Sunday, January 17, 2010

How Out of Touch Is Massachusetts Democratic Candidate Martha Coakely?

In Red Sox crazed Massachusetts, you don't have to kiss babies, but you better know who former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is. Coakely clearly didn't know as of yesterday, when she was interviewed on the radio and said, get this, that Schilling was a Yankee fan. This is kind of like, in the rest of America, not knowing who Babe Ruth is and thinking he's a football player. In Boston, grandmothers know who Curt Schilling is. Not knowing suggests a way out of touch, clueless Ivory Tower life. It could very well be the faux pas that costs her just enough votes to seal a victory for Republican Scott Brown. Even in the heart of the hated Yankee kingdom they get this. NYT writes:
Could the fate of the health care bill, its passage or defeat, hinge on a sports gaffe?

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democrat vying to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and to cast the 60th vote for the bill, may be about to find out. She is being roundly mocked in this Red Sox-crazy state for mistakenly suggesting in a radio interview that Curt Schilling, the former Red Sox pitcher, is a Yankee fan.

Mr. Schilling was accorded near-heroic status here for guiding the team to victory over their arch-rivals, the Yankees, in a key game in 2004 while his own sock was literally bloody from an ankle injury. The radio exchange was quickly blasted to reporters by gleeful Republicans.

It was Ms. Coakley who brought up baseball in the interview on WBZ News Radio. She noted that her rival, Scott Brown, a Republican State Senator, had been campaigning in Boston Friday with Rudolph W. Giuliani, and she reminded listeners that Mr. Giuliani is a Yankee fan.

The interviewer, Dan Rea, said, “Yeah, but now Scott Brown has Curt Schilling, OK?’’
To which Ms. Coakley replied, “And another Yankee fan.’’

“Schilling?’’ Mr. Rea pressed.

“Yes,’’ she said.

“Curt Schilling a Yankee fan?’’ he persisted.

“No, all right, I’m wrong on my, I’m wrong,’’ she said.

Mr. Schilling, who helped Senator John McCain win the New Hampshire primary in 2008 by campaigning with him there, and who has been supporting Mr. Brown, fired back on his own blog. “I’ve been called a lot of things,’’ he wrote, “but never, and I mean never, could anyone ever make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn’t know what the hell is going on in your own state maybe you could….”
How out of touch does this make her in my book? Let me put it this way, I'm originally from Massachusetts and I don't consider anyone a serious member of Red Sox Nation unless they can name the starting line up for the 1967 Boston Red Sox. To not know current Red Sox history in Massachusetts is really astonishing. It's hard to understand if you live anywhere else in the country, but everybody in Massachusetts has been to Fenway Park at least once and everyone follows the Red Sox. The following even goes beyond the Massachusetts border to most of New England. Maine's Stephen King is a fan. He wrote a book about the Red Sox. Massachusetts natives Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are fans, as is Aerosmith's Stephen Tyler, and Lew Rockwell! Harvard's Alan Dershowitz and Greg Mankiw are fans.

Coakely may be the only person in Massachusetts who doesn't know who Curt Schilling is. I'm not kidding.

1 comment:

  1. Wenzel,

    An interesting anecdote that reveals the extent of cultural collectivism in the land of the puritans.