Let the blame game begin!

posted at 9:30 am on January 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Who’s most at fault for the debacle of the Coakley campaign?  For some, that question may come too early, since the voting has only just begun.  As Politico reports, though, Democrats don’t want to wait for the body to stop twitching before doing a post-mortem.  Blame has already begun to splash on Coakley herself, but also the DSCC, party pollsters — and Barack Obama himself:

As voters head to the polls in Massachusetts, nervous Democrats have already begun to blame one another for putting at risk the Senate seat Ted Kennedy held for more than 40 years.

Many angry Democrats blame their candidate, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, for running a sluggish campaign that let Republican Scott Brown set the contours of the race.

Some Democratic strategists lay the fault at the feet of President Barack Obama, saying he should have done more to sell the party’s agenda.

And in private conversations, Hill sources say White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has blamed Coakley, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake for failing to see Brown’s surge in time to stop it.

“With the legislative and political stakes so high, it’s unbelievable that the Senate committee and White House let this race get so out of hand,” said one senior Washington Democrat. “There’s a lot of blame to go around. Martha Coakley is only one of the problems here.”

The axiom instructs that success has a thousand fathers, while failure is an orphan.  In politics, paternity tests abound after massive, unexpected failures, and failure may have a thousand parents in this case.

Coakley makes an easy target, of course, and it’s not at all unreasonable to lay the blame at the feet of the candidate, especially this one.  Not only did she fail to do the basic retail politicking — in fact, showering scorn on the notion of shaking hands in the cold at Fenway Park at one nadir of her final week — but she couldn’t be bothered to carry out the tasks that would have allowed others to do so on her behalf:

Coakley was so confident, noted one fuming Democrat, that she even stopped the critical task of identifying supporters on the phone following the primary — the very foundation on which she should have structured her turnout operation.

Reader Geoff A points out that this is practically “Elections 101″, and especially important for GOTV efforts in the final hours.  Campaigns need these lists to be as accurate as possible in order to prompt their own supporters to get to the polls on Election Day, and to target leaners for an extra round of inspiration.  They can also focus efforts to convince the opponent’s supporters and leaners to change their minds, or at least demotivate them from going to the polls.

This underscores the impression that everyone has of the Coakley campaign — that she folded her tents after beating Michael Capuano in the primaries, just assuming that the Democrat would win the seat.  It’s the height of arrogance, and in this case, ignorance as well.

That doesn’t let others off the hook, though.  Why didn’t the DSCC intervene earlier?  They finally spent $2.5 million attempting to rescue Coakley from her self-imposed drowning, but as Rahm Emanuel apparently has fumed, their pollsters should have been on top of this race much sooner.  There is only one Senate seat to be decided today, the only one for months ahead and for a full year prior to this.  What exactly were they doing?

DSCC chair Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) says the lesson they learned was that candidates need to be aggressive even in the bluest states, because the electorate is, er, volatile.  But what made them that way?  The Democrats have held full power for over a year, and controlled Congress for more than three years.  It’s the agenda that made deep-blue Massachusetts revolt against their Democratic elites — and the failure of Barack Obama to either change course or control Nancy Pelosi.

Even if Brown loses today, all of these points are obvious.   Will the Democrats learn from them?  The only lesson they seem to have taken is to go negative against Tea Party activists and demonize Wall Street, Sarah Palin, and George Bush.  That is a perfect recipe for losing the largest number of seats in Congress when the entire nation gets the opportunity that Massachusetts voters get today.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

BTW- Maybe we should start an online poll as to how many ef bombs Rahm threw out after BO’s pickup truck speech in support of Martha…..after all the back and forth, no he’s not going to Mass, then maybe, then no, then yes, he is going at the last minute then to go and get heckled – got flustered, sounding like a arrogant elitist buffoon….

huskerdiva on January 19, 2010 at 9:56 AM

It didn’t help that the same rally also featured Teddy Kennedy’s son calling for people to get out there and vote for Marsha! While the blame game over this will be legendary the simple fact is that the Dems at all levels just assumed that this election was a formality and phoned it in until they realized that the momentum was not going their way. IMO, it’s part of the arrogant elitist attitude they have towards the public. They have confused being in majority status with the ability to do whatever they please without political consequences. They didn’t learn that lesson in November when they lost two governor’s elections (which was spun as local and having nothing to do with the White House). A Brown win tonight will be harder for them to overlook.

highhopes on January 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

DSCC
money well spent

heh

cmsinaz on January 19, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Last time I checked the election isn’t over

tomas on January 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM

I agree, and because I am a lifelong cynic, I still think Coakley wins, either because the dems finally figured out what was happening, or because of fraud.

I do think that a close race marks the beginning of the end for dem dominance, and the sonner the better.

kam582 on January 19, 2010 at 10:16 AM

More from HuffPo:

The Bush decade was a failed decade. The number of jobs did not increase, the real income of workers did not increase, even the price of stocks did not increase. Contrast that to the Clinton years.

What Obama did when he took over was almost like taking command of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. He has managed to stabilize the situation. The ship is no longer taking on water, but it takes a lot more than a year to undo the damage Bush did.

ObamaRahma and his failed corrupt democratic machine don’t deserve to win. Why would I even bother to waste the gas to drive to vote for a democrat, since Obama could not wait to throw me under the bus. Think: the inauguration… Invited Rick Warren, the evangelist gay-hater and supporter of death penalty for gays…. May the democrats be swept swiftly from office. A new generation more like Alan Grayson can then take their place.

I have not seen one discernable iota of difference from having the democrats in power, except that they are going to start fining poor people for not buying unaffordable health policies from dishonest insurance companies, and the extremely swift secretive shovelling of trillions of dollars to bank executives.

To the good people of Massachusetts: Here in the northwestern corner of the country, I’m feeling more connected to the East Coast than I ever have, realizing that you hold the future of this nation’s health care reform in your hands.

I’ve been reading up on Coakley. Seems to me that she’s a competent, solidly pragmatic democratic, and should be a fine representative of your state. True, if I was in your shoes, I’d have to hold my nose about a couple of things. She does seem a bit elitist, and she ran a poor campaign. But holding my nose about those relatively minor things would be no problem, compared to the dismal alternative.

Brown has been trying to paint himself as a moderate, in order to win independent voters. But his record shows that he tilts far to the right. It’s amazing that the media – and Coakley – have not called him out on his obvious fabrications. Not to mention that he seems downright viscious.

So please, Massachusetts, get out and vote for Coakley. It’ll be the right move for your state and it’ll save health care reform for the rest of the country.

Note to ticked-off progressives. Please don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. What’s going through conference committees right now is the best chance for true health care reform we’ve got. Get out and vote. Drag your friends and family in with you. The rest of the country needs your help right

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2010 at 10:16 AM

We are going to see the very angry “combative” man child that Obama is.

farright on January 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Hehehe

+10

MeatHeadinCA on January 19, 2010 at 10:17 AM

What’s-her-face Coakley, her campaign, the DSCC, and practically every other Democrat individual and institution in America viewed this special election as a foregone conclusion from the get go… there was no way in hell any non-Democrat candidate, especially a Republican, could take the People’s Seat that Edward M. Kennedy sat in for 40 years. They all simply assumed that Coakley would win that seat with very little effort.

They got caught sitting down with their pants around their ankles at what could arguably be deemed in the future as the most crucial moment in Obama’s administration.

And. That. Is. So. Friggin’. Awesome!

BAHAHAHAHA

SilverStar830 on January 19, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Did Chris Matthews show up for work today to tell us what a great victory this is and how great an orator Pinnochio is or did he decide it was a bad week to stop sniffin glue, snortin coke, smokin pot, and eatin magic mushrooms?

Will he show up Tomorrow?

Go Patriots vote for the HERO not the ZERO!

dhunter on January 19, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Well, they said they don’t pay attention to those silly crayon wielding pollsters, and I guess they were right.

scalleywag on January 19, 2010 at 10:24 AM

I have never seen a day like this. The future of our country hanging on a special election for a Senate Seat. Keep prayed up, Gang. It’s going to be a interesting day.

kingsjester on January 19, 2010 at 10:24 AM

To SilverStar830- (sitting down with their pants around their ankles.)HaHaHaHa! how about caught with their “Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, look like fools with their pants on the ground!!!!!!!”

kitkat-n.c. on January 19, 2010 at 10:27 AM

And it’s worth asking from the other side of the fence – how much GOP official support did Brown get?

An earnestly-asked “exactly *why* do you exist” is in order for Steele & Co, imo.

Midas on January 19, 2010 at 10:27 AM

That should be the biggest news and threat to the Dims. We backed the a Fiscal Conservative who will represent the mainly Conservative social views of his constiuents.

barnone on January 19, 2010 at 10:11 AM

A point made clear the past couple of weeks by many posters here.
Of course we have a big tent, and the independents thought that the dems had a big tent…they let them in, but they didn’t listen to them.
All we really want is for the voters to want smaller government, that is the basis…then we split off into different projects.
We have a big tent, government is not invited, and then we have separate rooms in that tent…
Dems have a tent just big enough for their politicians, and their journalists, all others sit outside and wait…

right2bright on January 19, 2010 at 10:28 AM

IMO, it’s part of the arrogant elitist attitude they have towards the public. They have confused being in majority status with the ability to do whatever they please without political consequences.

Bingo! That’s my take on it, which is all the more reason to hope for her to lose.

scalleywag on January 19, 2010 at 10:28 AM

We are going to see the very angry “combative” man child that Obama is.

farright on January 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

farright: I think your right!

Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde!!:)

canopfor on January 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Where are the trolls? Collecting votes at the local cemetery?

MeatHeadinCA on January 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM

canopfor on January 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Michelle my belle? Oh… I’m not saying another word…

MeatHeadinCA on January 19, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Agree with you, kingsjester. Stay on our knees & pray fervently. God can speak to the hearts of men & women for good to prevail.

kitkat-n.c. on January 19, 2010 at 10:31 AM

I thought Brown had this in the bag but the intrade odds have actually sagged back down a bit since late last night. Brown got into the middle 70′s about 2am eastern time, now it’s just 70 even.

It’s a small sag but I’d expect it to be cracking 80 by now. Maybe the betting is closed (it should be as some folks can see exit numbers by now).

Pythagoras on January 19, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Coakley is predicting her win. Which means she just guaranteed a Scott Brown victory.

http://bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1226679

kagai on January 19, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Buncha Yankee fans.

/

Christien on January 19, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Bob Menendez is an incompetent hack. We are going to have a very good year if he remains in charge at the DSCC.

I wonder when the blame will start coming out for the entire Kennedy family/Democratic Party apparatus, though. They knew Ted Kennedy was dying for 3 years, and there was going to be an election sooner or later to replace him. How were they so foolish to allow a talentless hack like Martha Coakley to be their standardbearer and heir apparent to the Kennedy throne? Why did they not throw some serious cash into a third-party campaign to siphon votes from Scott Brown?

It’s really hard to fathom how they became this disorganized, or complacent.

rockmom on January 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM

GO SCOTT BROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate to say that our lives depend on his win, but they kind of do.

scalleywag on January 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM

canopfor on January 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM
Michelle my belle? Oh… I’m not saying another word…

MeatHeadinCA on January 19, 2010 at 10:31 AM

MeatHeadinCA: Thou shall not,use any word,describing
FLOTUS,thats starts with Che!!

So,ahem,this should clear!!:)

http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=15112

canopfor on January 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM

I wonder if Coakley was too cheap to run an aggressive campaign against Brown?

sonnyspats1 on January 19, 2010 at 10:41 AM

This is hilarious! Quick read–please check it out!

If they can do that already, against the massive evidence against them, they have the power to wield populism to destroy any attempt by government to address any actual problems.
This is a nihilist moment, built from a nihilist strategy in order to regain power … to do nothing but wage war against enemies at home and abroad.

Glute-meter quivering: Andrew Sullivan predicts Brown landslide
http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2010/01/glute-meter-tenses-andrew-sullivan.html

lovingmyUSA on January 19, 2010 at 10:42 AM

How I see it.

franksalterego on January 19, 2010 at 10:45 AM

And it’s worth asking from the other side of the fence – how much GOP official support did Brown get?

An earnestly-asked “exactly *why* do you exist” is in order for Steele & Co, imo.

Midas on January 19, 2010 at 10:27 AM

This is a local race and locals need to get out their message!
The GOP would just screw it up. The GOP can help behind the scenes making sure their are poll watchers and lawyers present until all ballots are counted.
My congressman King R. IA is in Boston doing just that.

And the police unions who endorsed Brown need to be watching for voter intimidation and fraud, this is a local race and should be locally won by a local Patriot and Hero.
IMHO

dhunter on January 19, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Being a Saints fan I am still holding out on the celebration. But if it does happen I will be proud. I bet a lot of Congress critters are worried about this. Hell if a Donk isn’t safe in Mass. then where are they safe? For some it might be too late.

Dire Straits on January 19, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Nothing left to do today but pray, scalleywag.

God save the republic!

PattyJ on January 19, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Dont get upset guys, but Im going on record as saying Marcia Croakley will pull it off.. with Rasmussen not committing on Brown and now Zogby giving edge to Croakley..plus the early heavy turn out, plus the fraud factor…i hope im wrong.

malkinmania on January 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM

All these early congratulations make me very nervous…Brow has not won yet. Heavy dem turnout and normal dem fraud could ti it to the commies today.

JIMV on January 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

malkinmania on January 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM

I have the same felling. We will see…

Dire Straits on January 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I have the same feeling. We will see…

Dire Straits on January 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Sorry

Dire Straits on January 19, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Where are the trolls? Collecting votes at the local cemetery?

MeatHeadinCA on January 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Last night on Hannity, he said there are over 100 thousand still registered, but deceased voters. Watch for that to come into play. He also mentioned that several people that have made moves over the past few years, are STILL registered in their old voting districts, as well as their new ones. That will pose a problem as well. This is going to go beyond tonight, if it’s not a landslide either way.

capejasmine on January 19, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Brown will WIN! Look at the polls, look at the faces of Mathews, Bechel, Obama, they know they are screwed they had a terrible candidate who ran against a hero a military man.

Scott brown is way more similar to the Kennedys of old than Coakley hes a homegrown patriot.

The patriots are far more enthusiastic and likely to vote than the Obamabots heck even police unions are endorsing Brown
THEY AREN’T ACTING STUPIDLY!

He will serve the citizens of MASS well.

dhunter on January 19, 2010 at 11:14 AM

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/12435

Keep votin patriots! BELIEVE!

dhunter on January 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Zogby giving edge to Croakley..plus the early heavy turn out, plus the fraud factor…i hope im wrong.

malkinmania on January 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM

I checked Zogby’s site. No poll listed. He’s pulling his opinion out of his butt. Even the Dem polls show Brown ahead including one of Coakley’s internal polls.

Best poll of all though was the rally turnout. I keep saying it. Brown had more people standing outside in the rain and snow than Marcia and Bozo had inside one half a middle school gymnasium.

THAT’s a poll.

Also prior to today I just read over 100k absentee ballots were submitted and the reports are that Brown leads in those by 16 points.

Yesterday Marcia’s main phone bank was deserted. (like, whats up with that?)

Snow is coming down pretty hard in Mass and NH now.

dogsoldier on January 19, 2010 at 11:25 AM

To SilverStar830- (sitting down with their pants around their ankles.)HaHaHaHa! how about caught with their “Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, look like fools with their pants on the ground!!!!!!!”

kitkat-n.c. on January 19, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Do you mean that?

Crazy funny.

ConScribe on January 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM

The Dems are so arrogant, it’s can’t be the message, the fault has to lay in the messenger.

Idiots. I hope they keep it up thru November.

GarandFan on January 19, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Good analysis.

If the only lesson learned is to be “more aggressive” I can only see as the outcome a foaming psychotic in a straightjacket as the operative image of the democrat party in three years. How high — or low — can the pitch of hatred and rage and “aggression” go?

rrpjr on January 19, 2010 at 12:25 PM

We are going to see the very angry “combative” man child that Obama is.

farright on January 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Like Beck, Severin, et al., I expect it to get ugly. These revolutionaries will not back off voluntarily.

petefrt on January 19, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Blame away, Dems! One thing we can bet the bank on is that Barack and his henchmen won’t learn anything from this and will continue their push to cram as much socialism as possible down our throats in the time remaining for them.

ya2daup on January 19, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Comment pages: 1 2