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Martha Coakley is Massachusetts' next Senator

Valhalla's picture

Ok, the title is a slight exaggeration, as today was only the primary. But even the controvery-seeking local media is admitting that the Republican candidate Scott Brown doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell for the general (to be held in Jan.)

Final tally:
Coakley 47%
Capuano 28%
Khazei 13%
Pagliuca 12%

Yaay! Coakley would be the first female Senator from Massachusetts. Correntians have previously discussed her campaign here, here, and here.

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coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

I just told my husband that Martha Coakley won in Mass. and he said "Obama is finished. He is a pompass, arrogant ass - the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on this country".

Hmmmmm. I wonder where he got that? And I wonder how he really feels! Snark!

dk's picture
Submitted by dk on

Days after Capuano voted for the House Healthcare bill which contained the Stupak amendment. I guess he thought if he got Nancy to back him then all people in the state who don't think that women should be second class citizens would forgive him. Guess he was wrong.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

I didn't have much of an opinion on this race, but I was wary of Coakley for a while because she reminded me of Obama- someone with star power name recognition but no real record of legislative achievement whose candidacy was propelled by being a great social achievement.

dk's picture
Submitted by dk on

public service for 20 years and served as the D.A. of the largest county of the state (with 1/4 of the population of Mass.) and as Attorney General of the State. It's not legislative experience, true, but there is absolutely no objective comparison with Obama lack of experience.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I take some comfort in her having sued the Feds to end DOMA and her strong record on women's rights, but, in the end, you never really know how someone is going to vote until they cast their votes (which is why Obama's Iraq speech was meaningless, IMO, he didn't have any skin in the game). And the D.C. power structure has a way of corrupting people. But she has the potential of being a good Senator. Now we have to hope (and her constituents work to ensure) that she lives up to that potential.

Historiann's picture
Submitted by Historiann on

Of course she has "no real record of legislative achievement"--she's been the in the DA's office of Middlesex County and then the Mass AG for the past 25+ years.

I haven't lived in Mass. for a long time, but from what I've seen, she's pretty down-the-line on law & order issues (including pro death penalty, IIRC), but very socially liberal. She benefited from the winds of anti-incumbency, and the fact that her main opponent Capuano is currently serving in Congress. Seems like a good fit for Massachusetts, if she can juggle the Catholic bishops who will undoubtedly make hay of her pro-choice politics and try to ban her from the communion.

dk's picture
Submitted by dk on

she will not worry about the Catholic bishops. Martha is a pretty down the line, old school feminist (which, IMO, we need many more of).

Submitted by hipparchia on

Martha is a pretty down the line, old school feminist


(which, IMO, we need many more of).

i second that.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

That was the line Capuano was trying to push.

Until some time ago (8 years, I think), Coakley endorsed the death penalty in two very specific cases -- when someone who is already a convicted murderer kills someone in prison, and when someone is convicted of first-degree murder of a police officer. She changed her mind saying that she's now convinced that the death penalty doesn't deter crime in any circumstances.

She was active in opposing Mitt Romney's efforts to establish the death penalty in Mass in 2005. TFor that and other anti-death penalty advocacy, he Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty awarded Martha their big annual award in 2008.

If there was an Obama-like player in this campaign, it was not Coakley, but Capuano. A Representative for 12 years, he's done little more than vote the right way on the right issues. Actually, I take that back -- he has brought a fair amount of federal money back to his district, that's two things. If Martha had not been in the race, I wouldn't have had many qualms voting for him based on his votes. But despite his reputation as a 'street fighter', he doesn't really fight for legislation or to push the Overton window anywhere in particular. Like Obama, he gives good talk. Coakely's a doer.

And while it's not dispositive, Capuano was strongly supported by the Obama "progressives" faction within Mass., while Coakley's support lined up right closely with Clinton's. (well, Clinton plus, really, since she beat Capuano by a much wider margin). One mistake I thought Capuano made was forgetting that this was a statewide race and 2/3 of Massachusetts, while generally liberal, is NOT the same set of lWhole Foods Nation liberals as in his district. A great deal of the state is working class people with whom Capuano didn't really try to connect with on a practical level in terms of the economy, jobs and health care. His message was very attractive to the super-progs in his district (which he already had in the bag, natch) and a few demographically similar towns. Mass. is very liberal overall, but much of the state falls more along the lines of (to steal Anglachel's formulation) FDR liberals rather than Stevensonian. Capuano's the latter, like Obama, and his message didn't really adjust to appeal to the whole state. There's a lot of lunch-bucket Dems outside of 128; they're the ones who voted for Clinton in the primaries.

There's really no comparison of Coakley to Obama on any inexperience grounds, she's been in public service forever, and certainly not on any of the rock-star qualities pushed by the OFB.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

The Big Dawg endorsed Coakley on Monday after Caroline "you know" Kennedy endorsed Capuano. He recorded 500,000 robocalls to remind voters to get out and support Coakley on Tuesday.

A woman, a feminist, a liberal AND a Clinton Dem in MA! Ah, how sweet it is. :-)

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Actually, I don't think Caroline Kennedy endorsed anyone in the end, although she showed up for a fundraiser for Khazei. Teddy's nephew endorsed Capuano, but it really didn't make much news around here (Boston) which is odd. In fact, to the extent it did I think it may have backfired, since the nephew made some snotty comments about Martha's "ambition".

However Capuano was endorsed (late in the game) by Mike Dukakis and Ed Markey, both of whom I've always liked, so that was disappointing.

gmoke's picture
Submitted by gmoke on

Martha Coakley has prosecutor's eyes, very, very cold. I think she sees people as perps. The best I can hope for is a good constituent services staff from her Senatorial staff, continuing Kennedy's tradition. Kerry barely answers his mail.

I trust her even less than other pols.