President Obama will travel to Massachusetts on Sunday to campaign for the Democratic Senate candidate, Martha Coakley, the White House said, a sudden decision in response to growing concern that the party could lose its 60-vote majority in the Senate and a seat that for decades belonged to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Mr. Obama’s decision to fully inject himself into the campaign and appear alongside Ms. Coakley is fraught with political peril – particularly if she loses the seat – but his advisers concluded that Mr. Obama’s fortunes were already tied to the outcome of the race, so there was no reason to keep him away from Massachusetts.
The president had already expressed the urgency for Democrats in a video message sent to his supporters and through recorded telephone messages for voters. But a personal appearance elevates the stakes of his involvement, which his advisers determined was worth it if he could persuade lethargic Democrats to go vote on Tuesday.
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, sought to play down the suggestion that the Senate race had turned into a referendum on Mr. Obama’s agenda.
“We’re not on the ballot,” Mr. Gibbs said. “There’s a campaign that’s going on in Massachusetts. We’re happy to lend our support.”
Yet the president’s initiatives are, essentially, on the ballot and the prospect of Democrats losing a seat that has been held by a Kennedy for about a half-century has rattled the party. Not merely for symbolism, but also for the practical effect of losing a critical 60th vote for the health insurance legislation at the heart of the Obama agenda.
Of course, none of this matters if Brown wins and the Democrats go through with their implied threats about not officially declaring him the winner until after the official healthcare “reform” vote has been taken.
The Bubbinksi was in MA today to stump for Coakley inside a warm ballroom in Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (and not in the cold outside Fenway Park …), which is kind of interesting, if you think about it. Not only did Hillary Clinton handily win the primary in MA over BarryO, but the second black president has sent the first one – who he accused of racism on the campaign trail last year – on an important mission to preserve his Senate majority so he can get his healthcare “reform” bill passed, something the first black president and his wife failed at doing when he was President and she was co-President.
Strange times we live in
- MM – Blundermania: Dems attack Scott Brown’s “greed” using World Trade Center
- FiveThirtyEight – OK, It’s a Toss-Up