If Martha Coakley could depend on one friendly audience in the final hours of her campaign to replace Ted Kennedy in the Senate, one would expect that to be the Martin Luther King Breakfast in Boston. The event rarely has the political profile it does this year, thanks to the timing of the special election, but it attracts Democratic power brokers from the Bay State’s bastion of Democratic politics. Ben Smith reports on the much-less-than-enthusiastic response Coakley received:
Martha Coakley spoke to the Boston Martin Luther King Day Breakfast this morning, making the case to a subdued crowd of dignitaries at the Hynes convention center that voting for her tomorrow will help carry on King’s legacy. …
“If you end me to the Senate, I will be guided by those values,” she said of President Obama and King to a packed ballroom that included her opponent, Scott Brown, who sat in the crowd; Coakley sat on the dais.
Coakley received polite, seated applause, but her tepid reception at a stronghold of Democratic politics reflected the lack of excitement among Democrats for the race. Brown was also received warmly, shaking hands and taking pictures with well-wishers during pauses in the morning’s event.
It looks as if everyone wanted to shake hands and greet the next Senator from Massachusetts — and in their estimation, that was the one candidate who didn’t speak from the dais. Maybe they agreed with Scott Brown, who blasted Coakley for her arrogance in turning the MLK celebration into a campaign rally by asking for votes:
Scott Brown blasted his rival Martha Coakely for invoking the legacy of Martin Luther King in asking for votes at the Boston Martin Luther King Day breakfast this morning.
“I thought it was inappropriate when she started asking for people’s votes when they’re trying to remember Martin Luther King, Jr.,” he said. “I didn’t know this was a rally for Martha.”
Desperation will do that to a candidate, apparently. The bigger takeaway was that Coakley felt the need to ask them for their votes, at an event that attracts the leadership of Democratic politics in a heavily Democratic city. In ordinary circumstances, Coakley wouldn’t even need to be there.
And in ordinary circumstances, the Democrat would be getting the backslaps while the Republican got the golf claps.