In an attempt to mock the Minneapolis StarTribune's lack of resources or will to cover real news stories, I have travelled to the scene of the monumental Senate election that will take place on Tuesday, January 19. Big spending, soft on crime Martha Coakley takes on mushy moderate Scott Brown and the nation is riveted, at least the part of the nation that isn't obsessing over Brett Favre's Vikings playoff debut.
Since Boston is your average ultra-liberal city, I chose the small town of Northampton in the western end of the state as my base for reporting. The state is in a frenzy with advertising. While listening to the Alice Cooper radio show out of Springfield, every commercial break featured a Martha Coakley ad. Cooper's radio show isn't what one would expect. He plays some good old tunes from the likes of Harry Nilsson, but mixes in wussy rock stylings of Foreigner, but I digress.
The biggest surprise to this reporter was the relatively even-handed coverage of the election. The Daily Hampshire Gazette (maybe Sisyphus can check to see if they are a Pulitzer Peer of the Strib) ran two articles on the race in their weekend edition of the paper published this morning. One article featured a horse-race style recap: Coakley was expected to win easily but stumbled and is now trailing in some polls.
A second article details the fact that the Democrats are throwing the kitchen sink into a last ditch campaign effort, with visits from President Clinton yesterday, President Obama today and Vice President Biden making accusations about Brown. The article paints the administration as desperate and panicked:
What changed from earlier in the week when the White House announced that the president wouldn't travel to Massachusetts? 'He got invited,' said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. That invitation, Gibbs said, came Friday, one day after a Suffolk University survey signaled a possible death knell for the 60-vote Senate supermajority the president has been relying upon to pass his health-care bill and other initiatives through Congress before November's midterm elections.
The article goes on to suggest that the Democrats will attempt to delay Brown's certification as long as possible, in the event he wins.
The one thing missing from the coverage has been a description of the antics that Acorn and SEIU are preparing to ensure that Coakley wins. My analysis is that most of the shenanigans will need to be imported, since Massachusetts isn't used to close Senate elections. I'm keeping my eyes out for Al Franken's advisors.