Martha Coakley Can Check ‘Shaking Hands at Fenway’ Off Her List
Attorney General Martha Coakley, pilloried during her Senate run for disdaining the idea of shaking hands at Fenway in the cold, has officially shaken some voters’ hands at Fenway! Check! Does she win now? The visit is captured on film here by the Boston Globe’s Joshua Miller:
— Joshua Miller (@jm_bos) September 18, 2013
During her 2010 campaign, Coakley defended her campaign style, saying, “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?” Her disdain for more traditional retail politics was seized on as the gaffe that spoke to the broader failures that allowed Scott Brown’s surprise victory.
So, launching her new campaign for governor, what more obvious way to turn a new page on her campaign persona than head to the ballpark? (Nitpickers would point out that she was there on a very warm day.) It was “Beard Night” at Fenway, a promotion in honor of the Red Sox facial hair trend that rewarded those wearing a beard, real or fake, with $1 admission to the game. Coakley did not wear a beard. She did, however, exchange forced pleasantries, like this one, documented by a Globe reporter:
Another man, waiting with two friends for another to join them, asked Coakley, “Do you want to be our fourth?”
“No,” Coakley smiled.
“Oh, c’mon, Martha,” replied the man, who declined to be identified.
“It’s always tricky trying to get everybody in the same place outside the game,” Coakley sympathized.
God, what a hilarious exchange. Some might read that dialogue and think “God, running for governor seems dull!” But not Coakley!
Of course, despite media tendency to focus on moments, turning points, and gaffes to drive their narratives, a lot of factors went into Coakley’s 2010 loss. A lot of factors will decide how she fares in this race. A trip to Fenway, while symbolic, probably won’t be high on that list. But hey, it does give us the gift of weird photos of Coakley posing with a lot of bearded female voters. Hoorah.