President Barack Obama pleaded with voters in Massachusetts on Sunday at a rally for Democratic candidate Attorney General Martha Coakley at Northeastern University.
The president, who wasn’t originally scheduled to come to the Bay State to stump for Coakley, now eagerly wants people to know that he’s behind Coakley in the now-heated race against Republican candidate Scott Brown to fill the state’s vacant US Senate seat.
Poll numbers released last week showed Coakley was slipping and Brown wasn’t the underdog anymore, shooting ahead by 4 points. For the first time in recent history, Republicans could have a chance at winning their only seat in Congress from Massachusetts in this tomorrow’s Special Election.
Obama made his message clear in a last-ditch effort to remind voters how important this election is for Massachusetts and the country.
“If you were excited about the last election, you should be even more fired up about this one,” Obama said.
“I’ve come to talk with you about one thing. I’ve come to talk with you about Tuesday,” Obama said. “On Tuesday, you have a unique and special responsibility to fill the Senate seat you sent Ted Kennedy to fill for 47 years. I’m here to tell you that the person for that job is your Attorney General Martha Coakley.”
While most rally supporters listened to Obama’s words of warning, two adult men and a young boy were escorted out of the event after repeatedly interrupting the president during his speech.
“Abortion! Abortion! Innocent blood,” shouted the protesters as the president struggled to speak. The outraged audience of Democratic supporters chanted “Martha, Martha” as security removed the individuals, a process that lasted several minutes.
Coakley spoke of the challenges that lay before her as she fights tooth and nail for the seat that will help to support Obama’s political agenda in Washington.
“We know that people are angry, that the Wall Street excess and greediness is what caused this crisis. People are angry at the policies of the past that frankly rewarded the wealthy and left Main Street behind,” Coakley said. “I think that’s wrong and we have to fix that.”
Naris Ghazarians of Lexington came to support Coakley and is hoping Obama’s trip to Boston will inspire a high voter turn out on Tuesday.
“This Tuesday is about people who would normally vote Democrat but aren’t necessarily going to turn out to vote,” Ghazarians said. “I don’t know that we will be able to convince more people at this point, but we have to make people realize how important it is.”
VIctoria Kennedy, widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, has been campaigning for Coakley since she announced her endorsement earlier this month. She told supporters that without Coakley in the Senate, the country will take a step backward.
“The eyes of the country are on Massachusetts. This election matters…we need to send Martha Coakley to the United States Senate,” Kennedy said. “Its a difference of continuing to move our country
forward or backwards.”
Even though democrats far outnumber republicans in Massachusetts, the Brown campaign is hoping to continue touting his vote for what he calls “the people’s seat” to win the election.
GOP supporters have accused Democrats of selfishly holding the Senate seat as a “Kennedy seat” and refusing to let voters decide for themselves.
“I’m looking at it as a Massachusetts voter and a citizen of the United States,” Kennedy said. “Massachusetts has always been about moving forward. Those are the values my husband fought for and these are the values that Martha Coakley is fighting for.”
Daniel Lynch of Concord stood outside the Coakley rally holding a Scott Brown campaign poster and chanted “go Scott go” as the event came to a close. He said that its not the candidates themselves that worry him but the impact they have on making and changing policy in Washington.
“Its much more important to me to stop health care reform. It’s going on behind closed doors and Republicans have been locked out of the process,” Lynch said. “The majority of Americans don’t want this and its going to be railroaded if we don’t get a filibuster.”
Tomorrow’s election, which just 60 days ago was expected to be a shoe-in for any Democrat against the virtually unknown Brown, will now be followed closely nationwide.
For photo licensing, e-mail us