After weeks of holding back, President Barack Obama is finally wading into the crucial Massachusetts special election for the seat once held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), recording a robocall in which he calls Democrat Martha Coakley his “ally— on the issues.
“Hi, this is President Barack Obama,— the president begins, according to a transcript of the call. “I rarely make these calls and I truly apologize for intruding on your day,— Obama continues. “But I had to talk to you about the election in Massachusetts on Tuesday because the stakes are so high.—
The call was first reported by blogger Greg Sargent of the Plum Line. It was shared with Roll Call by Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse.
Obama hits several hot-button issues, saying he needs Coakley’s support “to curb the abuses of a health insurance industry— to enact financial reforms “to stop Wall Street from playing havoc with our economy— and to “create a new clean energy economy.— Without explaining specifically that Democrats could lose their 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority if GOP candidate Scott Brown wins, he adds, “it’s clear now that the outcome of these and other fights will probably rest on one vote in the United States Senate.—
In a sign the calls are targeting Democrats, Obama makes a direct appeal for voters to get to the polls.
“A lot of people don’t even realize there is an election on Tuesday to fill the unexpired term of Ted Kennedy,— he says. “They don’t realize why it’s so important. So please, come out to vote for Martha Coakley.—
White House officials still have not said whether Obama will travel to Massachusetts this weekend. They appear to be concerned that Obama’s lagging poll ratings and dissatisfaction among some voters with health care reform could hurt Coakley. That he is making the call could be a sign that Coakley’s prospects have declined to the point that Democrats have decided it is worth the risk to introduce Obama’s voice into the race.
Click here to hear Obama’s call.