Reviews are Cold and Clammy for Coakley’s Handshake Tour

Boston- Martha Coakley's over-hyped handshaking kick-off tour wrapped up yesterday but her complete lack of substance on actual issues did not go unnoticed by the voters or the state's biggest paper. Patrons were treated to candidate Coakley’s positions on soup, cobb salad and omelets but few important issues and even fewer specifics were addressed, a point that did not go unnoticed by Boston Globe's Scott Lehigh.


"It is not surprising that Coakley avoided offering any real answers on questions about job creation, the economy and education because she has little to no experience with those issues," said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP Chairman. "As Coakley battles it out in the crowded primary field she may have to move beyond the turkey club talking points."

Coakley On Cobb Salad:

"When she spoke to a man who had ordered a Cobb salad at Morin’s Diner in Attleboro, she tried to find common ground: “Cobb salad is one of my favorites,” she said. At Al Mac’s Diner in Fall River, Coakley told Kristina Perry, 'I’m looking at your soup. It looks very good.'” (Josh Miller, Mike Levenson, "Martha Coakley wades in governor’s race, hand first," Boston Globe, 9/17/13)

When asked how she would pay for her signature campaign platitude, a longer school day, Coakley's answer was "everything":

"'We are going to take a look at everything, I think, will be on the table, in terms of how we pay for it, not just through taxpayer dollars but through private-public partnerships and what are those investments that we in Massachusetts are ready to make.'” (Scott Lehigh, 'Martha Coakley's campaign kick-off was short on content," Boston Globe, 9/18/13)

When a Lowell voter asked if she would veto the forever gas tax, she replied "I'll take a look at it." (Lowell Sun, 9/18/13,

BOSTON GLOBE: Martha Coakley’s campaign kick-off was short on content

By Scot Lehigh

Martha Coakley calls Medford home, and so it was the logical place for her to kick off her three-day, 18-city-and-town gubernatorial announcement tour. The message of that swing: This is not the listless, coast-on-your-laurels candidate who lost a winnable race to featherweight Republican Scott Brown in 2010.

No indeed. The new Coakley will be a candidate who campaigns until the last dog dies.

Or dozes off. For as her dull and largely content-free campaign roll-out suggests, the specter of 2010 isn’t Coakley’s only problem. This is a campaign about little beyond her notion that she should be the next governor.

Start with her campaign video. It would have worked well as a tourism ad, certainly; its picturesque images made one ache for the Cape. But as campaign fare, it was a sugary diet of empty-calorie cliches. To wit: “But what we really have are the strongest, the toughest, and most resilient people in this nation . . . ordinary people with extraordinary courage, people who you’ll see in the grocery store or at your kid’s game or in the next cubicle over at work or at church or the beach.”

Or at Petco if they need flea and tick medication for their pooch. Or refilling their wiper fluid if it’s run so low that only an anemic little trickle issues forth when they try to clean the windshield. Or just stopping by a coffee shop to get a cup of joe before they go about the extraordinary-disguised-as-ordinary tasks of their daily lives.

Which sets the stage for Coakley’s Medford event. She was supposed to greet voters in Dempsey’s Breakfast & Lunch, which is just the sort of coffee-brewing, fat-chewing breakfast spot a Medford resident might well frequent, even if she were a high elected official, if she wanted to keep her finger firmly on the pulse of the people.

Alas, when the Medford resident in question strode purposefully across the street to the small plaza Dempsey’s fronts on, she made her way instead to the door of adjacent Dino’s Pizzeria. Dino’s was closed; like Bertie Wooster, Medfordians evidently prefer eggs and b. when it comes to breakfast fare.

Fortunately, Medford Mayor-for-life Michael McGlynn was on the scene and quickly guided the confused candidate to Dempsey’s welcoming portal. (Why the mix-up? Well, two of Dempsey’s regular patrons told me they had never seen the attorney general there before.)

Are these substantive criticisms? Let’s put it this way: They are the sort of quibbles that grow larger in a vacuum. And Coakley’s kickoff was just that: vacuous. Take, for example, her expatiation on the state’s business climate. “I am a big believer that there is room in this state for businesses large and small.”

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