So, how did a relatively popular left-of-center Catholic AG from Middlesex County lose to a right wing Protestant Republican unknown in the battle for Ted Kennedy’s seat? And, how did it seem that he represented MA more when she seemed the best qualified? It goes back to the Machiavelli quote I included at the top. He may be widely regarded as evil, but there’s a lot to learn there. It’s all about appearances.
Scott Brown made the average Massachusetts voter feel that he represented them, even though he was far to the right of them, and made substantially more money than they did. He seemed like an average working class person, in spite of his salary and the fact that his daughter owns a horse, because he was out there at Fenway meeting people, and talked to average voters. He ran an ad with his old truck in it, which, while not the best choice of vehicle, showed that he wasn’t elitist. In short, he managed to fake it better than Coakley.
Coakley, on the other hand, made horrible gaffes. Calling Curt Schilling a Yankees fan was terrible. It showed one of the largest constituencies in the Commonwealth, Red Sox fans, that she wasn’t like them; she was like the other limousine liberals who don’t give a damn about sports. The fact that she was a female candidate probably didn’t help; it seems most successful female politicians at least fake being interested in sports, or better yet, are actually interested. She also managed to anger Catholics with her remarks that were tantamount to saying that Catholics shouldn’t work in emergency rooms. Doesn’t help you win an election in one of the most Catholic states. Scott Brown, on the other hand, seemed a good alternative to Catholics. Most probably would have guessed he was a Catholic. Once again, it’s all about appearances. As Machiavelli tells us, “to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.”
This election was mostly about Coakley’s failure to create a good image for herself. She came across as arrogant, aloof, elitist, and out of touch. Her campaign was run horribly, while Scott Brown ran an amazing campaign, and barely missed a beat. Martha Coakley lost the election because of this. She probably deserved it. I have no doubt that the other candidates (yes, even Pags) wouldn’t have been in this situation. This election has nothing to do with healthcare and the Democrats. It has everything to do with appearances and Martha Coakley