She's Irish, she's a woman and she's a democract. In a left leaning state like Massachusetts, what's not to love about Martha Coakley? Everything it seems.
Voters in Massachusetts are finally getting to know Coakley en masse thanks to her now disastrous campaign to succeed the late liberal lion Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. For much of this special election Coakley has kept a low profile - a strategy that has served her well throughout her career as a district attorney and now the attorney general of the Commonwealth.
Coakley has always been a go-along to get-along kinda gal. During her years as a prosecutor she kept Gerald Amirault behind bars for an extra three years in the notorious Fells Acres sex abuse case despite overwhelming evidence that he was innocent of the alleged crimes. She could not afford to look soft on crime.
The continued loss of Amirault's freedom was merely collateral damage in crafting Coakley's political future. Coakley also dropped the ball when prosecuting a 2005 child rape case involving a local police officer. Despite allegations that the suspect had assaulted a toddler with a curling iron, Coakley opted to let him walk out of jail on personal recognizance. Fortunately, Coakley's successor corrected her mistake and won a conviction and two life terms for the child predator.
When Coakley ascended to the Attorney General's office, she continued to take the easy route focusing her attention on garden clubs, non-kosher delis and lite-brite artists as opposed to chasing after real wrongdoers. When a chunk of a Big Dig tunnel collapsed and killed a motorist in 2007, Coakley chose to settle the case against contractors Bechtel/Parsons Brinkerhoff saying quote, "It was better than going to court." We will never know who was ultimately to blame because Coakley once again took the easy way out. When the going gets tough, Martha curls up in a fetal position.
Which brings us back to her battle with upstart Republican Scott Brown. Brown, a Massachusetts state senator blindsided Coakley with a strong, grassroots populist campaign. Coakley figured the race was in the bag and never reached out to the voters because she felt she didn't have to. Once again, running an actual campaign would have been the hard thing to do. And let's face it, Martha Coakley has never shown that she's had the stomach for it.