When you’re endorsing a candidate, it’s best not to call her the “worst woman” for the job.
This is the mistake that EMILY’s List, a high-powered women’s rights group with deep pockets, made on Thursday on its website when trying to endorse Martha Coakley for Massachusetts governor. Here’s a screen shot of the page:
“Martha Coakley is a trailblazer who has shown unwavering commitment to serving her community and Massachusetts as a strong advocate and problem-solver for nearly three decades,” she said.
Coakley hasn’t had the best campaigning luck in recent years, and she’s trying to redeem herself from slipups during her 2010 Senate campaign against Republican Scott Brown.
During that campaign, Coakley was labeled as out of touch and an outsider. When she skipped town to attend a Washington fundraiser instead of continuing her campaign in the state, she justified it by saying, “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?” President Obama reportedly grabbed his adviser David Axelrod, shouting, “No! No! You’re making that up! That can’t be right! Tell me she didn’t say that!” according to Jonathan Alter in his book The Promise.
And it didn’t stop there. When Boston Red Sox great Curt Schilling endorsed Brown, she called the World Series-winning pitcher just “another Yankee fan.” That’s not something you say in Beantown.
Since launching her gubernatorial campaign this Monday, she has tried to repair her public image — yes, even campaigning outside of Fenway. She, however, remains popular in Massachusetts, as polling shows she is the current front-runner for the Democratic nod.
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Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.