Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coakley takes a chance

Martha Coakley is a very careful politician. For years, it has been tough to get her to make definitive statements about most issues of the day (and that's why I support Mike Capuano - no such difficulty there).

So I find it odd that she has stuck her neck out to choose that public funding of abortion is more important than all of health care reform. She's not choosing not abortion rights. She's opting for funding or no public option, no forcing of insurance companies to do right, no attempt at universal coverage. The House bill is far from perfect, but it has a lot of value.

I really would have expected her to waffle on this, since it's definitely an issue that Democratic primary voters will vote on, and she's already the frontrunner - in perception, at least. Instead, she has put herself in a position with little wiggle room for later.

This reminds me a little of Shannon O'Brien's ill-fated campaign for governor in 2002. At the time, Mitt Romney supported abortion rights (such a short time ago!), and O'Brien apparently thought that should be her issue. She tried to open up some space between their positions by advocating the rational position that the age of consent for abortion should be the same as the age of consent for sex, and it backfired very badly on her. I think it cost her a very close election.

Now Coakley seems to be trying the same thing. I not only disagree with it. I think it's bad politics.

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