fenway Park and the Red Sox are damned near sacred to Massachusetts residents, Bostonians in particular. Really, I’m starting to think that she just doesn’t want to get elected or something. Because anyone with half a modicum of sense knows that you do not go into Boston and mess with Fenway Park.
Bulls-eye. Schilling is an “out” conservative, but his views carry some weight in Massachusetts. He isn’t the only one who will see Coakley’s sneering at hockey in Fenway Park, or the idea of shaking hands with voters in the cold, as offensive and elitist.
NOTE: Cassy Fiano has written to point out that she wrote the comments above that were posted by Schilling on his site. We have corrected the text to reflect her authorship.
SCOTT adds one more quote from Chairman Martha, speaking to lobbyists at the Sonoma: “If I don’t win, 2010 is going to be hell for Democrats . . . Every Democrat will have a competitive race.” I regret the omission!