BOSTON — Attorney General Martha Coakley barely mentioned the word Senate, and not once mentioned her opponents, while delivering the keynote address at the annual meeting of a Massachusetts real estate group.
The Democratic nominee for Senate referred to the federal body only as the “other office” and “that next position” as she spoke to the state chapter of NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association.
Coakley has not yet boasted of her frontrunner status. But she came close. “As we go forward on the national level, I will take with me –” she caught herself, then continued, “If I am successful in that next position, I will take with me the kind of things I have learned particularly as attorney general.”
She did not name her opponents, Republican nominee state Sen. Scott Brown, and Libertarian Joseph Kennedy (no relation to the famous family) at all in the approximately 25-minute speech. Coakley instead drew out a laundry list of what she believed are her accomplishments as attorney general on behalf of small businesses.
Coakley highlighted launching the division of business technology and economic development in the attorney general’s office, a brownfields initiative, data privacy and her efforts on behalf of cities and towns seeking restitution from predatory lenders.
She offered small but clear criticism of state government as a whole. “Massachusetts does not have a great reputation for understanding the needs of businesses and being predictable in what we have done,” she said, referring to several of the state’s temporary tax credits, fluctuating energy costs, and health care mandates.
The 140 Realtors listened politely to Coakley as she delivered the presentation in her customary cool, straight-laced style. But the speech lacked the red meat and rhetorical flourishes expected of a politician on the stump.
Coakley did slide into the personal once. Speaking of her father, a western Massachusetts insurance salesman, Coakley said, “He actually didn’t care much about politics.” Then, Coakley — no novice to the exertions of running for elected office — added, “So, sometimes I wonder how I ended up here, running for something or other, but enjoying it.”