Healey loss was sadly deserved

by Beacon Staff • November 8, 2006

It's no wonder that Kerry Healey consistantly lagged behind Governor-elect Deval Patrick throughout the entire gubernatorial race and eventually lost.

Healey's negative approach left her looking like a wicked witch.

Her image was harsh and uncaring. Her brutal campaigning about Patrick's cop-killer-loving tendencies was an embarrassment.,It's no wonder that Kerry Healey consistantly lagged behind Governor-elect Deval Patrick throughout the entire gubernatorial race and eventually lost.

Healey's negative approach left her looking like a wicked witch.

Her image was harsh and uncaring. Her brutal campaigning about Patrick's cop-killer-loving tendencies was an embarrassment.

While Healey circled around and squealed from her broomstick, Patrick maintained grace and poise.

According to Michael Grunwald of The Washington Post, "The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) has spent more than 90 percent of its advertising budget on negative ads."

Healey's campaign against Patrick was no exception to this trend. Every opportunity to attack Patrick was taken.

An advertisement focusing on how Patrick defended a rapist in court was especially dramatic: a woman walks all alone in an empty parking garage, using Patrick's own words to describe the rapist: "He is eloquent and he is thoughtful. There is no doubt about that."

A narrator then comments, "Have you ever heard a woman compliment a rapist? Mr. Patrick should be ashamed, not governor."

Patrick is not the one who should be ashamed.

Negative campaigning is a move of desperation. By attacking her opponent with such outlandish ads, Healey hurt only herself. The ads, especially when leveled against someone as dignified as Patrick, looked ignorant and trivial.

Healey's focus was clearly on winning, not about debate or a thoughtful electoral process.

If Republicans were turned off by Healey's campaigning strategy, they found no answer in Republican-turned-Independent candidate Christy Mihos, who produced the funny, though discrediting, advertisement in which certain individuals on Beacon Hill are portrayed shoving their heads up their rear ends.

On a national level, negative ads uses by Congressional Republicans likely helped contribute to the huge gains made by Democrats in the House and Senate.

"Negative ads by Democrats tie Republican candidates to President George W. Bush, to the Iraq war, or accuse them of being advocates for industry," wrote Jacob Weisberg in The Financial Times last week. "But Democrats do not claim their opponents 'prey on our children'-even though Mark Foley, a Republican congressman, recently resigned following accusations that he did just that."

Politicians should get wise in future elections and better judge various campaign strategies.

Hopefully, future candidates will monitor their behavior and bring a bit of grace and dignity back into politics.