Democrats Cast Blame At Each Other Over Senate Campaign

Posted by: Audiegrl

U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Martha Coakley gives a concession speech January 19, 2010 at the Sheraton Boston

Associated Press/Laura Kellman~The buck stops … Well, it was hard to tell just where the buck stopped Tuesday when it came to the Democratic party’s loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat that had been held by Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century.

Days before Republican state Sen. Scott Brown officially captured the seat over Democrat Martha Coakley, Washington to Boston began dodging blame and pointing fingers at each other.

Cool-headed analysis of what was driving independents from Coakley to Brown? No. The issue was who botched Democrat Martha Coakley’s Senate campaign more: her state people or national Democrats.

Most spoke the classic Washington way, under the cloak of anonymity. But President Barack Obama’s senior adviser took precise, public aim at Coakley’s camp as Brown closed in on the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat.

I think the White House did everything we were asked to do,” David Axelrod told reporters. “Had we been asked earlier, we would have responded earlier.”

But the signs had been there. In the bluest of blue states, the election was seen, at least in part, as a referendum on Obama, on health care reform, on the Democratic majority that had controlled two of three branches of government for a year.

And the Republican candidate was surging.

What of Obama himself?

Surprised and frustrated,” reported White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, promising more presidential reaction Wednesday. “Not pleased.”

Democrats could agree on the obvious: Somebody had taken the seat for granted, had underestimated the public’s anger over the economy, over the Democrats’ health care overhaul, over plain old arrogance in Washington.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, DNC, Elections, History, Media and Entertainment, News, Obama Administration, Partisan Politics, Politics, Presidents, Republicans, RNC, Senate, United States

17 responses to “Democrats Cast Blame At Each Other Over Senate Campaign

  1. Hat tip to Obamawire:

    Poll undermines conservative claim that Brown victory is a rejection of health care reform

    http://bit.ly/4wNitN

  2. djjl

    The defeat was not a referendum on health care reform. Everybody knows where the blame is to be cast – Wall Street and the Banking elite who are blanketed with DC assurances. What did DC offer Main Street -just words (mortgage crisis help, jobs, etc) and a kick in the butt.

    • Hi djjl,

      You might not agree but I think we need to get something, at this point anything passed and on the books so we have a starting point.

      If we get nothing we have no footing for improvements in the future. The Dems need to get off their asses and use whatever means available even if it means a House rubber stamp of the Senate bill.

      oh, btw I found a branch of my McFadden side of the family in Ark. from West Memphis and Proctor.

      this is one of them, Ellie McQuion McFadden

      Elie McFadden
      Now I have the entire southern tier covered from Georgia to California 🙂

  3. Well, I guess we all have different opinions on why Coakley lost. More and more what I’m reading is that the democratic party needs to move both to the center and to the liberal end. Not sure how you do that, but that’s what one of the democratic strategist says.
    Right now, I believe that Coakley lost because she ran a very bad campaign. Why when she gave her concession speech last night she didn’t even act upset. That tells me that she took way too much for granted.
    One of the things I learned when my husband ran for County Commissioner was that there is no substitute for walking precincts, hand shaking constantly in among the people. He beat an incumbent by doing that. Then when he was up for re-election he didn’t do the things that got him elected the first time. He was under the false impression that his constituents wanted him in his office working for them. Voters are fickled.

    Yes, Obama has made mistakes. But for the people who continue to bring Hillary up, she probably wouldn’t have been anymore successful then him. Why? Because the democratic congress has blue dogs who don’t want the liberal agenda passed.

    • ogenec

      I think the Democratic strategist is right. There is a lot of disenchantment with the administration over the economy. You can argue that it’s not fair, given the enormity of the economic chasm that Obama encountered when he assumed office, but that’s why he gets paid. To fix things. So he owns the economy now.

      Here’s how I think he can move both to the center and to the left. On the left, he can harness their populism, Main Street anguish by passing comprehensive financial reform. And by comprehensive, I mean just that — COMPREHENSIVE. That means no exceptions for over-the-counter derivatives; everything has to be on an exchange so it’s transparent. That means that financial institutions are assessed a tax to make up for any shortfall in recoupment of TARP funds. That means that banks are given a simple message: start lending, or we nationalize you. And that means that we move aggressively on write-downs for impaired loans (with some adjustment, so that lenders recoup eroded principal when the economy turns around).

      These measures would placate liberals without offending independent- and center-right populists. The WSJ/National Review crowd will hate this, but that’s an argument FOR doing it: to demonstrate how out of touch the Republican elite is.

      As to the center, the administration must narrow the scope of this health care bill (or tell the House, it’s the Senate deal or no deal). Drop cap-and-trade for the time being. Full steam ahead on the independent commission on entitlement reform. This would placate the centrist, deficit-hawk crowd.

      That’s how you turn this defeat around, IMHO.

  4. You always make so much sense ogenec. 🙂 I think Obama should put you in his administration. LOL

  5. ogenec

    I also have to say that it is very cowardly, and tin-eared, of the administration to try to deflect blame to Coakley. Yes, she sucked as a candidate, and a large portion of the blame is hers. But it would have been very big of the administration if Axelrod and/or Gibbs had said “We congratulate Mr. Brown on his victory. We remain great fans of Mrs. Coakley, and we know she will continue her sterling work as a public servant for the good people of MA.

    As for this being a reflection on our administration, we know that MA and the rest of the country want results. We can, and will, do better.”

    WTF can’t they say that??!?!? And get their surrogates to STFU? This whole thing is unseemly.

    • agree with you, she phoned it in but the preemptive backstabbing is not doing anyone any good.

    • Agreed, Gibbs should have used your message, she did suck, but its not good politics to say so.

      Remember what your mom told you, ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’

      Good advice. 🙂

  6. The problem with the President putting health care off to the future, and just focus on the economy, is the fact that health care and the economy are tied together. It would be impossible to fix one with out fixing the other.

    Not to mention everyone screaming that they want their issue taken care of ‘now dammit!’ 😉

    • ogenec

      Yes, AG, I agree. There is no long-term way to fix the economy without fixing healthcare and other entitlements. But in the short-term, it is possible to get the economy back on its feet by pursuing some of the the steps I mentioned. It will still be a fragile recovery, but it will be a recovery nonetheless. Then you layer in the healthcare and entitlement stuff to nurse the patient back to full health.

      Think of it this way. Even under the House version of the bill, very few would have been able to take advantage of the public option; the rest would have hard to rely on employer-based insurance or insurance purchased from an exchange. But if you don’t have a job, or are under-employed, how can you afford to purchase said insurance? Even with the affordability credits, it would have been difficult. Result: you have neither decent employment nor insurance.

      So I’m really confused as to why we focused so intently on comprehensive health insurance, when that has always struck me as the tail wagging the economy dog.

      • Actually, I’ve always thought we should get a health care bill passed, just like SS and Medicare, and improve on it. 🙂 With our foot in the door, over the next 3-7 years we could get some amazing things done.

        • ogenec

          I agree. The question now is whether we can still get anything passed. It’s going to be really difficult.

    • ogenec

      Looks like it’s sinking in: http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20100121/US.Obama.Economy/

      “A drumbeat of events will follow, on plans for the financial industry package, deficit reduction, jobs creation, added access to capital for small businesses, increased exports and help for working families, the official said.

      Throughout, Obama also will draw a sharper contrast with Republicans.”

      Now, that’s what I am talking about! All this “angels dancing on the head of a pin” nonsense about trigger this, Stupak that is just whistling past the graveyard. THIS is what the American people need. Make it happen, Mr. President. 🙂 {Terrorist fist bump!!}

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