Martha Coakley Wins Primary For Ted Kennedy's Senate Seat

I'm not happy about this, but here it is. Mass. Attorney General and former state prosecutor Martha Coakley won today's Democratic primary election to replace Sen. Edward Kennedy.

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    Objections understood, but overall I think (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 08:58:18 PM EST
    she'll make a pretty good Senator.

    Happy to have another woman (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by caseyOR on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 10:19:55 PM EST
    in the Senate. I may not agree with Coakley on every issue, but the more liberal women in Congress the better. IMO.

    Agree 100%! (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 10:45:27 PM EST
    That was my thought also (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by nycstray on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 11:35:49 PM EST
    slowly we chip away. . . .  :)

    I'm waiting for the day when the men just cower in the corner vs trying to trade our rights away. Don't think I'll live to see it, but I'll take every strong pro-choice/pro-woman female I can get in the meantime.


    Boxer was amazing today. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by lilburro on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 12:46:02 AM EST
    More of that?  Yes please!

    Coakley is a winner, thank goodness (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Yes2Truth on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 09:18:49 AM EST

    Some have criticized her as having built her career in the same manner as J.Reno, but Martha is a much more appealing personality than Ms. Reno.

    Far left liberals who don't understand the concerns and fears of most Americans no doubt don't like
    Coakley, but she'll be welcomed in the Senate as a fair and balanced voice of moderation

    You forgot the "IMO" in your comment (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 03:31:14 PM EST
    Janet Reno is less attractive in physical appearance, but in manner of speaking, she is far less offensive than Coakley.

    I'm with Jeralyn on this...Coakley has shown herself to be ruthless in getting convictions no matter how obviously innocent the high profile defendent was.

    She may be pro-choice, but where does she stand on the death penalty?


    She has stated (none / 0) (#34)
    by CST on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 03:36:24 PM EST
    that she is against the death penalty in all cases.  She used to support it in two cases (murder while in prison and murder of officer) but she changed that position about 7 or 8 years ago, according to the Globe.

    I understand (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 09:04:58 PM EST
    that her opponent was for and then against the Stupak Amendment and that killed him in the polls.

    No, he was never for the amendment (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 09:10:15 PM EST
    he said he was still for the whole package. Honestly, Coakley was always the frontrunner, and there was very little (if any) difference between the two.

    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 09:18:17 PM EST
    but Coakley said that she wouldnt vote for it with the Stupak whereas he would? That was what I understood. He also had the full backing of the Kennedys I understand and she's not popular with the establishment Dems either. It was kind of replay of the '08 primary in a smaller way.

    She just had a broader base of support (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 09:20:25 PM EST
    He did win Boston.

    Coakley is about as strong (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 09:25:52 PM EST
    on choice as I think it's possible to be.

    Capuano, what I've seen of him, appears too often to be a very noisy, arm-waving, pound-thr-table, red-in-the-face blowhard.  Coakley will be far more effective in the Senate, I think.


    IMO, the Senate could use (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 09:33:09 PM EST
    a red-faced left wing blowhard or two. I'm not sure I'd want it to be my Senator, though. (That's part of the problem with Congress: why should everyone have to represent a place?)

    I actually don't agree (none / 0) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 12:18:16 AM EST
    I don't believe Capuano has the least heft or influence in the House because he too often behaves like a deranged reality show contestant.  That may be pleasing when the guy is on "our" side, but it accomplishes zippo.

    It's possible to be forceful and impassioned without coming off like a used car salesman on steroids.  Try, say, John Lewis for example.

    (I really, really dislike Capuano, obviously)


    I barely know about him (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 12:19:24 AM EST
    As for Lewis: I would be honored to have him as my Senator.

    John Lewis (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 01:12:34 AM EST
    is one of my very small number of personal heroes.

    Oh, (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 09:48:00 PM EST
    I agree that she's a much better candidate than he is but I thought the underlying politics were interesting.

    Actually, the Kennedys (none / 0) (#10)
    by dk on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 10:12:57 PM EST
    stayed neutral.  But most of the House delegation (with the notable exception of the one woman, Nikki Tsongas), Dukakis, Nancy Pelosi, and much of the Boston city council, got behind Capuano.  Didn't help him much, obviously.

    Capuano definitely got heat for voting for the House bill containing the Stupac amendment.  


    Snotty comments (none / 0) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 10:17:46 PM EST
    Although the Kennedys were officially neutral, there were some snotty comments about Coakley from the Kennedy camp.

    Really? I'm not doubting (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by dk on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 10:19:08 PM EST
    you, but I live in Boston, and if any of them did make snotty comments they really didn't get any play in the news.

    me neither (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CST on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 09:07:53 AM EST
    never heard a word from the kennedys.

    I agree with the comments that imply Capuano is too much of a "crazy local" to be a senator.

    Coakley just has a lot more gravitas.

    Although I still love this.  My favorite line "some of my constituents have robbed some of your banks".  Hilarious.


    Yes. Hilarious but a great logical (none / 0) (#28)
    by oldpro on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 12:46:56 PM EST
    point.  They all say the same thing (that you say)!  They're sorry!  They learned their lesson!  They won't do it again!  Trust 'em! And let 'em out!

    A showboater but not a total fool.  At least he got to the heart of the matter...


    The Kennedy family (none / 0) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 12:21:03 AM EST
    political street smarts died with Teddy, I'm afraid.  (And even before that when you consider the Obama endorsement and the Caroline Senate flirtation.)

    More telling is that Big Dog came out for her.


    Actually, one Kennedy did endorse (none / 0) (#24)
    by Valhalla on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 01:38:38 AM EST
    Capuano, Teddy's nephew.  But it didn't make a lot of news since it wasn't really any sort of family-level endorsement.  One of the Kennedys, I think it was the same one, made some smart&ss remarks about Coakley's unseemly ambition early on.

    Actually in the last debate (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 09:15:33 AM EST
    he said he wouldn't vote for final passage if it contained Stupak.

    I don't think it resembled the '08 primary at all.  Capuano is hardly an Obama - kind of the opposite in personality actually - and Coakley doesn't really resemble Hillary much either other than the fact that she is female.  In a way, it was the opposite, since Capuano has a bigger background in policy and Coakley was more of a personality vote - since she hasn't really held a legislative office.  Although you can't really compare them that way either.


    Demographically it was almost a straight (none / 0) (#29)
    by Valhalla on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 01:35:23 PM EST
    repeat of the primaries.  The well-off liberal areas with high college enrollments went for Capuano.  Working class and more moderate-income areas went solidly for Coakley.  And, of course, women went for Coakley in significant numbers.  Hers was Clinton's demographic plus 10%, basically.

    In endorsements, it was a primaries repeat as well, with The Big Dog coming in for Coakley and Capuano backed by Pelosi (curiously right after his vote to pass the Stupak-laden hc bill out of the House).  And Capuano, like Obama, has done a lot of voting, but not much else.  He differed from Obama in that he almost always votes liberal.  His persona is of a big 'street fighter' but his legislative efforts are not.  Martha, on the other hand, is a doer.

    I don't understand where all this Coakley is a 'personality' talk is coming from, unless it's some weird meme being generated out of opposition camps.  Coakley is, if anything, sort of boring.  Note, I don't think she's boring, but she is an even-voiced policy wonk; boring if that sort of thing doesn't do it for you.  Capuano's the personality -- known for being loud and bombastic.  Martha's IS well-known, as she was in public service first in Middlesex County and then statewide for 25+ years.  But even when handling controversies, she's been nothing but calm and sober-voiced publicly.


    Demographically (none / 0) (#30)
    by CST on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 02:10:27 PM EST
    location wise is not necessarily the same thing as getting the same voters.  Capuano is from Somerville - so he had a lot of support from local groups in and around the city.  Those aren't necessarily the same city voters that went for Obama though.  (BTW - not all areas inside 128 are well-off, and liberal I think doesn't have so much to do with it as local - I know a lot of people from Somerville, the old-school types who had more of a "he's our guy" reaction to Capuano than anything else).

    Personality wise, Obama and Capuano couldn't be more different.

    Endorsements in the presidential primary were much louder than in this race.  Here, even if someone was endorsed, you barely heard a peep.  Granted, that could've just been the low-key nature of the race in general.  Of course Pelosi backed Capuano, he's her guy, and let's not forget, she spearheaded that healthcare vote.  In both cases, I think endorsements made little to know difference.

    My point about Coakley is she was never in a legislature to accrue a legislative record - unlike Capuano, so it was, to a degree I think, about the fact that her personality is more even-handed.

    I just personally don't see many parallels between the votes.  It's a completely different race with completely different people on a completely different scale.

    Anywho, I guess I was part of that +10%.


    actually, Capuano's voters (none / 0) (#36)
    by Valhalla on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 05:02:27 PM EST
    were mostly the same voters as Obama's.  Of course he got the Somerville vote, but he's very popular in Somerville and it's a straight up latte liberal town, with the exception of a few smallish areas near the borders.  His popularity isn't an accident.  Obama did very well, in fact won or tied in Somerville and Boston, and Amherst, which is where Capuano did well outside his own district.  Amherst isn't local for Capuano and Boston doesn't really care what Somerville thinks.  The same Blue Mass Groupies for Obama were pulling for Capuano, so obviously there's something about Capuano that attracts many of Obama's more fervent supporters.  Coakley pulled in a significantly higher percentage of women, and most particularly the middle-aged women who backed Clinton in the primaries -- the local media could not stop talking about that, they kept harping on it as if Coakley were cheating somehow by being attractive to the state's Clinton supporters, or to female voters.

    They were both very close on the issues -- the only really big disagreement was Coakley saying she wouldn't vote for health care as long as it had Stupak, with Capuano initially mocking her position then flipping.  But Martha really emphasized the economic issues, which is foremost on the minds of most folks outside the Boston area, whereas Capuano had a greater emphasis on social issues.  I live right near Somerville and work in Cambridge, but grew up in Central Mass., and I promise you, the demographics are very different.

    Yes there are non-wealty communities inside 128, but the bulk of wealth communities are inside 128.  The rest of the state is much more working class, esp. Worcester and Springfield.


    Since turnout (none / 0) (#37)
    by CST on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 06:46:45 PM EST
    was much MUCH lower, what I am saying is although they might be the same neighborhoods, they are not necessarily the same people.

    The people who were likely to vote Capuano in Somerville are not the "latte liberals" who are mostly newcomers, but the old-school entrenched Somerville residents from it's Slummerville days.  Just from my personal experience with the people I know in the area.  Most of the "latte liberals" I know in Somerville didn't bother to vote this time.  And I know a whole lot of them.  But the ones who have lived there forever sure did.

    Boston may not care what Somerville thinks, but the old-school Boston is still more likely to go for someone of Capuano's personality, although again, these are not necessarily the same people who came out en masse for Obama.  I doubt the younger voters and minority voters really gave a cr@p about Capuano, and most of them probably didn't come out at all.  But there is still the entrenched political Irish who would be more likely to support Capuano.

    Again, I realize they are the same areas, but there are a number of different demographic groups within these areas and they don't break down the same way.  

    Obama won a LOT more of the state than Capuano did, although yes, some of those areas did overlap.  Coakley cleaned Capuano's clock in the westernmost part of the state that Obama won, and Capuano didn't win any areas inside 128 outside of Boston, Somerville, Cambridge and Chelsea.  While these neighborhoods may contain some of the upper-middle class vote, they are also more urban areas and contain a lot of lower income folk as well.  They are hardly Newton's or Weston's or Lincoln's that Obama won and Capuano lost.

    And yes, I know the state demographics well.


    not the same as the primaries (none / 0) (#38)
    by noholib on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 09:24:57 PM EST
    Anecdotally, polling a few of my friends both in western Mass and in greater Boston area, I didn't see this as a replay of the primaries at all.  Some people who supported Obama in the primary were now supporting Coakley, some Capuano.  Some people who supported Clinton in the primary were now supporting Capuano.  Those who supported Capuano considered him more liberal than Coakley and more concerned with social and economic issues in a bread-and-butter kind of way.  Some preferred the experience of a legislator to that of a prosecutor.  Gender was not an issue with any of these people. Those who had been ardent supporters of Clinton did not feel obliged to vote for a woman this time.   Everyone felt that in the end either would be a very fine candidate and senator for Massachusetts.

    P.S. (none / 0) (#39)
    by noholib on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 09:26:45 PM EST
    Those supporting Capuano also liked his votes against the Patriot Act and the Iraq War.

    He voted for the bill in the (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by dk on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 10:06:56 PM EST
    House that included the amendment.  I'm so happy I was able to vote against him today.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 11:00:05 PM EST
    So did just about every other liberal in the House.

    Yup. And if there was a (none / 0) (#16)
    by dk on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 11:01:53 PM EST
    way to have punished all of them I would have done that too.  Unfortunately for Capuano, he was the one on the ballot.

    Totally reasonable (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 11:09:43 PM EST
    I don't think I agree, but I don't begrudge you that vote.

    Coakley will be a fine senator (none / 0) (#31)
    by Yes2Truth on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 03:03:49 PM EST
    liberals and progressives who are skeptical or even hostile towards her.  Same as they were about Obama last year, but now even HRC supporters must admit
    that the Big O was the better choice.

    ROFLMAO (none / 0) (#32)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 03:28:21 PM EST
    exactly what are you basing that comment on?

    but now even HRC supporters must admit
    that the Big O was the better choice

    BTW - is that Big 0 a zero?


    A better choice than what? (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 04:13:28 PM EST
    better choice? (none / 0) (#40)
    by noholib on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 09:29:30 PM EST
    any evidence for this claim?
    I think you could find plenty of evidence to the contrary.  Even some Obama supporters are experiencing "buyer's remorse."  Have a look at some of the other threads, in case you haven't noticed.
    In any case, Coakley should be a good senator.