Gillibrand Is Coakley 2.0

New York's incumbent can't communicate, and that could be her downfall
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2010 1:11 PM CST
Kirsten Gillibrand, with a temporary name card in front of her, listens to testimony on Capitol Hill, Jan. 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, FILE)

(Newser) – Kirsten Gillibrand bears a lot of unfortunate similarities to Martha Coakley, and could soon suffer the same fate. Like Coakley, she assumes she’s in for a cakewalk, with the full weight of her party behind her in a mostly-blue state. And like Coakley, she has “dreadful communication skills,” writes Steve Kornacki at the Daily Beast. “She talks, often for far too long, almost exclusively in political clichés. There is no blood in her veins.”

You could get away with that in 2006 or 2008, when Democrats were riding high, but Coakley proved that you can’t in 2010. Though New York’s big-name Republicans aren’t challenging her, Scott Brown proved that a no-name candidate with sufficient energy will do. Of course, Gillibrand must overcome Harold Ford Jr., a more able communicator, in a primary. But Ford’s probably too cozy with Wall Street to win; all he’ll do is further damage Gillibrand’s prospects against the GOP challenger.

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