Martha Coakley: The Worst Candidate Ever

It is just possible that the U.S. Senate seat that has belonged to the Kennedys for the last million or so years will go to a Republican.  In normal times, this event would be about as unlikely as Barack Obama winning a race for Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.  But Scott Brown, the Republican sacrificial lamb who should be getting 30% of the vote in heavily Democratic Massachusetts, is running a spirited campaign and is now leading in the polls.  If he loses, it may only be because the voters in the cemetery are not listening to him.

I hate to jinx Scott Brown, but I can’t help but writing a bit about his opponent Martha Coakley, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, who may possibly be the Worst Candidate Ever.  Even if I were a die hard Democrat, I would have a hard time rooting for her.  Here are a few reasons why.

1)  It is OK for me to misspell Massachusetts, because I don’t live there.  But Martha Coakley ran an attack ad against her opponent, only to pull it down a bit later because the state’s name was spelled wrong.  As my kids would say, “Smoothe….”

2)  In another attack ad, she accused Scott Brown of not caring about rape victims.  The ad has pictures of many women who are supposed to represent the rape victims that Scott Brown would allegedly kick out of the emergency room.  Other than being a cheap shot, this ad has many problems, and may even have broken some laws.

If these women are real rape victims, their pictures should not be revealed without consent, which she almost certainly did not get.  You know, there are rules about privacy and all that. Running this ad would be rather insensitive to rape victims.

However, the picture looks like a modified ad from  In that case may not be amused, and the girls pictured there might not like the implication that they are rape victims.

3)  Sometimes your mouth opens and something comes out that reveals how clueless you really are about the area that you want to represent.  If you want to represent an area, you should probably know something about it.  So, for example, if you lived around Pittsburgh, you would have to live in a cave to not know who Ben Rothlisberger is, and if you called him a Browns fan, that would indicate a certain cluelessness and unfitness to govern.

So when Martha Coakley called Curt Schilling, the Boston Red Sox pitcher who pitched in the World Series with a bloody sock,  a “Yankees fan,” that was a sign of stupidity almost as bad as going to the Vatican and asking why the Pope’s yarmulke is white.

4) At other times, your mouth opens and you show that you don’t know much about the rest of the world either.  Like when you say in a debate that there are no terrorists in Afghanistan, and then later when you have the chance, you don’t admit that you erred.

4)  Sometimes, your friends don’t help much either.  Like when you bring Patrick Kennedy in to speak on your behalf, and he GETS YOUR FIRST NAME WRONG, calling you Marcia instead of Martha. Or your aide knocks over a reporter who asks you a tough question, and you stand around looking clueless.  Or when Barack Obama comes to campaign for you, and his speech is full of ums, ahs, and disparaging remarks about your opponent’s truck.  Because we all know that owning a GM pickup truck is a bad thing.

5)  Church and state is always a touchy subject, and much more able candidates have gone wrong here.  But one good general rule to follow is that when it comes to matters of conscience, you should not say “you can have religious liberty, but you shouldn’t work in an emergency room.”  Especially when the religious groups that you might disqualify from emergency room jobs include Catholics, who are a large part of your constituency, and are likely to hear of your blunder the Sunday before the election.

Massachusetts is mostly Democratic, and Martha Coakley could still win, but the fact that she is in danger of losing shows amazing ineptitude.  If she snatches defeat from what was a nearly certain Democratic victory, she will have earned the title of WORST CANDIDATE EVER.

Democrats may even agree with me, for once.

[Update:  Wow, Scott Brown actually won this race.  Martha Coakley actually managed to lose, and it was 52-47, which is not even that close.]


7 thoughts on “Martha Coakley: The Worst Candidate Ever

  1. I’ve seen a couple of articles analyzing what happened, from the Democratic perspective. And the one possible factor that never gets mentioned is, “Martha Coakley was a horrible candidate.” The GOP can really take heart if the DNC continues to refuse to consider whether their candidates lose elections because people don’t like them. They probably learned this from the Pennsylvania State Republican committee, but things may be reversing themselves (see: Toomey, Pat, vs. Specter, Arlen.)

  2. Barb, I was going to say that think in this case the Democrats in Massachusetts became like dodo birds. They thought they had no natural enemies, and they became helpless, because they thought nothing could touch them. Other candidates will be improved by this humiliating defeat.

    I was going to say that, but then I heard today that our Senator Specter was in a radio discussion with Republican representative Michelle Bachmann. he told her, “I will treat you like a lady. Now please act like one.”

    That sounds like the remarks of a candidate who is itching to spend more time with his grandchildren.

  3. I’d love to be excited about the win. But Scott Brown is pro-choice. So is Coakley, of course. But that doesn’t make this any more of a victory for the millions of abortion victims.

  4. Brian, I can be excited about the win, even if I know that Scott Brown is not all I could hope for. On the abortion issue, he cannot be worse than the Senator he replaced or the candidate he beat, and he will almost certainly not “Bork” pro-life judges. His victory may also inspire some other good candidates (there is evidence of that already.)

  5. I’ve just run into this way too late by coincidence.

    Let’s look at your list:

    1. a misspelling by somebody working for a campaign. embarrassing, but it happens.
    2. your argument here seems mostly to rest on the use of stock photos. additionally, if the opponent did indeed vote/act to cut off certain key support for rape victims, is this not a “real thing?”
    3. some trivial thing about sport.
    4. a misstatement by somebody else.
    5. routine abortions (and let’s face it, that’s what you’re talking about) are not normally performed in emergency rooms. the statement that people with certain religious beliefs whose beliefs would restrict them from providing essential services when life and death of others is as stake is not such a crazy one.

    in short, look at your list – basically, you’re wrong on one issue (5), and harp on four absolutely unimportant trivialities (1-4).

    i don’t know who this candidate is and whether she was indeed “the worst ever”, fit for office, or whatever, but I do see that your willingness to latch on to such unimportant marketing crap is the reason why America will continue to get slick, packaged, un-nuanced politicians. Your post is the best example I have seen recently of the american voter and his penchant to be swayed by supermarket tabloid type stuff rather than real issues, and you should be really and truly ashamed. I am in shock to read that despite such a lack of critical examination, you count yourself an “engineer.”

  6. Yeah, you are about 20 months too late. The candidate I mentioned above is Martha Coakley, who lost to Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race and was the first indicator that Obama’s popularity was fading. If you are a Democrat, you might remember the gut-wrenching sense of doom you felt when Senator Kennedy’s old seat went Republican.

    After 20 months, I stand by my statement that she was “the worst candidate ever.” (Well, maybe I exaggerate a little.) The points I made in my post were not meant to point out isolated mistakes: rather, they illustrated that she didn’t understand the region she was supposed to represent, she didn’t understand her constituents, and she didn’t understand much else. And that is why she managed to lose the seat formerly held by Senator Kennedy, despite Democrats having a large registration edge and a very long winning streak.

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