Politico obtained a memo from an adviser to Martha Coakley, which lays the blame for her def...hey, polls aren't even closed yet -- defeat squarely at the feet of national Democrats. I checked in with the White House, the DNC and the DSCC, and they refused to comment. "I'm focused on winning the race," a senior DNC official told me.
Here's my annotated version of the memo. I'll start by saying that the memo doesn't mention independents. INDEPENDENTS. Hello, Democrats? You've got a problem with INDEPENDENTS. Especially in a state like Massachusetts where INDEPENDENTS are known to vote against the status quo in turbulent times. My adds are in bold...
National Dems Failed to Aid Coakley Until Too Late
-- Coakley campaign provided national Democrats with all poll results since early December
[All of which were solid until Coakley stopped campaigning and ran poor ads.]
-- Coakley campaign noted concerns about "apathy" and failure of national Democrats to contribute early in December. Coakley campaign noted fundraising concerns throughout December and requested national Democratic help.
[There were numerous national Dem fundraisers held on Coakley's behalf.]
-- DNC and other Dem organizations did not engage until the week before the election, much too late to aid Coakley operation
Brown Capitalized on Concerns About National Democrats
[True enough. But Coakley is a Democrat. She wants to BE a national Democrat.]
-- From the beginning, Brown labeled President Obama's health care and cap and trade plans as tax increases. Polling throughout the race showed this to be the most effective attack on Coakley.
[So -- THE most effective attack on Coakley? Hard to believe. Nowhere else has cap-and-trade had this much of an effect. And even if it were true, Coakley decided to run WELL after Republicans started the "cap and tax" rhetoric. BTW: in good economic times, people will be more willing to support cap-and-trade. In bad economic times, they'll be susceptible to "cap-and-tax" messaging.]
-- Coakley's lead dropped significantly after the Senate passed health care reform shortly before Christmas and after the Christmas Eve "bombing" incident. Polling showed significant concerns with the actions of Senator Nelson to hold out for a better deal. Senator Nelson's actions specifically hurt Coakley who was forced to backtrack on her opposition to the abortion restriction amendment.
[She blames the diaper bomber? Somehow, President Obama's approval ratings weren't damaged by the Christmas Day bomber incident, and his numbers are up -- slightly -- since the end of last year. Somehow, all of the bad stuff skipped Obama and national Dems and attached itself to Coakley? Also: Coakley was the one who inserted health care and Stupak into the primary to score points and drive up gender edge.]
-- Democrats concerns with Obama's Afghanistan plan forced Coakley to oppose the Afghan war in the primary, which hurt her in the general.
[Coakley admits that her position was not based on a principal, but on what Democrats wanted to hear. Huh?]
Claims about Coakley's Scant Campaigning and Miscues Were exaggerated
-- Because of the failure of national Democrats to support Coakley, she was forced to devote significant time to fundraising in December. She also released a variety of plans in December and had a public event nearly every day.
[Coakley had 19 events after the primary through Sunday; Scott Brown had 66.]
-- Coakley's failure to release television advertisments until 12 days before the election was the result of a fundraising problem that national Democrats failed to resolve. Meanwhile, right wing groups pumped significant amounts of money into Brown's campaign allowing him to go up with ads first, including negative attack ads funded by the Swift Boat and Willie Horton groups.
[Left wing groups are outspending right wing groups by about four to one right now. Also: EMILY's List? How much have they spent on Coakley's behalf? And the DSCC has been involved in the race for a while.]
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