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Report from “Behind Enemy Lines” in the Bay State

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:20 pm - January 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

While I spent the day waiting for the jury summons that never came (had jury duty but was not called to serve on a jury), our intrepid reporter working behind enemy lines (as he puts it) in the Bay State worked tirelessly on his clandestine report on the special Senate election.  This correspondent, an erstwhile (again in his words) “hard-over leftie” reports from the hinterlands (well, they’re pretty hinter to to those of us in sunny, er, overcast today, Southern California):

Dateline: Friday, January 15, 2010, ~4:00PM. An extremely liberal town in Massachusetts (went 9:1 Kerry:Bush in 2004 and close to 10:1 Obama:McCain in 2008),

Your reporter was, um… indisposed. (He works from home.) The phone rang. He elected not to answer. He’s glad he didn’t. He suspects few others did either, as this was during work hours. Seems like a silly strategy to get out the vote for Martha, calling at that hour… unless… Hmm…

Unless Martha’s prime constituents are unemployed (more and more likely) or on welfare (ditto) or illegal aliens (less likely here, but possible), or dead (hey, it worked for Daley), or working some cushy academic job where they get to take Fridays off ’cause they’ve got tenure.

Later, picking up the message, your reporter hears a deep male voice that sounds familiar. First thought: Scott Brown again!

No, that’s not right. He’s already in mid-sentence on the machine, sounding terribly, terribly earnest (which, though it rhymes — a little — with “honest”, does not connote same necessarily): “Very important FIGHT. Blah, blah, blah. Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat… blah, blah, blah… Need your support… FIGHT for healthcare… blah, blah, blah… in Washington I’m FIGHTING for… blah, blah, blah… FIGHTING… blah, blah, blah… clean energy… FIGHT… blah, blah, blah.”

Funny, I thought this was the party that didn’t like fighting so much. And it seemed to be all about HIM. If I didn’t already know the candidate’s name, I’d have had to guess.

Your reporter deleted the message before it was over. It was not going down well with his pre-dinner glass of Merlot.

How rude. It’s Friday night. Who does he think he is? The PRESIDENT?

Report from the Ground in the Bay State

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:18 am - January 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

Our inside the Bay State correspondent, a friend of mine who has migrated to the right in recent years, offers this report from the (frozen*) ground in the Bay State:

I’ve gotten auto-dial calls from both candidates in the last few days. I hung up on “Martha”, but the thing that kept me listening to “Scott” was that, at the outset of the call, “he” said my name!! Obviously it’s automated, but it was SLICK and he must have paid a pretty penny for that extra bit of database integration.

Well, without that moneybomb (to which our readers contributed), he may not have had that pretty penny.

Our correspondent promises more reporting as his schedule allows, but as a working guy with a family, he may not be able to report in as often as he would like and our readers would want.


*You know, the kind that Martha Coakley doesn’t like to touch, especially when it’s near stadiums beloved by her constituents.

Is There Anyone (or Anything) This White House Doesn’t Blame?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:48 am - January 15, 2010.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Obama Watch

OH, THAT’S A NEW ONE. BLAME THE COMPUTERS! White House budget director blames old computers for ineffective government. Funny, it seems the government was a lot more effective fifty or sixty years ago, when it hardly had any computers at all, but better people in charge . . . .

Glenn Reynolds, January 2010

And one of the things that I’m trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame. And I think Geithner is doing an outstanding job. I think that we have a big mess on our hands. It’s not going to be solved immediately, but it is going to get solved. And the key thing is for everybody just to stay focused on doing the job instead of trying to figure out who you can pass blame on to.

Barack Obama, March 2009

(Emphasis added.)

Guess Mr Orszag didn’t get the memo.

Well, old patterns are hard to break.

Coakley: Gifted Democratic Politician, Clueless on Squaring Off Against a Republican

With her almost daily gaffes, from bristling at going out in the cold to opposing Catholics working in emergency rooms, Martha Coakley seems like the political candidate with two left feet.  Michelle has called her campaign “listless, hapless“.  She famously took a vacation over the holidays even as they fell less than a month before the election.

Now, some might say that Scott Brown wouldn’t be doing as well against a candidate who was better prepared.  And they might be right.  But, given the national mood, a more aggressive and energetic Democratic candidate may have alerted those upset with the things going on in Washington and on Beacon Hill to the upcoming election.  Hence, Coakley’s strategy was sensible, given the state’s demographics and the power of its Democratic machine (and special interest allies) to generate turnout on Election Day.  Unfortunately (for the Democrats), Brown’s textbook campaign roused those upset with the status quo and eager for change in our nation’s capital.

(Memo to GOP:  on January 20, no matter what the result, get someone to do write-up on this campaign, have Brown campaign staffers brief top officials from RNC, NRSC, NRCC and pass this information on to people in states with lackluster GOP operations.)

One should think twice before calling Coakley a bad politician.  She won big in the Democratic primary, capturing 47 percent of the vote in a four-way race, “easily outdistancing her closest competitor, Rep. Michael Capuano, who finished with 28 percent.”  A novice politician doesn’t do that.  It’s just she needed a different skill set in a competitive race with a Republican in an environment with people clamoring for change.

And that, I believe, explains all her gaffes on the trail this past wee.  Coakley has spent so much time working her way up in Democratic circles that she just doesn’t know how to face a challenge from a Republican.  She thought the battle was over in December when she won her party’s primary.  And she, like the media, considered next Tuesday’s election a mere formality.