Remember that guy you started dating who thought you were all sweetness and light up until the point you told him you didn’t want to date him, when you spurned even his request for “no-strings” sex? You know, when he starts reacting in a manner that, well, is not likely to endear him to you.
It seems that guy has taken the helm of the Coakley campaign in Massachusetts.
Seeing Bay State voters considering rejecting their gal, he’s had her (campaign) go on the warpath against Scott Brown (you know the guy who looks like we imagine ourselves to look). To be sure, the situation is not entirely parallel, but the attitude is. Massachusetts Democrats and their special interest allies have subjected their state to a barrage of negative ads while Scott Brown has maintained the high ground, making a positive case for his candidacy. In a strange video more about himself than Martha Coakley, even the President has has joining the braying fray, calling the Republican an “opponent of change.” Guess his New York’s resolution to promote unity doesn’t kick in until January 20.
The airwaves, according to Boston friend of Bill Kristol “are blanketed with negative ads attacking Scott Brown. Frankly, I think that most of them are so over the top that they are unlikely to be productive.” He’s not the only one to speculate about the effectiveness of Democratic bile. Rating the race a toss-up, Stuart Rothenburg believes the ads might backfire:
Late Democratic efforts to demonize Republican Scott Brown, to make the race into a partisan battle and to use the Kennedy name to drive Democratic voters to the polls could still work. But the advertising clutter in the race works against them, and voters often tune out late messages, which can seem desperate.
Quoting an e-mail from a Bay State friend, Jim Geraghty provides some anecdotal evidence to back up Rothenburg’s point:
Couple of people at work have voted for Republicans in the past, but usually lean left. They’re registered indies (or, in this state, “unenrolled”). Both told me, separately, that the avalanche of anti-Brown ads is pushing them away. One said she wonders, “why didn’t we hear about all this stuff before if he’s such a bad guy?” A month ago she was leaning toward Coakley, but now says she’ll “probably” vote Brown. The other person labels the anti-Brown attack “pitiful, hail-Mary stuff”. He was a Democrat up until a few years ago, then registered unenrolled. He’s voting Brown via absentee tomorrow.
Coakley could still win this thing, but the victory will prove a tremendous cost to the Democrats, spending millions to save a Democratic seat which won’t be able to be used to protect other incumbents in trouble and furthering the image of theirs as the party of attacks and recrimination.
Hardly a way to begin their second year in power.