POLITICS

Coakley-Obama populist theme vs Fundraising #s

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Obama found success running against "the special interests" in 2008, and the White House and Martha Coakley's Senate campaign are trying to use the same rhetoric in their effort to save the Kennedy Senate seat in Massachusetts.

On Friday, you had this exchange with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

Gibbs: 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.

Q Do you think it is in some ways a referendum on the health care bill?

Gibbs: No, I think it's a referendum on whose side are you on.

You've also got Coakley's Sunday speech, which focussed on battling special interests.

Obama, sounded the same note: "Time and again, Martha has taken on those who game the system at expense of hardworking, middle-class families." That was the whole theme of the talk, and the New York Times has suggested this populist note is the Democrats theme for 2010:

Meet Congressional Democrats' 2010 survival strategy: economic populism to counter the antigovernment populism of the Tea Party movement and its Republican allies.

The Times noted that populism is "an imperfect fit" for Obama -- and it's an imperfect fit for Coakley, as well.

Keep in mind Obama and Coakley are fighting for a bill endorsed by the drug industry for its billions in drug-company mandates, lengthy monopolies, and subsidies. And its a bill that makes it illegal to not buy private health insurance. Also, on the Coakley score, let's look at some of her late donors. Just the PACs, now, that donated last Tuesday alone, the day of her Sonoma wine-bar fundraiser. The lobbying firms are hyperlinked to lists of their current lobbying clients, which include America's Health Insurance Plans, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America, Pfizer, United Healthcare, Peabody Energy, Time Warner, Morgan Stanley, Verizon, Wal-Mart, and hundreds of others.

  • Comcast Corporation PAC: $5,000
  • Dickstein Shapiro LLP PAC: $2,500
  • DLA Piper PAC: $5,000
  • Foley & Lardner Political Fund: $1,000
  • General Electric PAC: $5,000
  • Glover Park PAC: $5,000
  • Holland & Knight Committee for Effective Government: $2,000
  • National Cable and Telecommunications Association PAC: $5,000
  • Ocean Spray PAC: $1,000
  • Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball: $5,000
  • Patton Boggs PAC: $5,000
  • The Medicines Company PAC: $2,400
  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals PAC: $1,000
  • VISA U.S.A. PAC: $1,000
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