Like yours truly, Martha Coakley is a graduate of the college currently ranked (by U.S. News and World Report) as the nation’s top liberal arts college. But, unlike our fellow alum and her fellow Democrat, Chris Murphy, she doesn’t seem very interested in the concerns of her constituents who do not share her political point of view.
The Massachusetts Democrat, her party’s nominee for the Senate seat formerly held by Teddy Kennedy, has so far refused a one-on-one debate with her Republican opponent Scott Brown. You’d think a Williams graduate would relish the chance to debate an ideological adversary. After all, in many of our classes, class participation counted toward our grade.
Not just that, as a former District Attorney of Middlesex County and current state Attorney General, she should have perfected the art of public speaking and debate.
Even Brian McGrory of the liberal Boston Globe is asking, “Where’s Martha Coakley?”
Coakley, in exquisitely diva-like form, is refusing all invitations to debate her Republican opponent in the race, Scott Brown, unless a third-party candidate with no apparent credentials is included on the stage. She may also require a crystal bowl of orange-only M&Ms in her dressing room, but we haven’t gotten that far yet. Her demands have led to an astonishing result: there will be just one — that’s one — live televised debate in the Boston media market this general election season. . . .
This is all part of a Coakley pattern. When she ran for attorney general, she didn’t allow even the Republican candidate on a debate stage. In fact, she refused to debate at all. . . .
Here’s one problem with all this: When you’re a United States senator, you’re expected to get up on the Senate floor and forcefully debate the issues of the day. You’re expected to be a strong voice in hearings.
Both the man she’d like to succeed (the late Teddy Kennedy) and the man with whom she’d like serve (John Kerry) debated their Republican opponents. If Mrs. Coakley can’t stand up to the Republican challenging her for the chance to represent the Bay State in the United States Senate, how will she be able to stand up for the Bay State in the United States Senate?
A Williams alumna should have the guts to take on a challenger in a battle of wits. Now, she’s following in the footsteps of the most ignominious man in our college history. Like Zephaniah Swift Moore, she’d rather turn tail than face the challenges of her job.