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 Classmates.com. In that case Classmates.com 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.]