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01/20/2010

Axelrod On Hotseat For Mass. Mess?

  So where was President Barack Obama's political guru David Axelrod Tuesday when tea partiers "crashed" the Massachusett's special election?  Let me guess, "Axe" was sitting at the end of the table in some political war room at the White House, the object of any number of sullen stares, one of them belonging to the President himself.

  Massachusetts? 

  The most liberal state this side of Vermont?  In an election to replace the late Ted Kennedy, the "Lion of the Senate" and "Hero of Healthcare Reform"? 

   Obama did not go to Massachusetts until last Sunday to campaign for democrat Martha Coakley who lost to republican state senator Scott Brown.  Axelrod apparently prepared his boss for the embarassing loss that could endanger the President's healthcare reform agenda.  He told The Huffington Post  before the vote that the administration could have been more helpful to the Coakley campaign at an earlier point in the race.

 "The White House did everything we were asked to do," Axelrod said. "I think if we had been asked earlier, we would have responded earlier."

  But dude, who's in charge of a campaign so critical to the President's agenda?  I can't believe its some local pol in Boston!

  There was an obvious disconnect between Axelrod, the Coakley campaign and what was left of Obama's 2008 in-state political apparatus that carried Massachusetts for the President by a landslide (62% - 36%) less than 15 months ago.

   Early finger-pointers target Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine for the meltdown in Massachusetts but expect panicky dems around the country to set their sights on Axelrod within the next few days.

  They will ask if he is the White House senior political adviser only because of his Chicago roots and his performance during the presidential campaign?  Is he the best man for the job now?

  One more thing:

  Clearly, the aforementioned "tea partiers" as they call themselves carried the day in Massachusetts.  For one night in one state they proved what they've been saying for months about the effectiveness of their conservative grassroots organizing effort.  Their success will inspire groups in other states with the same anti-Obama agendas to jam polling places on election days.

  Yesterday, the President's troops were asleep in their political barracks.

  They'd better wake up. 

Comments

I am a lifelong Massachusetts Democrat and your column is fantastic! Our state was truly invaded by thousands of "teabaggers". They heckled Martha Coakley at her events, intimidated her supporters, ran the visibilities and phone banks for Brown as well as flooding our print media with thousands of "Letters to the Editor" (from all over the country). They also did "moneybombs" for Brown. I warn Democrats everywhere - if we can lose Ted Kennedy's Senate seat then no Democrat is safe in 2010! Thank you.

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