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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Coakley comeback

Don't look now, but the leading Democrat for governor in 2014 is still the butt of national jokes about her campaign skills.

With yesterday's indictments of former Treasurer Tim Cahill, Attorney General Martha Coakley may have taken the final steps of a comeback few would have thought possible after her humiliating loss to Scott Brown in early 2010.

Coakley has already returned to the top of the heap of Bay State officials, polling higher than either Brown or Deval Patrick. And she's definitely doing better than Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, the presumptive clubhouse leader until his lead-footed misadventures.

In reality, the most talked about rival to Coakley right now is the far less well-known US Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who bagged for House Speaker Sal DiMasi and has her sights trained on the probation department.

Which brings us to the winning issue of 2012 and beyond: public corruption.

While Cahill obviously merits the reminder that someone is innocent until proven guilty, the evidence forming the foundation of the indictments can be seen as a form of political suicide. E-mails written by his then campaign manager suggest Cahill approved using lottery funds to pay for an advertising campaign.

While the counterargument is the ads were designed to rebut a Republican Governors Association ad blast trying to force Cahill out of the race by damaging the lottery's reputation, the trail seems pretty clear -- at least in the court of public opinion.

The case will play out in the media over the course of the 2012 election and likely beyond.  Republicans can and will make their case for more representation in the Legislature to serve as a counterbalance to Democratic dominance elsewhere.

But their track record beyond a couple of constitutional offices is not great and Cahill will be in the history books by 2014, when Patrick's successor is elected.

And let's not forget the GOP's gubernatorial cupboard is almost as bare. The presumption is Charlie Baker can get the nomination again if he wants it. But Baker would come to the campaign with black marks on his own campaign skills after failing to defeat a then unpopular incumbent in Patrick.

Of course Coakley's upward trend could be reversed if the Cahill case falls apart. But the attorney general has atoned for her political sins against Brown and would be holding the largest political scalp of them all if she bags Cahill.

Sorry Charlie.

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Blogger TyrantII said...

Coakley? Gov'nah?

You're kidding right?

It would require actual campaigning, and I'm doubting the citizens of the commonwealth have forgotten her scorn with having to mix with them on those cold fall mornings.

She was tone deaf then, as she is now. She's refused to investigate and prosecute corruption in this state and people know it. That is, when a D falls before their name.

One only needs to look at Romney to know how stupid it is to anoint a candidate. Next in line is for the bathroom, not the governors mansion.

April 03, 2012 11:39 AM  

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