WH increasingly alarmed about Coakley race in Mass., weighing benefits of last minute campaign visit by Prez




Joe asked on Monday, when the PPP poll showed the race virtually tied, and numerous political operatives in DC told Joe and me that the race could be in trouble, why the President wasn’t considering a visit. Today, five days later, the White House is concerned, but still unsure about a visit.

The Haiti disaster complicates things now. You can’t give rah-rah speeches when a human disaster is taking place just south of your border. But last Monday, Haiti hadn’t yet occurred, and Gibbs made clear that the White House was not comfortable even talking about the possibility of sending Obama to campaign in-state to hold Kennedy’s seat. And Joe and I learned a long time ago, watching Gibbs’ response to gay questions, when the White House spokesman gets tongue tied, it’s a sure sign that something bad is going on behind the scenes:

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: 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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