For the love of god, no!

A view from the digital street. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Mike Capuano might run. Awesome! Give me my lit and canvass kit and send me on my way.

Berwick? Ok, tell me more and I will probably back him

Grossman? Fine, I can deal with that. As vanilla as the icecream he eats, but he is a solid dem. Wolf the same.

Curtatone? I do love Somerville so he must be doing something right.

But for the love of God not Martha Coakley.

Why her? So she can refuse to shake hands outside Fenway Park? So she can go on vacation after she wins the Primary? So she can totally isolate Independent voters and lose the election?

We forget what it’s like to have a Republican in the corner office. But we have had more R’s than D’s in the past 30 years and I for one want to keep it a distant memory!


119 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. For Heaven's sake, stop the Coakley bashing....enuff already

    First of all, at least Coakley is from Massachusetts, at least grew up here, unlike Chicago Deval and Oklahoma Liz.

    Second, she ran when Obama’s popularity was at an all time low, under 50% in MA if I recall. She made mistakes, but is there any doubt Warren or Partick would have lost that same election in 2010? So cut her some slack.

    I read where Mike Dukakis was launching someone’s campaign for a local office. He’s the prime reason we had 16 years of R governors, yet you all seem to blame someone else.

      • Learning to argue by watching television

        DFW’s comment has yet another example of learning to argue by watching television described in a previous thread. The assertion that Dukakis is the reason for 16 years of Republican governors is exactly the sort of thing you say in a sound bite war on television. It has rhetorical punch, but there’s no polling to back it up.

        It’s also a symptom of someone who doesn’t care about getting things right.

        That was also, amusingly, illustrated on the previous thread by the exchange over spelling. “Indescressions” DFW wrote. I pointed out the misspelling. He “corrected” it to “Indescretions”.

        If the guy you’re debating doesn’t care about getting things right, you are wasting your time debating him.

        • Kbusch- first you need to not take things so serious

          especially me. The sun will rise tomorrow, the world won’t flood, Morrissey Blvd is open to drive on, etc

          Now I have lived in MA all my life, born and raised here. Are you suggesting since when Dukakis ran the state into the ground in 1990, Weld, cellucci, and Romney did not refer to the Dukakis years? I make valid point and you simply choose to ignore the facts. Dukakis was horrible, with furlough programs to his arrogance. Heck, I remember in 88, Jesse Jackson came to visit him, and the Duke served chowder, but Jesse is allergic to milk, do he ate a hotdog at the Esplanade. Don’t get me started on his campaign manager John Sasso.

          • Absolutely

            I am arguing that we should not take you seriously. I am glad that you agree.

            • Great- life is too short

              If you don’t like my opinions, ignore or debate them, all with a smile. Just don’t accuse me of aiding and abetting murder as Tom did, that is over the top/Alex Jones tactics.

              Hopefully that we understand and respect one another, we can have a respectful exchange of ideas and opinions.

            • Don't take me seriously,

              just respect me.

              • Mark Bail - you just don't get it

                Dont take so seriously that you become upset or do angry, you liken me to a murderer. Life is too short for that. I didn’t get all heated b/c you kept dodging my questions in prior posts. I took it for what it was, you ask you a difficult question that you would rather not go on the record. No biggie, I get that alot, I think folks think I am about to spring a trap on them with a follow- up question.

        • KB - so if Dan's post is emblematic of learning to argue by watching television...

          …then is Mike’s emblematic of learning to argue by watching Looney Toons?

          (It would explain a lot)

          • As should be painfully obvious

            even to the robots of the Hypocrisy Patrol but apparently overlooked by you is that DFW’s contributions, particularly when they generate more heat than light, provoke a derisive response. That is different from how, for example, mike_cote engages in discussions with people who do care about getting things right.



      Whew! Have to catch my breath…


    • Deval Patrick won an election in 2010.

      Just sayin’.

      RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 5:13 PM
    • Another Democrat that

      Dan can pretend to support until she opposes Keystone or it turns out she supported NAFTA as student council president.

  2. I doubt this was intentional, but

    You listed four men and talked about how you could see them in the Corner Office and found them perfectly acceptable. Two of those men have lost elections for statewide offices, badly, one already having lost a bid for Governor.

    You listed one woman, who also lost one election, less badly than the others, and said, “hell no.”

    Do you sense where this is going? Did you even bother to stop for 5 seconds to consider these issues before posting?

    Even unintentional, it’s unacceptable. She’s the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for heaven’s sake. Someone who has won many lopsided elections, is highly popular, and capable of learning from the one election she lost.

    I have no bones in this race and don’t know who I’d support, but automatically discounting her while praising 2 men who’ve lost their own big elections, a small city mayor and a guy from the Obama administration that no one’s heard of is just, well, awful.

    Good day, sir.

    RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 5:10 PM
    • I can't speak for his Uffishness,

      Coakley didn’t just lose an election, she failed to work at it. There’s no shaming in losing. But when you don’t know what you’re doing, refuse to cooperate with the Democratic State Committee, and blow a good chance at keeping a senate seat in Democratic hands, you’ve got a lot to answer for.

      For all I know, Ryan, the poster may be a closet sexist, but to impugn him (or her, for that matter) because you can construe some sort of sexism is just, well, awful.

      • The facts are there.

        Was any effort made into seeing if Grossman or Capuano “failed to work” at their elections, when they lost by much wider margins than Coakley?


        That’s not-so-strangely absent in almost any analysis of these campaigns.

        I was as mad at anyone for Coakley fracking things up. I actually have stories I could share! But if we’re not going to hold Capuano and Grossman accountable for the statewide elections they’ve lost, when they assuredly made large mistakes of their own, then it’s ridiculously unfair to hold that double standard, Mark.

        We’ve never elected a single woman in this state to the Corner Office. Not one. I won’t sit silently when Coakley is held to double standards and the only real difference I can see between she and her potential opponents, by the standards of ‘she lost badly,’ is gender.

        There is absolutely no reason to believe she would repeat the mistakes of her campaign anymore than Grossman or Capuano would in theirs.

        RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 6:15 PM
        • correction

          Beginning of 4th paragraph:

          *I was as mad as anyone for Coakley fracking things up.

          (not at anyone)

          RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 6:17 PM
          • No sexism

            Show me an actual progressive who wants to be an actual candidate and I will back them. Coakley is neither. Grossman won a competitive election statewide unlike Coakley.

            • "actual progressive" vs. "actual candidate" arguments

              Show me an actual progressive who wants to be an actual candidate and I will back them.

              As I said to SomervilleTom, I take no issue with choosing someone based on policy. Coakley isn’t progressive enough for you? That’s a perfectly acceptable reason to vote for someone else — and a perfectly acceptable argument to make in this case.

              Actual candidate? That’s where the double standards come in.

              She is at least as capable of being an actual candidate as any of the other guys thinking of running, if not more so, with the only guys who have run statewide having fared significantly worse in past statewide elections than she did.

              Grossman won a competitive election statewide unlike Coakley.

              Grossman won a race far fewer people paid attention to and faced little real opposition, far less than Coakley’s Senate campaign. In fact, Karyn Polito, Grossman’s opponent, did much better than she ever should have given that her policy positions were insane and she had almost zero funding. That election never should have been “competitive” to begin with.

              So, not really comparable to facing a Wall-St backed Scott Brown, is it?

              Even if it were exactly the same, though, remember that Coakley exceeded Grossman’s vote tally and percentage for AG, even after her loss to Brown, on the very same ballot as Grossman, in the very same year.

              No, it wasn’t a competitive race: she doubled her opponent up. But is that a critique or a compliment when,

              1) A lot of people were so afraid of her prospects for AG, after losing to Brown, that there were many calls for her to step down and declarations from people that they’d never vote for her again, and

              2) A large part of the reason why her AG race wasn’t competitive was because she worked damn hard, doing everything right, including shaking hands such as mine at the Medfield Town Fair.

              In Grossman’s only race with major opponents, his gubernatorial bid in ’02, he couldn’t get 1% of the vote. Not 1%! That should be a far larger concern, IMO, even as I wouldn’t completely hold it against him when I’m confident everyone running for the Democratic Nomination for Governor today realizes they need to run a Patrick-Warren-Markey style race.

              I imagine that calculus may have seemed very different when it was only Patrick, and can forgive someone for making those kinds of mistakes before Warren and Markey cemented the grassroots strategy that will dominate our state party for years to come. That goes for Coakley, Grossman and Capuano.

              I have no idea who I’ll vote for — absolutely none — but if anyone is going to feel troubled over Coakley’s loss to Brown, they better damn well be troubled about Grossman and Capuano, too. Otherwise, it’s a huge double standard. Period.

              RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 7:55 PM
              • You make little sense sir

                So Grossmans 10pt victory over a real Republican opponent doesn’t count but Coakleys over a write in loser somehow does?

                Grossman letting a Treasurers race get “competitive” is sign of his incompetence but Coakley blowing a 22 pt lead and taking a bleepin vacation in the middle of a campaign is somehow excusable because Brown was backed by Wall Street. You had an easy wrap up of the nomination (and again I haven’t suggested Capuano is any better, he ran terribly state wide), Kennedy’s out in force, even Obama and she still lost. Calling Schilling a Yankee, while trivial, is utterly inexcusable for a MA candidate. Going
                On vacation is utterly inexcusable. In 2002 Grossman dropped out
                months before the primary so the small showing is really not demonstrable of that run.

                I suggest you have the double standards, you are certainly holding Grossman to a different one. I proudly voted for Elizabeth Warren who was a far better candidate and has been a far better Senator than Coakley ever could dream of. Hillary ran a better campaign than Coakley and will likely be an awesome candidate in 16′ (awesome president is up for debate). So I suggest if Coakley was a man would you be making this many excuses for you?

                • Wow...

                  So Grossmans 10pt victory over a real Republican opponent doesn’t count

                  Where did I say it doesn’t count? I said it was different than a United States Senate election, where the opponent is heavily backed by Wall St. — and I didn’t even mention the fact that he had volunteers being bused in from all around the country.

                  You recognize the differences, correct? You recognize that perhaps Scott Brown would have been a teensy bit harder for Grossman to beat than Karyn Polito, right? You recognize the chances that he may have — gasp! — lost to Brown, too, right?

                  Grossman letting a Treasurers race get “competitive” is sign of his incompetence

                  Not incompetence, but it seemed pertinent to mention that 1) he didn’t dominate when put up against a bad candidate and 2) Martha Coakley was on the ballot in the same year, very soon after her depressing loss to Brown, and did better than Grossman.

                  over a write in loser

                  Coakley’s opponent was not a write in. Not in the general election, anyway.

                  All of the bad things you’ve described about Coakley’s campaign are real. If you remember, I was irate about them, too. For a long time. Still am, in some ways.

                  I just think it’s incredibly hypocritical for us to say “for the love of god, no!” to her, when Grossman’s last race for Governor had him finishing with less than 1% of the vote and Capuano lost by 20% for Senate.

                  For the guys? It’s “AWESOME!” and “Fine.” Coakley? “For the love of god, no!”

                  How on earth is that not a double standard? How?

                  So I suggest if Coakley was a man would you be making this many excuses for you?

                  Am I saying Grossman or Capuano shouldn’t run? Hell no. Your point doesn’t stand. All of them have their faults, I’ve only pointed out the hypocrisy among those who’ve failed to point out that Coakley’s campaign faults are very much shared, and perhaps exceeded by, some of her potential opponents.

                  RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 9:46 PM
                  • it's the emotional effect and a matter of scale

                    There is a reason why people remember the name “Bill Buckner” vs. the thousands of baseball players over the years who have made even more egregious errors during regular season games in June. Coakley blew a big lead in the World Series, and you can’t do valid numerical comparisons to mistakes that led to losses in the regular season or earlier in the playoffs because those losses do not effect the fans (voters and volunteers) in the same way.

                    You can try every logical argument in your tool kit to get people to think otherwise, but for those who said, in January 2010, “Never again”, it will not matter.

                    • edit

                      “…affect the fans…”. Yeesh.

                    • Good but

                      Not sure I’d use baseball analogies with Coakley, it always leads to trouble with her.

                    • Okay

                      Michael Dukakis was an elected Governor of this state and lost reelection. It doesn’t get anymore “World Series” than that, nor anymore “Bill Buckner.”

                      He was allowed to run again and won.

                      Double standard.

                      You’re right, that it is a double standard may not matter to people, regardless of my logical “tool kit.” Double standards exist because people have an entire history of ignoring them. If people easily grasped this kind of hypocrisy, it would cease to exist.

                      Martha Coakley won’t be the first, nor the last, woman to suffer from them. Yet, I submit we should aspire to do better here on BMG, so long as we claim the mantle of a reality-based community.

                      RyansTake   @   Sat 29 Jun 3:26 PM
                    • any recent examples?

                      That you had to go back to 1982 – over thirty years ago – speaks louder than the example itself.

                    • Anthony Weiner, currently polling 1st Place in Mayor Race

                      ‘Nuff said

                      RyansTake   @   Sat 29 Jun 11:50 PM
                    • come to think of it

                      I can think of a recent example too. It was about five years ago. Someone with an old-boy’s-network name was supposed to have the presidential nomination all sewn up in the pre-primary prognostications. But some upstart put up a good fight and there was a battle almost all the way to the convention. In the end, she lost.

                      Of course you know I am talking about Hillary Clinton, and you know that rumor has it that she’s considering a 2016 run. Yet I don’t have that same visceral reaction of “no, not again” and I don’t sense it, at least not to the same degree as Coakley, in others. In fact, I might even support her in the primary and I’d definitely support her in the general (As an Obama supporter, I would have in 2008).

                      It isn’t a gender thing. It’s all about how they handled it (Hillary fought the whole way) and how exactly the loss went down.

                    • This is enough

                      Ryan, your intimation of sexism about anyone who disagrees with you about Coakley is base and puerile. By that logic, any evident dislike for Steve Grossman you display is because of your anti-Semitism.

                      sabutai   @   Sun 30 Jun 3:31 PM
                    • I'm going to refer to this post

                      for why I don’t think my comments were “base and peurile.”

                      Re: Grossman

                      I don’t get where on earth you suggest I have any issue or problem with Grossman. Our Treasurer is a good guy, very good at his job and I’d be happy to vote for him and volunteer for his election. I only ever made a point about a campaign he once fared much worse than Coakley, for the very office in question, yet no one was giving him similar grief over it. I made the same criticisms re: Capuano, in relation to Coakley. Any “evident dislike” on my part is purely in your head.

                      RyansTake   @   Sun 30 Jun 8:32 PM
                    • I know I'm wasting my time, but...

                      You intimated sexism where there was none, perhaps because you think it’s such a powerful argument that its illogic will not be pointed out. That has not worked it, and you’d be advised to give it up. It makes as much sense as anyone calling you anti-Semitic anytime you criticize Grossman.

                      sabutai   @   Sun 30 Jun 10:23 PM
                    • I think Ocean and Kbusch's comments on that matter

                      were spot on. It’s always hard to tell when it’s there and when it isn’t, that’s the nature of what makes it so pernicious, but in this case there was at least a perception of a double standard, regardless of whether or not it was intentional. It wasn’t just me who saw it, either, so we can’t blame it on the weird mind of Ryan: Judy, Petr, Ocean, Kbusch and others saw it too, at least insofar as there was a perception of it.

                      I hate to be the PC police, but we should all be aware enough of ourselves that we avoid even these perceptions. I really don’t want to see any list of 4-5 guys and 1 woman in which we excuse or ignore the similar problems and issues of the guys, but not the woman, without any tangible evidence or analysis as to why the woman is unique in deserving that additional burden, beyond gender. Without someone ‘showing their math’ in such cases, I will call foul on that every time, as I would for any class of people who have often been subjected to similar double standards in the past, because even the perception of a double standard perpetuates it among those who are sexist, racist, an anti-semite, homophobic or are at risk of being so.

                      We’re all well-intentioned people here and we all make mistakes. For example, I’m way too stubborn and crotchety sometimes, and I should probably work on that :p

                      I just think we can be better — including by being willing to explore our reasoning for why we think things with greater depth, so we know it’s founded in rational thought and not clouded by any double standards we’ve grown up with in life slipping in, unbeknownst to us.

                      RyansTake   @   Mon 1 Jul 3:27 PM
        • Please show me...

          Please show me anything Mr. Capuano has said or done that compares to the overreach of Ms. Coakley on wiretapping and privacy, on the Patriot Act, and the host of similar areas where she is anything but “Democratic”.

          I don’t know if a woman is about to emerge as a candidate for Governor or not. I know that Elizabeth Warren was NOT on the radar when Ms. Coakley lost what should have been a perfunctory shoo-in, and lost it precisely because of her own arrogance. I know that we are far better off with Elizabeth Warren as our first female senator than if Martha Coakley had had that distinction.

          I don’t care whether she learned how to hone her political chops from her embarrassing loss or not. I care, as I have written elsewhere, that to the extent she has demonstrated vision, values, or beliefs, her vision, values and beliefs contradict far too many of my own for me to ever vote for her.

          I don’t think the criticisms of this thread are sexist. I think she’s just a terrible candidate.

          • that's not the argument

            Please show me anything Mr. Capuano has said or done that compares to the overreach of Ms. Coakley on wiretapping and privacy, on the Patriot Act, and the host of similar areas where she is anything but “Democratic”.

            Those are all legitimate reasons to support one candidate over the other and I take no issue with them.

            I took issue with the condemnation of Coakley because she ran one bad campaign, when her one bad campaign came a lot closer than Grossman’s previous run for Governor — where he finished with less than 1% of the vote — or Capuano’s run for Senator, when Coakley trounced him.

            Those are double standards. Your critiques on her policy and vision aren’t.

            RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 6:56 PM
            • Ryan, you're the one with the

              double-standard: you’re the only one treating Coakley as a woman. It was you who assumed that Coakley was being treated, not like a politician, but as a woman politician. Just because she happened to be the only woman in a list of losing candidates. Then your defense of her potential candidacy is that we haven’t had a woman governor.

              You insulted Uffish, and hedged your attack by saying you doubt it was intentional. So Uffish is only an unconscious sexist. You picked a fight for no reason.

              Coakley is being treated as what she is, a politician. People have a right not to like her for previous campaign. I had union people that made calls for Warren who wouldn’t do so for Markey because they really, really didn’t like him. That’s politics.

              • Absolutely not.

                Ryan, you’re the one with the double-standard: you’re the only one treating Coakley as a woman. It was you who assumed that Coakley was being treated, not like a politician, but as a woman politician.

                That is a big, steaming pile of BS. I have offered consistent analysis in why condemning Coakley for having a bad election, but not the others, is big double standard.

                I’ll quote myself:

                I was as mad as anyone for Coakley fracking things up. I actually have stories I could share! But if we’re not going to hold Capuano and Grossman accountable for the statewide elections they’ve lost, when they assuredly made large mistakes of their own, then it’s ridiculously unfair to hold that double standard, Mark.

                You’ve made no analysis as to why you think Capuano (and I assume Grossman — who got .8% of the vote when he ran for the Democratic Nomination for Governor in 2002) could overcome their large statewide mistakes, when Coakley can’t.

                Until you can offer evidence and demonstrate some real thought on the matter that supports your argument, I stand by mine: there exists a very large double standard here, one that instantly forgives the male candidates, but holds the female one to some kind of unforgivable condemnation.

                I have no bones in this race and don’t know who I’d support, but automatically discounting her while praising 2 men who’ve lost their own big elections, a small city mayor and a guy from the Obama administration that no one’s heard of is just, well, awful.

                I perhaps could have been more diplomatic with that last (actually first) comment, but even there I offered an actual argument. This thread’s condemnation of Coakley and simultaneous support of the other guys offers no such thing: it makes the argument that we should dismiss Coakley for being a bad candidate, while completely ignoring the bad candidacies of the others who’ve run statewide.

                People have been free to explain themselves at ANY TIME as to why Coakley should be discounted for her bad election, but Grossman and Capuano should be instantly forgiven.

                But all I’ve heard was crickets and how-dare-yous.

                Feel free to explain why Coakley should be dismissed for losing by less than 10%, when Grossman isn’t when the last time he ran for Governor, he couldn’t crack 1% in the total vote count.

                It is a double standard, and your rationalization of it smacks of the typical nonsense Fox News hosts will use to dismiss double standards of these kinds in the past.

                If the primary concern is electability based on past elections, either all three elected officials thinking of running for this race should be dismissed — or none of them should, at least until we see how they start their campaigns off, what kind of operations they run and how they staff them.

                RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 8:14 PM
                • But not the others

                  Other than Grossman I will concede a lot of these names have issues too.

                  If I am arguing Coakley was a historically awful candidate, which I am since she was, I can’t excuse Mike Capuano for losing to her. He ran a not for prime time campaign and performed terribly, his trial run against Markey showed he hasn’t learned anything. As a policy maker he’d be a fantastic Governor, I doubt his ability to win.

                  Berwick will crash and burn, he is an academic with no connections to the states political class. Warren had tons of national exposure and DC connections so that parallel fails. Patrick was incredibly charismatic, had a fantastic team; Axelrod and Plouffe for Christ sake, had early endorsements like Dukakis, Reich and Capuano, and was able to self fund in the early stages to build infrastructure. Berwicks got none of that.

                  So again, defend Coakley on her own merits not against these guys.

                  • I haven't come out in support of Coakley

                    I don’t have to defend her candidacy, nor am I trying.

                    I am simply saying that the one argument made here by the OP, and backed up by others, is fundamentally flawed and creates a double standard that I’m far too uncomfortable with. That’s all.

                    If running historically bad or embarrassing campaign is disqualifying, then Coakley is far from the only person the OP and others here should be saying “hell no” to.

                    RyansTake   @   Sat 29 Jun 1:42 AM
                • Ryan, you're accusations of a

                  double standard was a logical fallacy: list of 4 failed candidacies, 1 woman singled out for lack of support —–> sexism and double-standard. When I call you on the double-standard, you associate me with Fox News. Another logical fallacy, and one that gets you off the hook for responding to the actual argument.

                  You could have been more diplomatic? You were outright obnoxious and insulting. You didn’t need to be.

                  • Responding to the actual argument

                    That’s a nice point you bring up, because that’s what I’ve been doing all along. I’ve made an argument and been responding to it. You and the OP have consistently ignored those arguments and, at least in this case, have reduced my argument down to ‘he only wrote a list.’

                    The OP is the only one who made any argument I’ve read thus far to explain why there should be an exception, other than gender, for why we can forgive Grossman and Capuano for their bad campaigns, but not Coakley, and that argument was a bad one — some silly point about expectations that, in and of itself, was a double standard.

                    I have not merely listed 4 male candidates and 1 female candidate and decried “SEXISM!” (I’ve never said sexism at all, for the record — just double standard and hypocrisy.)

                    I listed 2 male candidates who’ve run terribly bad campaigns statewide before, 1 female candidate who is a lot like them in that regard, and pointed out the double standard in blaming that one for having a bad election, but not the other two.

                    That’s much different than just writing a list and making no argument in its defense.

                    RyansTake   @   Sat 29 Jun 2:56 PM
                    • I was responding to

                      your original, and unnecessary rudeness. It’s not infrequent that you treat people like that on BMG. I don’t get it. People on BMG are friends and allies, not enemies. I do the same thing sometimes and try not to. I abuse Dan regularly, but that’s on purpose, not because I’m flying off the handle.

                      Your original argument is, these candidates made mistakes, Coakley made mistakes, she has an accomplished record: sexism. “Good day, sir.” What you’re lacking is called a warrant. It’s a weak argument. Responses like “Anthony Weiner. “Nuff said” and Fox News smears don’t help. I ended up responding to your other “arguments” in other comments, if you want to see more detailed answers.

        • Thank you RyansTake

          I am wondering the same thing. The level of vitriol being directed at Martha Coakley appears utterly unmatched to any male candidate who lost an election he was expected to win (Scott Harshbarger anyone?)

          I also doubt it’s intentional, but at some point it’s hard not to see both the history here and the different responses to Democratic losing candidates and start drawing conclusions.

          Does anyone really think Coakley hasn’t learned a lesson on better campaigning? It is fair to wonder whether she’d be good at the retail politics needed. But should she really be criticized so much more vigorously than any other Democrat who lost statewide?

          And speaking of losers, how is it that Mike Capuano gets a pass for running a pretty hideous primary campaign, alienating a huge number of women voters by criticizing Coakley for her stand on not supporting a healthcare bill that would undermine a woman’s right to choose, only to backtrack and agree with her the next day after he saw how badly his actual position was playing with the primary electorate? If he’s a candidate, he’s got a hell of a lot of explaining to do on that one before I’d be willing to support him.

          Finally, I’ve got a bit of gratitude for both Coakley’s loss and our 2 years of Senator Brown. Because of them, I now have Senator Elizabeth Warren. :)

          But the election of Elizabeth Warren does not change my concern about the problems of sexism among the electorate. Warren was a national rock star of a candidate. Success among the most talented does not disprove sexism any more than the presence of an African-American CEO disproves racism in business. It is only when you don’t have to be orders of magnitude more talented than your competition to succeed that you can argue racism or sexism aren’t a factor.

      • Mark said it more

        eloquently than I could myself. Note my comments reference her lack of effort (not shaking hands, taking a vacation).

        I think she is a terrible candidate.

        I agree that you should not discount someone because they have lost state-wide office (evidenced by my inclusion of Capuano). I agree she has strong poll numbers and is a good AG. I think she would start strong, perhaps leading the pack. And then I think she would flounder. Just my opinion, sure. But I think it is one shared by many.

        Certainly no sexism stated or implied. There is only one declared women. Therefore no one can say she is a bad candidate? If another woman declared, could I then call her a bad candidate?

        • You've made no analysis as to why

          You think Capuano (and I assume Grossman — who got .8% of the vote when he ran for the Democratic Nomination for Governor in 2002) could overcome their large statewide mistakes, when Coakley can’t.

          Until you can offer evidence and demonstrate some real thought on the matter that supports your argument, I stand by mine: there exists a very large double standard here, one that instantly forgives the male candidates, but holds the female one to some kind of unforgivable condemnation.

          Certainly no sexism stated or implied.

          As I said, I doubt it was intentional, but few people ever intend to hold women in politics (or life) to double standards and yet it happens so frequently.

          RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 6:51 PM
          • Coakley was front runner from the start

            and lost it.

            She had the name recognition. She had the lead and lost it. That is different than never having the lead and losing.

            Capuano’s loss to Coakley was expected. Coakley’s loss to Brown was shocking. Its not apples to apples. She should have won.

            I don’t see the double standard. If you are suppose to win and lose, that is worse than if you are suppose to lose and lose.

            I would say that Capuano performed as expected given his name rec relative to hers, and given the time frame of the election. I do not think mistakes were the reason he lost. I DO think mistakes are why Coakley lost when she should have won.

            • whoa there...

              I would say that Capuano performed as expected given his name rec relative to hers, and given the time frame of the election. I do not think mistakes were the reason he lost. I DO think mistakes are why Coakley lost when she should have won.

              Everybody makes mistakes. The question here isn’t who makes mistakes. The question is why are you holding Coakley, ahem a women, up to a standard of perfection that you are not holding Capuano up to …

              Would you be so down on Capuano if he had defeated Coakley then went on to lose to Brown? Somehow, I don’t think you would…

              • I was answering

                Ry’s point about mistakes:

                “could overcome their large statewide mistakes”

                I am trying to explain that I hold them to an equal standard – to preform as expected. And those expectations are based off of polls, media, etc. They were expectations widely held by probably everyone reading this. I am saying Coakley was a front runner and lost, which is different than not being a front runner and loosing. Jeez.

                • your point doesn't explain away

                  even the highly selective quote you used. If expectations are so important to you, that’s another point in favor of you making a double standard.

                  Coakley lost to Brown by 4%, a guy who in hindsight was a much stronger candidate than anyone thought.

                  Capuano lost to Coakley by 20%. She almost doubled him up, when she was in fact a much weaker candidate (in that race) than anyone thought.

                  Even if Capuano was expected to lose, there was no way the only sitting US Congressman running for US Senate was expected to lose by that much. I know I certainly thought it would be a lot closer, as were others who were originally very excited about Capuano in that race.

                  Then there’s the brutal, harshest truth about your expectations-game rationalization that completely undermines it: If she was such a bad candidate, why couldn’t Capuano have beat expectations? Isn’t that a failure in and of itself?

                  If you can forgive Capuano’s failures, but not Coakley’s smaller failure and this is all you’ve got, then I repeat: double standard.


                  Petr, by the way, is correct in his point, and your new “expectations” rationalization was just a (bad) way to ignore the point I actually made, similar to his:

                  There exists a very large double standard here, one that instantly forgives the male candidates, but holds the female one to some kind of unforgivable condemnation.

                  As Petr said and I’ve been saying, you’ve been having an awfully easy time forgiving Capuano (and Grossman by implication), but have been completely unwilling to forgive Coakley.

                  Bear in mind the fact that you’re not even making the argument that we should be wary of Coakley as a candidate, or take a wait-and-see approach to ensure she runs a very different kind of campaign, and you’re certainly not making an argument like SomervilleTom’s — that you can’t support her for policy reasons.

                  You’ve instantly dismissed her — “for the love of god, no!” — because she ran one bad election, while completely ignoring the fact that the only other elected pols in the mix have failures far bigger than her own.

                  D o u b l e. S t a n d a r d.

                  RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 8:38 PM
          • Cheap shot...

            …at Grossman and .8%. He withdrew from the primary well ahead of the election.

            As someone who was defending Coakley in SomervilleTom’s post, I tend to agree with the thrust of uffish. You want to equate criticism of her epiclly horrible Senate campaign with sexism. You can cite all the loses other candidates have had in MA. But none of them resulted in a series of Saturday Night Live skits, or became regular late night material for Letterman and Leno. You ignore the relative degree of her lose.

            • Wait a minute

              Doing so poorly in a campaign that he has to drop out is a defense of his campaign?

              And if I’ve made a cheap shot at Grossman, what is it that most everyone is doing to Coakley here? Why is it unfair of me to point out one of Grossman’s previous campaigns, but perfectly fine for everyone to rag on Coakley for one of hers?

              You want to equate criticism of her epiclly horrible Senate campaign with sexism.

              I’ve used the term “double standard” and “hypocrisy.” I have not used sexism or called anyone sexist because, as I said right from the start, I think it was unintentional.

              You can cite all the loses other candidates have had in MA. But none of them resulted in a series of Saturday Night Live skits, or became regular late night material for Letterman and Leno.

              I imagine there were plenty of parodies of Michael Dukakis when he ran for reelection as Governor and lost. Yet, he ran again and won.

              There were certainly parodies, jokes and SNL skits of Mitt Romney when he ran for the Republican Nomination for President and lost. Yet, he ran again and won that nomination.

              Anthony Weiner exposed his wiener on Twitter and was mercilessly ragged on by SNL, Leno and anyone else you could think up and forced out of office. A few short years later he finds himself in the lead for Mayor of New York City, a race he’s just entered.

              Need I go on?

              Why is it that when men embarrass themselves, are forced out of office or lose a “World Series” of an election, to borrow someone’s else’s phrase, that’s okay — but not Martha Coakley?

              What makes her so special?

              And why should being made fun of by Jay Leno on TV disqualify someone from future political office? Should we have disqualified the President in his reelection campaign, because Leno made fun of him on TV most every night? Are we comfortable with Leno, Letterman and SNL being the arbiters of who’s allowed to run for office?

              You ignore the relative degree of her lose.

              No, I didn’t. I’ve specifically stated that her loss was by a small margin (4-5%), while Capuano and Grossman have lost by significantly wider margins. Indeed, that’s been one of my central points in defense of my argument.

              Look, there’s plenty of reasons to support other candidates. But if those other candidates include Grossman or Capuano, the fact that she ran a bad campaign can’t be one of them — unless you’re willing to engage in a terrible double standard.

              I am not going to discount Grossman or Capuano for their previously bad campaigns, but I don’t think people should discount Coakley for hers, either. Voters will have better choices with all of these candidates in the race, doubly so if they vote based on who they think would do the best job, not political horserace stuff and dumb statements made in what will almost be half a decade ago by the time of the election.

              RyansTake   @   Sat 29 Jun 4:07 PM
              • It's a cheap shot...

                …because you take Grossman’s status completely out of context and you very well know that, but you cling to your rhetoric to hide the flaws in your argument. As you fully understand, when you say “Grossman only got .8% of the vote” you want to hide a critical fact from your reader…that he withdrew well in advance of the primary. Without that significant fact you are telling a half-truth…a lie. Apparently that doesn’t bother you. You’d rather win an argument than have an honest discussion.

                • for the record

                  I didn’t know he dropped out until others pointed it out to me. I took his .8% from wikipedia, which means he was on the ballot, and certainly apologize for that mistake.

                  It is rather moot, though. People don’t pull out of campaigns if they’re running good ones, not unless there’s some health issue in the family or something along those lines.

                  It’s doubly moot, too, because I have no issue with Grossman running and would strongly consider him in the campaign. I’m just pointing out the double standard, or perception of one, in the OP.

                  RyansTake   @   Mon 1 Jul 3:38 PM
        • actually...

          eloquently than I could myself. Note my comments reference her lack of effort (not shaking hands, taking a vacation).

          I think she is a terrible candidate.

          She got nearly 50% of the votes (47%) in a statewide four way race. One of the guys she beat was your preferred. The other two were, respectively, a millionaire and a billionaire. Do you have any idea how difficult that is to do? Or, put another way, if Mike Capuano had ALL of Khazei’s votes and ALL of Pagliuccas votes… he would have only narrowly won.

          As for the general election. She didn’t do anything not blessed by the state party. If she failed. We all failed.

          Martha Coakley is actually quite a formidable candidate. And she’d be an even more formidable governor.

          • This would be true, if the facts

            were correct:

            As for the general election. She didn’t do anything not blessed by the state party. If she failed. We all failed.

            Coakley’s campaign did a lot of things not blessed by the party. A BMGer and good friend of Ryan’s has the skinny on this, though I couldn’t locate it in the commentary of the distant past.

            In fact, her campaign didn’t really work with the state party or take their advice. Those of us down the line can’t fail if we never had a chance to participate.

            I would vote for Coakley as the Democratic nominee, but she has quite a way to go to earn the trust of the party faithful and the state party apparatus.

            • I actually agree with this!

              Coakley’s campaign did a lot of things not blessed by the party. A BMGer and good friend of Ryan’s has the skinny on this, though I couldn’t locate it in the commentary of the distant past.

              In fact, her campaign didn’t really work with the state party or take their advice. Those of us down the line can’t fail if we never had a chance to participate.

              I would vote for Coakley as the Democratic nominee, but she has quite a way to go to earn the trust of the party faithful and the state party apparatus.

              All of it — and would have my own stories to tell.

              But all of that is actually moot, because the other candidates who’ve run statewide have run similarly bad campaigns — and if we can’t believe that Martha Coakley is smart enough to improve on her previous effort, we should hold the other candidates to the same standard.

              One of the reasons why I’m not jumping out to support any particular candidate is because all of them have run poor campaigns in the past. I think it’s appropriate for us to take a long, hard look at *all* of the candidates, to see what kind of campaigns they run and how much traction they gain in the grassroots, before we jump on board any campaign.

              Coakley has things to prove. So does Capuano and Grossman. But if we only talk about Coakley’s things to prove, ignoring Capuano and Grossman’s, that’s a double standard.

              I hope you can see my point now, and see why I’d be upset. They’ve all had failures in the past and each serve equally well as cautionary tales. What matters is what they do in the future — and we can start to see that as soon as we hear their staff choices, their fundraising numbers and get reports from town committees on just who’s visiting whom to make those crucial inroads.

              RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 8:52 PM
              • I expected you would.

                I had made the same assumption as Petr, but our mutual BMGer friend filled me in.

                I don’t have an axe to grind against Coakley. I don’t support anyone at this point.

        • well...

          Certainly no sexism stated or implied. There is only one declared women. Therefore no one can say she is a bad candidate? If another woman declared, could I then call her a bad candidate?

          … consider several things, and consider them carefully…

          1) Would the ‘mistakes’ that Martha Coakley may have made in 2010 be as costly to a campaign if they had been made by a male candidate for Senator? That is to say would Martin Coakley have lost the election, having played it exactly and precisely as Martha Coakley did?

          B) If this hypothetical Martin Coakley did lose, would he STILL be paying a political price for his loss three years later?

          What’s of interest to me is context. Here’s the context: in a bruising primary, that was almost THREE TIMES longer than the general. September to December 8 (Primary) with a January 19 (General). Why was it longer? Because every last person in the Democratic establishment, and Scott Brown also, believed that nobody who won the Democratic Primary had to worry about the General Election.

          You fault Martha Coakley for believing that. Well Mike Capuano believed that also. So go and fault him. And if you don’t, then yes you are sexist.

    • Dear Ryan

      AG Coakley is a poor choice for Governor….she is a lousy candidate. Would I like to see a woman in the corner office and in about 52% of all offices statewide? Hell, ya. But, I would never vote for, work for, or donate to Martha Coakley again after what was not simply a poor showing in the US Senate election, it was an affront to hard working activists like you and me. People like us – who put ourselves out, donate from our meager funds and worked while she didn’t even bother to embrace a race that was hers to lose, were disrespected. Do you have any idea how many foot soldiers and town committees were ignored by her campaign? Ignored. On the grounds of character, I would not vote for her. On the grounds of her cherry-picking the low hanging fruit throughout her career while chronically passing on the tough issues is the other elephant, that cannot be ignored.

      • Cool boot

        Two hours before the cool boot appeared in somervilletom’s treatise/post, “the other shoe drops,”I posted this:
        Early – in -2014

      • She would have a lot to prove

        So would anyone else.

        And I belonged to one of those town committees. I’m just of the opinion that the other rumored heavy weights have their own concerns in the electability dept, and less worried that any candidate would ever choose to go it alone after the demonstrative success of the coordinated campaign.

        RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 11:12 PM
  3. I'll vote for Martha Coakley.

    But for the love of God not Martha Coakley.

    Why her? So she can refuse to shake hands outside Fenway Park? So she can go on vacation after she wins the Primary? So she can totally isolate Independent voters and lose the election?

    I’ll vote for Martha Coakley well before I vote for Mike Capuano or any of the others.

    In fact, at this remove, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather vote for…

    So you need to get over it.

    • Nobody needs to "get

      over anything.”

      Uffish expressed his/her thoughts; Charley front-paged them; many people agree with them. It’s okay to express them. In a polite conversation among friends, people should be able to express their opinions without being accused of being an (un)conscious sexist or told to get over it.

      There’s nothing wrong with you supporting Martha Coakley. Why does Uffish need to get over that?

      • When is it OK to express concern about sexism in politics?

        Just curious. The response wasn’t “you’re a sexist pig” but more like you probably didn’t mean it but I think there’s a double standard here. What’s wrong with that? The fact that Coakley was ridiculed by male comedians when losing a race she was expected to win in a way that Scott Harshbarger was not, does not exactly disprove the double-standard theory to me.

        Anthony Weiner has taken the lead in a recent poll for the New York City mayoral race over the previous front-runner, who happens to be a woman. Sorry, but it’s just difficult not to believe that male candidates are forgiven their mistakes in a way female candidates are not.

        • It's ALWAYS okay to discuss it.

          It’s rude to misconstrue it from a short, somewhat emotional post that contains a short list of people who happen to be men. Martha Coakley may indeed have been treated to a double-standard as you mention. But that’s different than accusing Uffish of (un)conscious sexism based on a list. My objection was to Ryan’s interpretation of Uffish’s post, not the idea of sexism.

          I think a lot of people here feel the same way about Martha Coakley as they do about Steve Lynch. Is that because she’s a woman? It might be useful to ask, would people have responded the same way if Elizabeth Warren had lost?

          To compare her campaign to football, she was Tom Brady, not listening to Belichick, and taking a vacation during the time leading up to the championship. Would we forgive him?

          If she were a man and did the same thing, would we forgive him? That’s the right question. I understand the concern., and I can’t only sympathize with the experience of sexism.

          • OK so let's discuss it

            Leaving aside your concern about the way the original post was worded, let’s talk about the correct question: Is Martha Coakley being judged more harshly for tactical errors in her campaign than a man would have been in similar circumstances? Would a man be subject to the same level of ridicule and scorn and not be given a second chance?

            I suspect a double standard. How tactically brilliant was John Kerry’s presidential campaign, where he allowed the Republicans to mock him for his military service while running against a guy who managed to avoid combat? Doesn’t seem to have disqualified him in people’s minds as a politician worthy of advancing from the job he held to a significantly higher office, despite a lot of blunders.

            If there were a majority African-American city where 16% of the force were African-American, how many Massachusetts liberals/progressives would be sympathetic to an argument in court that no discrimination was taking place and no remedies were needed?

            Here in Mass. we’ve got a majority of women in the population, 16% of our elected reps in DC are women (only that high due to the November election of Senator Warren) and we’ve never elected a female chief executive. If this isn’t due in part to a double standard among some of the electorate and media, and I’m willing to listen to arguments to the contrary even if I disagree, I’d find it useful to hear some theories as to why this is. Something that goes beyond “men just happen to always the best candidates” or “but we can’t find enough women who are good enough.” If a woman has to be as talented as Elizabeth Warren to get elected – someone who Joe Scarborough called one of the best he’s ever seen – that doesn’t answer the question for me.

            • Not so sure about the Kerry example

              First off, I think we’re talking about the assessments of political skill made by liberals who watch politics. And yes, Kerry’s response did seem inept not just to me but to others I recall reading at the time. Maybe that’s why he didn’t run in 2008. There was, after all, the conclusion that he was running against the worst President in memory and he lost. Could a better Democratic politician have won? Maybe.

              Second, there was some criticism of Ms. Warren’s campaign for not jumping on oppo research against them as it bubbled up and, thus, letting things sit too long in the media. While she’s a great Senator and a natural at politics, she’s not a perfect politician.

              Third, it’s difficult to access sexism from such a very small sample. There have been other women who have lost Congressional races who got renominated and tried again: Duckworth, Shea-Porter, and Burner. Of course, BMG hasn’t evaluated their political skills.

              It seems to me that the most one can say is that sexism might be involved but there is insufficient evidence to say one way or the other.

              And that, alas, is how sexism and racism often sit: with a crazy-making kind of vagueness that makes it difficult to get to a crisp determination.

              • Agree it's impossible to prove without a smoking gun

                Like a poll where a significant number of people admit to not being willing to vote for a woman. Which I’m not expecting, any more than you’ll find a big chunk of hiring executives or university committees admitting they prefer male candidates. Even though studies have shown things like candidate resumes for academic research jobs being taken more seriously when a man’s name is attached to them than when a woman’s name is – by other women too, not just men.

                Everyone who supports a male candidate over a female candidate isn’t sexist. And every time a woman loses it’s not because of gender. But it strains credulity to me to look at the numbers and conclude that women don’t have a tougher time getting elected to higher office in Massachusetts than men do. How do we fix this?

            • My beef isn't/wasn't with sexism

              and Martha Coakley. It was with Ryan’s reasoning and stridency in indicting Uffishness. That wasn’t enough to raise a suspicion for me.

              KBusch says it well. I don’t have enough information to know whether sexism is a problem for Coakley. This post didn’t raise the spectre as far as I’m concerned. When you mentioned comedians, however, that actually raised the question for me. I’m not a woman, and in spite of my sympathy, I have found it’s hard to see things from a female perspective. I don’t mean my perspective is somehow necessarily (in)correct, rather as a white male, there are things I just can’t see or feel from the perspectives of others. I can sympathize, I can’t empathize.

              Are female candidates forgiven as easily as male candidates? I would tend doubt it. If a woman had done what Weiner did, I doubt like hell she’d ever be forgiven. That’s sexism. Eliot Spitzer got off pretty easy as well. Their wrongs are different from Coakley’s campaign mistakes.

              In terms of Kerry, it was a different election. No one had high expectations for him. He was a lousy Presidential candidate, and no one has ever liked him very much. He was running against a President who received all the animosity we had. It was a national election, not a state election. He didn’t blow a huge lead. It wasn’t a surprise when he lost. Elections are materially different. The real question to answer would be: would Martha Coakley have been disliked if she had made the same mistakes as Kerry? Not Kerry made mistakes, Coakley made mistakes, etc. If Coakley is disliked because people are sexist, I’d like to see more evidence. Comparing candidates of very different elections is not likely to provide much it.

              • OK thanks

                We all see things from our own perspectives, and while it’s great to try to understand others’ viewpoints, it’s also very helpful to realize that it’s tough to ever fully understand what it’s like in someone else’s shoes. Appreciate your viewpoint. Also appreciate the many men who are for equal gender rights.

                It’s impossible to do a scientifically valid study to see how similar male and female candidates would be judged under the same circumstances, so I guess we’re left with trying to make comparisons that not everyone agrees are applicable. I just haven’t seen the level of scorn and ridicule turned toward a male politician who lost an election he was expected to win that was heaped onto Martha Coakley.

                Maybe what she did was indeed the worst campaign transgression in living memory, or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe even if it was, a male candidate would be quicker to get a second chance. We’ll never know.

                My viewpoint is being colored by hard data showing statistically significant differences between women as a majority of the population and women being elected to higher office in Mass. There’s always a good reason why an individual candidate loses that isn’t based on gender. But it’s also a fair question why women are so underrepresented.

                It was supposed to be this big feel-good story last fall that there were a record number of female US Senators this year. Yes, the trend is good, but I look at the numbers and still find them rather depressing.

    • Thanks for the advice

      I didn’t really need it, though. It took me maybe 5 seconds to get over the fact that you can’t think of anyone besides Martha Coakley you’d rather vote for.

  4. Primaries are not

    general elections.

    Unless you’re a Massachusetts Republican, you don’t run in a general election to get your name out there. You run to win.

    But candidates run in primaries all the time, even if they don’t have a good chance of winning. Primaries give novices practice, allow them to build an organization, and get known to the party. Grossman, I think, achieved those goals in his primary run, just as Mike Lake did in his run for treasurer.

    • if you lose a primary, that's okay?

      but if you lose a general, that isn’t? It’s an unofficial permaban?

      If we never voted for people who lost those generals, we’d have been denied 8 years of Governor Dukakis. That’s Michael Dukakis, not Michelle.

      We’d have been denied 28 years of Senator Kerry. That’s John, not Jan.

      People can learn from primary elections — but not generals? How does that explain their later general election victories?

      And Martha is unlike them… how?

      Furthermore, did you consider that in order to “run to win” in a general election, you actually have to make it through a… primary?

      Knowing that, does your argument — losing in primaries is okay cuz that’s for later, but generals, HOLY MOLEY?! — make any sense?

      Are all the candidates who lose primaries foretold ahead of time, so we can tell who’s just running for kicks and giggles and who’s running for reals?

      Was Capuano not running to win? Did Tim Reilly’s concession speech begin: “PUNK!”

      I’m so confused.

      I think I need to clarify things for myself: Candidates who lose primaries can lose primaries because they ran bad campaigns, just like in general elections.

      People who lose generals can learn from their past mistakes, so they don’t repeat them, and build off their previous efforts… just like people who lose primaries.

      Consider that a truthfact, and wonder why it was okay for John Kerry and Michael Dukakis to run for elections after they lost general elections, but not Martha Coakley.

      And wonder whether our state was better or worse for Kerry and Dukakis deciding to run anyway, no matter who told them not to do it, because they thought they could be better. Martha Coakley hasn’t proven herself yet, but if they got a shot, and if Capuano and Grossman get one now, surely she deserves one, too.

      RyansTake   @   Fri 28 Jun 9:19 PM
      • You're turning what I said

        into a strawman:

        if you lose a primary, that’s okay? but if you lose a general, that isn’t? It’s an unofficial permaban?

        No one said anything about a “perma-ban.” Uffish said s/he wouldn’t support Martha Coakley, not that she had no right to run. I suggested that primaries are different. I didn’t say it was okay to lose a primary, but not a general election. I said they were different.

        You’ve been on the attack for almost an entire thread. You don’t need to be. You can honestly disagree.

      • Dukakis did not lose a general

        He lost the Democratic primary to Fast Eddie King. The general that year was somewhat competitive because a lot of the Dukakis wing of the Democratic party (including me) took a pass or even voted for the Republican.

        The fact that Coakley did not give her all for the team in the general is a very good reason not to vote for her in a new primary. The fact that Capuano lost to a weak but better-known candidate in a statewide primary means that he has something to prove as well.

        If Coakley runs for governor she will start out as my last choice for the primary. I will, of course, be open to new evidence. HRC, for example, went from my nearly-last choice in the 2008 primary to my current first choice for the 2016 primary, and I doubt I’m alone.

    • Quick correction

      Mike Lake ran for Auditor.

  5. Why are acting like pundits?

    It’s terrific that we will have a primary election will a lot of choices. And, you haven’t listed all of the people who might be running. There are more to come.

    We should not be denigrating any potential candidate right now. I respect anybody who has the courage to stand for election. We should give all of our candidates a fair chance.

    • I agree -- the more the merrier

      The primary will sort itself out; the “real” candidates will prove their “realness” by running good campaigns. Let’s not automatically discount some, or assume greatness of others, before we see just what they can bring to the table.

      RyansTake   @   Sat 29 Jun 1:46 AM
    • Thanks you Blue Watch 26 6s for you.

      Deep Breaths everybody … as JFK said “Victory has a thousand fathers (and Mothers), but defeat is an orphan” (Actually JFK didn’t anticipate Mothers getting any credit at all, I added that.)

      and as Blue Watch said “We should not be denigrating any potential candidate right now. I respect anybody who has the courage to stand for election. We should give all of our candidates a fair chance.

      Imagine being in Martha’s shoes reading this stuff …..

  6. Let's also not forget that...

    Under Dem Party rules, absent write-ins, we can have no more than 6 candidates on the ballot for Governor. You need 15% of the convention vote to get on the ballot which means mathematically you can never have more than 6 candidates. Now the likelihood that we actually have 6 candidates get 15% of the vote seems comically unlikely.

    Still, we have to remember to remember there will be a filtering process. It is not like a special election (Hello Mass 5th!) or any of the less than statewide races where a clown car primary can happen with ease. There is something of a check on the system.

  7. Overall

    Ryan did play the sexism card and is making apples to oranges comparisons. I would argue, and her gender has nothing to do with this, that Coakley was a historically abysmal candidate. Dukakis got creamed in a three way primary where the progressive vote was split between him and Barbara Ackerman. Kerry lost in a milton field congressional special. MARTHA had the seat and the election in the bag and made mistakes if an epic proportion to piss it away.

    Alienating the grassroots, focusing on women’s issues and abortion, the Schilling and Fenway comments, and taking a freakin vacation after the polls showed the race tightening. She never took Brown seriously and we can’t blame Koch and the teabaggers for her specific and historic mistakes.

    Nobody is arguing the other candidates aren’t flawed or made mistakes, but she is the most flawed. Nobody is saying she doesn’t have a right to run, the vast majority of us are saying we will pick someone else. You want to throw your vote away on Coakley for, my vote will go to someone who is willing to win an election.

    • ...............never mind

      really never mind.

    • Hey Martha,

      You blew it!!!!


    • "For the love of god, no!"

      Nobody is saying she doesn’t have a right to run

      Well, I suppose no one said “she doesn’t have the right to run” specifically, but they’re certainly saying no.

      Not “I won’t vote for you” or “I support someone else” or “I think she’s a bad candidate” or “I have concerns.”


      For the love of god, no!

      And I’m not playing cards, I’m making points that some have ignored, disagreed with, dismissed and whined about — but absolutely no one on this thread refuted.

      RyansTake   @   Sat 29 Jun 9:48 PM
    • BTW:

      If I were ‘playing cards,’ I’d be using this for some other purpose. I don’t support anyone yet — and I didn’t support Martha in the primary last time around. So, not playing cards, just making legitimate points.

      RyansTake   @   Sat 29 Jun 9:51 PM
      • You should go find a card game

        This is a huge waste of your time.

        • I agree disrespect to our fellow BMG pundits, but you are an irresistable force of reason

          meeting some immoveable objects….

          • How?

            He hasn’t refuted anything. He cherry picked and obfuscated some facts about Grossmans 2002 race and has not at all articulated why she deserves anther shot, not at running, but at the nomination. None of us were arguing that these candidates were perfect, all has ther own flaws, none is fit at the present to be Devals running mate let alone his successor. But the “dear Gid” comment expresses the profound belief that she would lead this party to a second disaster if nominated, a belief Ryan has
            not anywhere disputed with reasoned evidence to the contrary other that she won in 2010 for AG in a race against a non competitive Republican challenger. No proof she has improved as a candidate (did she even campaign in that race? Did she even have to?) no evidence she has rebuilt burned bridges with the grassroots. “Dear God no” would be an overreaction if the sting of that defeat didn’t hurt. The Buckner analogy mentioned earlier was incredibly
            apt, Ryan is trying to argue it was Boston-Chicago and the teams were Beverly matched. But they weren’t, a huge lead was blown ad the blame can be placed at her feet (tanning on a Carribean cruise somewhere). The grassroots should not be excited by someone who supports regressive law enforcement policies and finds campaigning beneath them. So this voter won’t be fooled a second time. But I don’t say “Dear God No”-she isn’t a juggernaut and I welcome her entry in the race: it means a new AG and an end to her political career. Anyone thinking this ends with her with the nomination let alone the corner office needs their head examined.

      • Seen this?

    • Capuano alienated a lot of pro-choice women

      In the primary. Not sure how a Democrat wins statewide against a competent Republican challenger without running up margins among women voters.

      We all agree that Coakley ran an abysmal campaign. The question is whether she has learned from the experience or not. It’s certainly a valid point of view that you don’t think she can be good enough given what you saw last time. It’s also a valid emotional response to be bitter about what happened last time. Given the poor record Massachusetts has of electing women to high-level contested races, though, I also think it’s a fair question whether a woman politician who runs a bad campaign is treated the same as a man who does. There’s no way to prove the point either way – one person can believe Coakley’s campaign was historically hideous in a class by itself and another person can believe we’ve seen some other awful campaigns where people were given a second chance.

      What isn’t up for debate is an abysmal record of electing women. Which doesn’t prove or disprove a double standard in this particular case but IMO makes the question important to ask. Electing the incredibly talented Elizabeth Warren doesn’t mean sexism in Massachusetts statewide elections is over. When we start electing women of average talents (and appearance) at the same rate we elect men of average talents (and appearance), that’s when we’ll know we’ve conquered the problem.

      • The lack of women in

        office may relate to sexism, but consider we had Shannon O’Brien’s gubernatorial bid. Shannon was a popular treasurer. Coakley has been elected AG time and again. Kerrey Healey was a lousy candidate, but was elected LG. Jane Swift was treated sexistly, but also elected LG. Does the absence of a woman governor automatically mean sexism now? Which women ran before? Lois Pines? Evelyn Murphy? They ran before I was active in politics.

        I’d love to vote for more female candidates. I worked on O’Brien’s campaign. I supported HRC in the primary. I’m not a huge fan of Obama, but I’m pleased as hell that we elected a black man. Right now I hope to support HRC as I did in 2004. Both my state senator and state rep are women. I worked closely on my register of deeds campaign and she won. She’s smart, competent, and a good campaigner.

        Which women should we have elected? Which ones should have run. To elect women, we need qualified women to in. I appreciate the frustration, but I’m not seeing a double-standard as the problem. Certainly there are a lot of reasons we don’t have women in politics. Sexism is part of it, but it’s sexism expressed through our society, but I don’t see double-standard when it comes to women candidates.

        • No double standard?

          Hope so. Hope I’ll never see a story about clothing or hairstyle if Martha Coakley runs. Hope I’ll never hear a word more in the media about female candidates’ kids in the Fifth Congressional District race than about male candidates’ kids, or about what they’re wearing and how they dress. And I hope Capuano’s crappy primary campaign receives the same level of scrutiny as Coakley’s loss.

          Just like I sure wish we didn’t hear any more about HRC’s clothing and hair than we did about BO (and BTW I supported Obama in ’08 but that doesn’t change my opinion that she had to deal with additional crap for being a female candidate. Of course, he had to deal with massive amounts of additional crap for being African American. I loved having a primary where either way the winner was groundbreaking though).

          • Sorry, I take back my double-standard comment.

            I don’t know what I meant to say (I was in a rush to leave the house), but I don’t agree with my own statement and won’t defend it. Much of my comment doesn’t agree with my statement, and in another comment, I define sexism as a hypocritical double-standard.

      • That is a sexist post

        She may be a terrible politician and cam aligned, but come on we need a woman in the Corner Office. I can think of ten women off the top of my head better qualified for that position than Coakley. Sonia Chang Diaz deserves a higher office, Ayanna Pressley, Kim Driscoll, Lisa Wong, Nikki Tsongas, Suzanne Bump (also won statewide!), Pat Jehlen, Denise Provost, Henrietta Davis, and Deborah Shah. And that’s just off the top of my head. I can think of nothing as patronizing as vote for a flawed candidate with a flawed record since they are a woman. Didn’t work for Coakley last time, didn’t work for O’Brien in 2002, it failed Jane Swift and it didn’t even work for Hillary. Did Elizabeth Warren ever mention that? No, she said she would kick the banks ass and look out for us and that is why I was proud to vote for her. Until Coakley has a record and platform that is as inspiring, her being a woman is insufficient reason to vote for her. Nothing could be more patronizing to voters, to progressives, or to women.

        • Your initial post was bad

          Your second post about hair and double standards is spot in, which is why we shouldn’t treat Coakley with kid gloves and ignore her terrible campaign because gosh darn it we need a woman in the Corner Office! I hold her to the same standards I hold any failed male politician. No way in hell Kerry deserved another shot in 2008, Gore in 2004, or Pagliuca in 14′. And I have been quite frank and honest that Capuano, who I supported, was a lousy candidate against Coakley. Hillary ran an incredibly close race and deserves another shot and while I hope she faces a progressive primary challenger (how awesome would it be if it was Warren, guaranteed either way) I will be proud to vote for her if she wins the nomination. But my point is if Coakley were a man and we changed nothing else, as Ryan poised earlier, she’d have still lost, maybe by a wider margin.

        • To be fair

          I don’t think that avowed Obama-in-the-primary supporter oceandreams can be fairly accused of supporting a candidate based on gender alone.

          • Thank you, and no I don't think I can be.

            Not everyone fully understands how tough it was for some of us not to support the only female Presidential candidate in American history who had a reasonable chance of winning — basically working against what was very possibly the only chance in my lifetime of ever seeing a woman become President of the United States. But I thought Obama was the better candidate at the time and would make a better president.

            And by the way it’s way too early for me to know who I’m supporting for governor.

        • This thread is getting confused,

          due, not in small part, to me. What I objected to was the assumption that Uffish was sexist because he wouldn’t support Coakley. Aside from the evident mind-reading, I object to the idea that the optics of the Uffish post was enough to cry sexism. Other evidence of sexism–namely comparisons to two other failed campaigns–against Coakley is flawed. I do recall some Globe clown writing about how much better looking Coakley is in person.

          OceanDreams wisely changed the subject to sexism in Massachusetts politics in general.

  8. She's a classic prosecutor, for good and ill

    I have immense respect for Ryan and Judy’s views, because they are experienced activists who understand both the inside realities and the bigger picture in these matters. But Coakley’s campaign was bad for the same reasons I believe she would make a terrible legislator, a clumsy, divisive governor, and an unreliable progressive. She is a career prosecutor. With rare exceptions, such professionals do not have progressive nor even democratic instincts. Their experience of communicating values to the public almost exclusively consists of targeting individuals for total demolition. But their rationale for whom to target is often incredibly cynical, based on who is gettable, and nary a word can be spoken beyond the results of that calculus. She is a classic case of this m.o.–a very effective, if not especially principled, prosecutor. This is not about learning better campaign strategy, imo–this is who she is. She was not able to articulate a positive vision with any conviction because she is trained to do the opposite.

    I get that there’s something amateurish about beating up on top democrats so far out, but at the same time I don’t want her throwing her weight around as was evident in the Globe article. If she and her supporters want to play that game they deserve pushback.

    • Yeah, there were real problems

      Any femaie candidate in MA is going to get a lot of attacks from misogynist douchebags. Warren overcame hers (Pocahontas, etc.) partly because she was a better politician, but also because they were pretty much unrelated to anything real. The fact that misogynist douchebags attacked Coakley over Fells Acres did not change the fact that Fells Acres demonstrated the kind of prosecutorial arrogance that bothered me and a lot of other progressives.

      I wonder whether an Edwina Markey with the same record and campaign skills might have lost to Gomez? Never mind, it’s a pretty hard hypothetical to imagine. But I think that misogyny was a key factor in Brown’s support against both Coakley and Warren, that Markey didn’t have to face.

      • My experience

        is that the sexism in MA politics runs deeper than media and nasty misogynists. The good ‘ole boy network – which includes some women, has been a very solid block in the party itself until recently.

        I credit John Walsh and Deval Patrick for shaking that ground.

        Locally, we have fewer women in office. Fewer women are mentored despite some gallant efforts to break the glass ceiling. It is hard to be a woman in the political/public sphere when systemic sexism and oppression (inequality of pay, media bias, institutional calcification) are stuck in the 70s.

      • Excellent post

        I think Tom and I are too passionate about our dislike of her as a prosecutor and a candidate, but this was the kind of clear, dispassionate analysis this thread needed. There you have it Ryan and its pretty hard to refute. I honestly question why DAs and AGs are elected, it seems professional prosecutors would do a better job in the post in the first place and it would avoid the kind of politicized BS we have come to expect. Then again Carmen Ortiz was appointed…

        • I have never said people's critiques on policy or job performance weren't

          kosher. I made it a point to both say Tom’s entire analysis was legitimate and that part of your initial critique on Coakley was legitimate.

          In case you forgot:

          As I said to SomervilleTom, I take no issue with choosing someone based on policy. Coakley isn’t progressive enough for you? That’s a perfectly acceptable reason to vote for someone else — and a perfectly acceptable argument to make in this case.

          My issues in this thread have been very narrow — centered on ensuring there is a fair treatment given to all of the candidates if the metric to be used is how well they’ve run in past elections.

          I don’t see the point in continuing this further if you can’t grasp that distinction: I’m not defending Martha Coakley as a candidate, just defending the notion that if we use a particular metric in weighing their candidacies (past electoral performances) they should be weighed equally on that one ground, and that one ground alone.

          How can any fair minded person disagree?

          RyansTake   @   Sun 30 Jun 7:04 PM
          • It was the nature of the campaign, not the fact that she lost

            Well you’re right about one thing: losing campaigns are a lousy metric. For one thing, they’re not all badly run. And even bad campaigns don’t all reflect on the candidate in the same way. But this is the point people have been trying to make about Coakley: her bad campaign seemed a perfect expression of her limitations as an elected official. It’s hard to imagine her doing differently without going completely against type. For this reason, it was exactly the campaign you can’t isolate from her potential performance as a governor.

          • Ok

            And based on that metric I would argue she would be a terrible
            nominee and it is totally right for progressive voters in a Democratic primary to vote against her based on her 2010 performance. I’d have not voted to renominate Kerry in 2008 so this is not a gender based double standard.

            Grossmans dropped out months before the primary but he had made the ballot so his poor showing is an entirely inappropriate comparison. He also beat a far more serious challenger in 2010 than Coakley, and unlike her won an election he was expected to win. Capuano was an awful campaigner and I won’t make excuses for him, he has a lot to learn but policy wise is probably the best in the field so far. Berwick might get the BMG kiss if death but I doubt he will make the ballot, unlike Deval he doesn’t have the money or traction. Pagliuca is a joke. But if its Coakley v Grossman my money is on Steve in the primary and general.

            • OK indeed.

              And based on that metric I would argue she would be a terrible nominee and it is totally right for progressive voters in a Democratic primary to vote against her based on her 2010 performance. I’d have not voted to renominate Kerry in 2008 so this is not a gender based double standard.

              These are the kinds of views and analysis I like to see and BMG a more interesting place. If Uff wrote something along these lines, I never have had anything to say.

              RyansTake   @   Mon 1 Jul 3:58 PM
              • Agreed

                I like that our arguments were based on contrasting approaches to political punditry/prognostication than personal biases or personal preferences.

                On a policy note I am underwhelmed by this field, with Murray out I would happily endorse a third Patrick term. But I agreed with your points that her record as AG has nothing to do with her electability, and there were outside factors that hindered her candidacy. I think she made huge mistakes and lost a winnable contest and I am less optimistic than you are that she has learned from them. I also don’t think you engaged in the “she’s our only hope for a woman” sophistry others did. I am sorely disappointed other women aren’t looking at this race, and I think if some of the Mayors like Wong and Driscoll looked at it they could contribute very interesting policy ideas to the discussion. Curtatone and Seti Warren* have good track records to. I share your desire for a wider field and more diverse candidates, from a race/gender standpoint and from an experience one as well.

                *bashed his Senate bid as premature partly because his skill set is better suited to this role

                • Setti Warren

                  is up for re-election in Newton this year. He seems popular and, if I had to guess, he’ll win. But there are some grumblings and it seems he’ll face Dem opposition. I think he’d need to be re-elected with a decent margin and unite at least most of Newton behind him to have much shot.

                • Newton

                  is also home to Steve Grossman, who’s seen around town quite a bit, and Don Berwick. If he declares late, Setti Warren could have a tough time pulling support away from them, especially Grossman, who’s got to be seen as one of the favorites for the nomination at this point.

    • Accidental downvote

      I meant to upvote cannoneo’s comment. Any chance we could get a feature to let us correct that sort of thing, or to separate the up- and down-vote buttons more?

      • For the record

        I made the same mistake, my fingers are too fat for the iPhone. I can also blame it for a lot of the typos I’ve made lately.

  9. The truth is Martha Coakley is a very good AG

    I would hate to lose her in that seat. I feel protected by her and confident that she has the citizens best interest in her thoughts and actions. She would be a fine fit for Governor. I like Mike Capuano too.

    • I disagree

      Unless you’re a LEO or a bigwig in the Democratic establishment, Coakley won’t protect you or have your best interests in mind. To the contrary, if she sees some personal political gain to be had by persecuting you or letting others do it. Please don’t tell me you think this was justified.

      Capuano is much better.

      • Because she is Attorney General

        she does have the burden of having her history there scrutinized. Of course, there are going to be things she has done that will be unappealing to some, especially when only one side of the story is published and considered. On the other hand, Martha Coakley has aggressively reviewed and confronted utility companies, health insurance companies, and other corporations and demanded not only accountability, but fairness to consumers. She is a consumer advocate in her role, which is far better than a corporate hack. She displays courage on many levels and that should be admired and rewarded. This whole thread is very disturbing and it’s really sad to see such a wonderful person be marginalize like this. Just to balance out the negativity and show another side of her story, here are some great things that Martha Coakley does in her role as AG: here and here.

      • More great stuff about Martha Coakley

        here and here.

  10. overall...

    If the Coakley folks were floating a trial balloon, they have some feedback to chew on now.

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