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Massachusetts: Obama Gives Coakley White House Shout-Out

Senate frontrunner Martha Coakley (D) was in Washington on Friday, where she got a shout-out from President Barack Obama for her work to help protect consumers from financial fraud as the state attorney general.

Coakley joined three other Democratic attorneys general who have garnered political headlines this year — Andrew Cuomo of New York, Lisa Madigan of Illinois and Roy Cooper of North Carolina — at a White House event to tout the president’s financial regulatory overhaul proposal, including the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Cuomo is considering a gubernatorial campaign next year, while Madigan and Cooper were recruited but ruled out 2010 Senate races.

Obama noted the four in his speech, dubbing them “some of the finest attorney generals who are fighting against consumer fraud.—

The focus of the event was on policy, not politics. But the praise from the president certainly can’t hurt in the short sprint to the Dec. 8 Democratic Senate primary. Coakley is squaring off against Boston-area Rep. Mike Capuano, Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and community service activist Alan Khazei; the winner will be the heavy favorite in the Jan. 19 special election.

Coakley’s campaign released an internal poll last week showing her with nearly half — 47 percent — of the primary vote. Capuano came in with 12 percent, Pagliuca at 4 percent and Khazei at 1 percent. But all three men have sizable amounts of money in their campaign accounts, which they are already spending on ads to help raise their profiles. Coakley, who has been elected to statewide office twice, easily has the highest name recognition in the Democratic field.