Well, presumably the president didn't cause Martha Coakley to call Curt Schilling a Yankee or to take a six-day vacation in the middle of a campaign, but the Coakley campaign argues there's plenty of blame to go around.
The adviser, who made the case to my colleague Jonathan Martin on the condition of anonymity in response, said, to "the current leaking coming out of the White House and the DNC that is chalking all of this up to a “bad candidate”.
The adviser, who cited internal polling numbers to make the case, emails that, "There’s more to the story than that. If Martha is guilty of taking the race for granted, so is the White House, and the DNC."
The adviser pointed to internal polling to argue that Coakley held a wide -- 20 point -- lead on December 19, and that the damage she took between that survey and a January 5 Rasmussen poll putting the race at 9 points came from the national scene.
Click through to read the whole memo.
And, for an idea about how effective the Obama push for Coakley was, check out this pithy parry from Scott Brown:
"Unbelievable," he said. "The leader of the free world is talking about my truck."
The attack on him was indeed thin. Obama's own remarks conceded that the national Democratic Party was as unprepared to take Brown down on the issues as Coakley was: "He could be a perfectly nice guy," the president said. "I don't know his record."
And, when they couldn't attack him on the issues, Democrats resorted to some appalling attacks, even by political standards. They will pay for it, says James Kirchick:
Both sides play dirty in politics, but it's only Democrats who complain about the singular wickedness of their opponents. This allows them a false sense of moral authority when they make their own outlandish allegations. For Democrats, it's always 1968, Republicans are always George Wallace (even though he was a Democrat), and the GOP can only win elections by lying and "smearing." But as we've seen in Massachusetts this past month, it was Democrats who waged what is now widely acknowledged as the most negative campaign this state has witnessed in decades. Remember that in 2010 when, as it is every election cycle, the tired meme of unvarying Republican perfidy and Democratic integrity is rehearsed once again.
Update: Senior D.C. Democrats fire back:
This memo is a pack full of lies and fantasies - The DNC and the DSCC did everything they were asked and have been involved in the race for several weeks not just the last one.
The campaign failed to recognize this threat, failed to keep Coakley on the campaign trail, failed to create a negative narrative about Brown, failed to stay on the air in December while he was running a brilliant campaign...
The candidate in this race and the campaign have been involved in the worst case of political malpractice in memory and they aren't going to be able to spin themselves out of this with a memo full of lies.