WBUR

Bill Clinton: A Brown Victory Would Stall Nation’s Progress

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Former President Bill Clinton campaigned for Democrat Martha Coakley in Boston's Copley Plaza Hotel on Friday. (AP)

BOSTON — Former President Bill Clinton told Massachusetts voters Friday they hold the fate of the nation’s political governance in their hands when they vote Tuesday to pick a successor to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

With the latest poll showing a dead heat between his fellow Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown, Clinton told voters they had the choice between a candidate who would be the 41st GOP vote to uphold a filibuster in the Senate, or the 60th Democratic vote to pass President Obama’s health care overhaul and other legislative priorities.

“You just have to decide if you want to pick the person who gets to shut America down,” Clinton said. “I thought Massachusetts was about leading America into the future.”

“There is a mass national effort to discourage progressive independents from voting and to discourage disappointed liberals from voting,” he said.

With polls all over the place, Clinton said, it’s hard to predict whose supporters will show up in greater numbers on Tuesday — Coakley’s, or those of her Republican opponent, state Sen. Scott Brown.

The opulent, sweltering room at the Copley Plaza Hotel was filled to capacity with Coakley’s supporters, many of them worried about the outcome of Tuesday’s race.

Sen. John Kerry told the crowd of 750: “The vote here will determine the balance of power in America.”

Kerry accused Brown of staging an “extraordinary camouflage campaign” concealing his conservative positions with moderate slogans.

And he lashed out at the GOP, saying it had decided to incite voters.

“They made a calculated political decision that they would say no to governance, create anger and then let the anger fall on those who are struggling to make the choices of these tough decisions. And now they have the gall to want to receive a bonus for doing it,” Kerry said.

“Well, my friends, the only things the Republicans say ‘yes’ to are Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, the Tea Partiers and Fox News.”

Kerry took the stage with the aid of the silver-tipped cane Kennedy used before he died in August of brain cancer. Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Reggie, lent it to Kerry as he recovers from hip-replacement surgery.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino also tried to elevate the stakes of Tuesday’s election, noting the effect of electing a Republican counterweight to Kerry.

“You don’t want somebody down there who’ll negate every vote that John Kerry takes, do you?” the mayor said.

A Suffolk University poll released Thursday showed Brown with 50 percent and Coakley with 46 percent, a statistical tie but far closer than the 15-point lead the Democrat enjoyed just last weekend.

A third candidate, independent Joseph L. Kennedy, unrelated to the late senator, is also running in Tuesday’s special election. He received only 3 percent of the vote in the Suffolk survey.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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  • Brian

    I hate democrats….All they want to do is hand money to people who dont deserve it…Time for a real change…I’m voting for Scott Brown..P.S Deval Patrick = 1 and Done..

  • Frank Patriot

    I would suggest that every able-bodied man, woman and child show up to support Scott Brown at the Coakley event. I would bring in every Patriot from across the state to let Obama know that we are taking back OUR country. It is like sending out a call for the Minutemen to meet on the village greens. The time has come America. What better way to show the world the New American Revolution. Will will take back our country from the Liberals and let it begin where it began over 200 years ago! When the media comes to cover Clinton the Patriots of this great land will be there to greet him. Let’s see the media spin it then! Cut and paste this comment to every comment section in the Boston Globe. E-mail it to other towns. Send it to your friends. Send it to the Tea Baggers as Obama, Pelosi and Reed refer to true Patriots. Show them how the Patriots are going to move this country in the other direction and let it be a message to the world that there is a whole new United States of America being born!

    So through the night rode Paul Revere;
    And so through the night went his cry of alarm
    To every Middlesex village and farm,—
    A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
    A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
    And a word that shall echo for evermore!
    For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
    Through all our history, to the last,
    In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
    The people will waken and listen to hear
    The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
    And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

    CUT AND PASTE AND GET THE WORD OUT!

  • Vlad

    “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”
    This quote comes into mind when people start talking about new american revolution.

  • Anne Konetzny

    To those [republicans] who commented above; let’s remember that people are our greatest resource, not money. An investment in people through education, health, and community allows for each individual’s human capital to grow at rate that all people deserve. It also allows for our country to move forward, not backward, through all around higher intelligence and public awareness levels amongst our citizens.

    I will vote for anyone who believes that [progressive] social reform is the only way for our state [and country] to grow and compete at a national and global level.

  • eor

    What on earth is scat for brains talking about when he says the “country’s progres”? We are progressing as fast backward as Obama and his minions can take us there.

  • Jon

    Don’t get fooled again: Scott Brown = Mitt Romney Lite. Pretty boy opportunist who pretends to be principled but just blows with the political winds

  • Debbie

    I agree with Clinton about who is supporting Brown: “Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, the Tea Partiers and Fox News.”” Most interesting to me is about Fox News. So who owns Fox? Rupert Murdock…and he owns the Wall Street Journal, he owns Dow Jones…all the same people that were a major part of this Great Recession.

    I also find it interesting that all those who are pro-Brown and making comments here use words like “hate” and that they are the only “patriots.” More GOP purity tests?

    Because someone has a different political view does not mean they are not patriotic? If they can only think like you then you support communism and not democracy.

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