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Coakley Loss Catches Democrats ‘Flat-Footed’

Martha Coakley concedes after losing the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in Boston on Tuesday. (AP)

Martha Coakley concedes in Boston on Tuesday after losing the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. (AP)

BOSTON — Martha Coakley returns full-time Wednesday to her job as state attorney general. Coakley did not win the election that many Democrats believed would be an easy victory. Instead, Republican Scott Brown won 52 percent of the vote to Coakley’s 47 percent.

Supporters were already asking what happened at Coakley headquarters Tuesday night. They were disappointed, frustrated and angry about the loss. Few blamed Coakley herself, but many said they thought the campaign wasn’t proactive and took a win for granted. Coakley said she approached the race with fierce determination.

“We never lost our focus or our determination,” Coakley said in her concession speech. “And you never demonstrated an ounce of discouragement or complacency as far as I’m concerned in this campaign. I know how hard we worked.”

Coakley said she will be brutally honest about her own performance.

“I am heartbroken at the result, and I know that you are also,” she told the crowd at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston’s Back Bay. “But I know that you will get up together tomorrow and continue this fight. Even with this result tonight, because there will be plenty of Wednesday morning quarterbacking about what happened, about what went right and what went wrong.”

The quarterbacking started Tuesday night. Many people blamed her loss on complacency among Democrats who assumed the seat was safe.

Volunteer Doug Thatcher said he was one of those Democrats. “I’m part of this phenomenon,” he said.

“I didn’t pay that much attention to it and I assumed there was no trouble there. And toward the end I realized how insidious Brown’s insurgence was. So I got out at the end and tried to do what I could.”

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  • William August

    I’ve never witnessed a more hateful or contemptible candidate in action. She and the democratic, progressive elite want to thwart the will of the people. Hopefully this is in the direction to stop that. As a MA taxpayer, I wonder why the heck I pay Martha’s salary as AG when she’s off on the ‘campaign trail’.

  • J. David Dean

    In Coakleys speech she mentioned issues that the country ‘should be focused on.’ I think theres a lot in that statement thats at the center of the modern democratic party.

    ‘Issues that the country should be focused on’ means democrats know better than the people therefore the democrats will should override the will of the people.

    This year Ive gone from thinking that the democratic party
    was just a well-meaning misguided party. I now perceive the
    democratic party as just evil. Theres something sinister about them and their ideas and their attitudes. Obama is
    an extremely dangerous figure who hides behind a mask of ‘all people’ and a mask of understanding and perspective.
    But I think if you look at Jeremiah Wrights attitudes about America and you look at the closely and watch what Obama has done youll see that Obama shares the same attitudes about this country. Hopefully, Brown winning is
    a sign that people are waking up. I doubt it is though.
    Did anyone see Titanic?

  • susan james

    What specifically, William, is the “will of the people” that you believe the “progressive
    elite” wish to thwart?

  • PJ

    Her political career is over. Can’t wait to dump her as AG. Hope she fires all the campaign aides who engineered this horrible mess.

  • JT

    Martha is very effective as AG, has done alot for the the state of MA and would have been a great senator. This election was lost because “the people” are so disconnected from the war, i.e. no draft, that we are dumping all our money into, that they choose to focus on social programs as a money drain. Run on sentence, I know.

  • David Kimball

    Why did Coakley allow Brown to make the entire race hinge on the Health Bill?

  • I won

    Somehow I remember a smug, arrogant certain Democrat uttering these words about a year ago. “I won.” Now, all the libs who flaunted The Messiah’s victory in every Republican’s face is whining. “What will he do in Washington,” “I wonder how he’ll vote?” I’m betting it won’t be with your guy obama. Whine. Cry. Wah! Wah! Better get used to it.

  • jeff

    I won, great point. The left were bad losers during the Bush years and have been bad winners since they took over Congress three years ago.
    All they care is sticking it to people that see the world different from them.
    Last night on MSNBC, Kieth Olbermann, a left wing favorite, called all the Brown voters racist. That has been a continuous label since Obama took office. If you disagree on anything about him, you are a racist “teabagger.”
    That’s just great analysis for a major American news network!
    One of the reasons this independent voter went with Brown yesterday.

  • Andy

    Excuse me, Jeremiah Wright again? Please. How about looking at things through the prism of a Chicago resident, Marine, who was probably aware of the government’s CIA and Chicago School of Economic’s ideas of spreading economic reform in South America in the ’70′s. Come on, look at the history of what our government has done over the last 65 years – destabilize governments who CHOSE to be leftest, etc.
    Obama is no more dangerous than any other politician. Things move slowly under our govt. system, and as an “instant gratification” society, lets get real about how long the economy will take to recover (there are still a lot of bad loans coming due), and expectations are often too great in too short a period of time. Martha was not a good candidate – she showed no independent thought, no ability to connect with the populace, and no real desire to show herself as someone passionate about representing MA.

  • L Phillips

    This is sad, but I saw this coming. The Democratic Party has been ignoring the individual voter for years now. Instead they have been kow-towing to the unions and other big groups.

    I saw it at the last State Convention that I attended, where the unions had all the best seats and the speeches, and the individual voters in the town committees had nothing.

    Plus, Attorney General Coakley ran one of the worst campaigns I have seen (or not seen) since Mike Dukakis was riding around in a tank.

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