President Barack Obama is headed to Massachusetts on Sunday to campaign for Martha Coakley, the current Attorney General for the Bay State and the democrat running to replace former Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Until Friday the White House insisted the President had no plans to campaign for Coakley, despite recent lagging poll numbers. “He (President Obama) got invited,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at his daily briefing today as to why Obama will travel on Sunday. “I think the president believes that it'll be a productive stop, whether it was announced on Tuesday or now.”
The latest poll in Boston by Suffolk University/7news has Coakley at 46% with her opponent, Scott Brown at 50%. With only a 4.4 margin of error in the poll, the race is a dead heat, something democrats might have a hard time with, given that the seat held by Kennedy until his death last year, has been firmly in the grasps of democrats for decades.
Gibbs says, the President who spent time on the road last year campaigning for failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds and former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, the election in Massachusetts, just like those from last year is not a referendum on his administration or anything else like health care. “I think it’s a referendum on whose side are you on,” Gibbs said. “I think the president sees a pretty clear distinction between a candidate in Martha Coakley who's going to fight for Massachusetts and a candidate on the other side who feels comfortable fighting for the insurance industry and big banks.”
Democrats, anticipating a possible loss in Massachusetts are beginning to spin the Coakley campaign as a comparison to Creigh Deeds. Byron York, of the Washington Examiner, says democrats think the Deeds “lackluster” campaign contributed to his own downfall, as much as Coakley’s issues could fail to send her to the Senate.
“To allow Scott Brown to be on TV with ads and not be on TV herself - to have Scott Brown out there campaigning morning, noon and night and not be visible - she could have gotten away with one or the other but not both,” Democratic Strategist Mary Ann Marsh told Fox News’ Molly Line in Boston.
As to whether or not the Massachusetts election will be a problem for the White House, Gibbs says that’s not what anybody is thinking about right now. “There’s a campaign that's going on in Massachusetts. We're happy to lend our support. I think the president believes he can be helpful and is happy to accept the invitation.”
Fox News Correspondent Molly Line contributed to this report