Martha Coakley, this time you’ve gone too far. When the Boston Globe ran an article in which Democrats fretted that you are a political bumbler and fumbler, my colleague Professor Ubertaccio rose to your defense. I made fun of the Democratic knee-knockers too. Then in The Myth of Martha Coakley’s Mistakes I argued that the AG’s fumbles and bumbles didn’t really impact the 2010 special election loss to Scott Brown.
So how does the AG thank us? With this, from Frank Phillips of the Globe: Martha Coakley’s Campaign Funds in Disarray.
I’ll continue to maintain that Coakley’s fumbles and bumbles didn’t cost her the election in 2010. But they might cost her the election of 2014.
That is because the media frame established on Coakley from 2010 is one of an inept politician who commits serial unforced errors. A frame is a window through which we perceive reality.
Coakley seemed to recognize the stark force of the Globe story depicting Democratic insiders as anxious that she could fall apart in a gubernatorial contest. Even though those experts were wrong that her miscues cost the party the special senate election, the story is strong enough that it had to be addressed. So she set about to combat the notion that she isn’t a hard working campaigner by getting all around the state. She did her mea culpas. She even campaigned outside of Fenway Park, adding to the list of miracles occurring at the lyrical bandbox this year. Her announcement video didn’t offer any reason to vote for her but still, some polls showed her beating the Democratic field and Republican Charlie Baker.
But then along comes the Phillips story in the Sunday Globe revealing that Coakley has so mismanaged her leftover federal campaign account from the senate race that she may have committed “a violation of campaign finance law.” It’s hard to tell if the account is flush or in deficit because the records are so inaccurate. Oh, and one of the individuals paid to oversee the accuracy of the account is Coakley’s sister.
Plus as AG, Coakley has pursued state political figures including former Lt. Governor Tim Murray for campaign finance violations. Naughty naughty Tim.
So in other words, she has completely blown the effort to alter the media frame.
Let’s also remember this bit of inside information from a September 5 Globe story by Phillips and Jim Sullivan, Baker Enters Governor’s Race, Coakley Weighs Bid:
Coakley insiders say she has yet to make a final decision about whether to run, but confirm that much of her decision depends on whether she can assemble a highly talented group of organizers, media consultants, and pollsters.
Organizers, consultants, and pollsters; that ought to do it.
In one piece of good news for the Coakley campaign, Massachusetts has no statewide version of Saturday Night Live. Tina Fey would have a field day.