Gibbs: Obama isn’t going to campaign for Coakley this week, despite the fact that we may lose our 60th vote in the Senate

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today that the President will not be campaigning for Martha Coakley in Massachusetts this week because “it’s not on his schedule.” Joe wrote this morning about how vitally important it is that Democrats hold on to Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts. A lot of people are worried about whether Coakley will win. And as Joe notes, yesterday’s PPP poll has Coakley down by 1 – and they’ve been, to quote Joe, “scarily accurate.” That’s why Joe wrote about how important it is for the President to go to Massachusetts and help Coakley keep our 60th seat in the Senate.

This is a race the Democrats should not lose, and can not afford to lose. For the next eight days, the national Democratic party, led by Barack Obama, needs to do everything possible to make sure Coakley wins. Obama needs to rally Democrats to make sure they vote. If that means going to Boston and Springfield, then that’s what he needs to do. And, the Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America better be in full campaign mode, too, sending regular email blasts to everyone in Massachusetts, and the surrounding states (they can still volunteer, even if they can’t vote). And at least one of those email blasts has to come from the President himself.

Now, I’m sure some in the White House won’t want to touch this race. After all, they’ll argue, what if Obama helps Coakley and she loses? Then the media will say that Obama himself lost. News flash: If we lose Ted Kennedy’s seat in liberal Massachusetts to a conservative Republican, and thus lose our quasi- 60 vote majority in the Senate, and thus endanger health care reform and the entire Democratic agenda, then you can bet the media, and the public, is going to take this as a sign that Obama lost, regardless of whether he helps or not. Isn’t it better to do all he can to avoid this outcome?

The President did send an email today, and that’s good. But Gibbs said today that the President isn’t going to fly up there to help. And that’s that. It’s difficult to understand what is more important than watching the Democrats’ entire agenda disappear next week when we lose our 60th vote in the Senate.

QUESTION: On politics, there are indications that Massachusetts Senate race is tightening up. The DNC sent a top staffer there today. Does the president have any intention of going up to Massachusetts to campaign on behalf of Martha Coakley?

GIBBS: The president doesn’t have any travel plans to campaign in Massachusetts.

QUESTION: Robert, why isn’t the president going to campaign for Martha Coakley? It’s a tight race, very important to (inaudible) essentially?

GIBBS: It’s not on our schedule to go to next week.

QUESTION: And why is it not on the schedule?

GIBBS: It’s just not on the schedule.

QUESTION: Has he been asked by the Coakley campaign to come?

GIBBS: Not that I’m aware of.

QUESTION: Has he been asked to stay away?

GIBBS: Not that I’m aware of.


QUESTION: Is he — is he concerned — is there concern that his popularity — I mean, it just doesn’t make any sense that he wouldn’t go up there. Is he concerned that his popularity ratings…

GIBBS: Not that I’m aware of.

QUESTION: … if he goes up there, that he might hurt her campaign?

GIBBS: No. No. No.

QUESTION: So just — just not on the schedule. It seems the scheduler actually who has decided not to send him.

GIBBS: All I can say was, you didn’t ask me that. We just — it’s not on the schedule as a trip the president’s going to make.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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