Ed Markey Steps In It With 'Osama bin Gomez' Ad

Ed Markey and Gabriel Gomez are the Democratic and Republican candidates who are vying to fill Secretary of State John Kerry's former senate seat. Yet, in the land of unchecked liberalism, Rep. Ed Markey really isn't doing well against Gabriel Gomez.  Gomez is trailing by just four points against Markey, who released this puzzling ad slamming Gomez for being part of OPSEC, which is an organization dedicated to exposing politicians who leak classified national security information for political gain.  The group released a film called Dishonorable Disclosures last year that made allegations that the Obama administration purposefully leaked information about ongoing covert operations.

The Markey ad, which is way too long, juxtaposes Gomez's image with that of Osama bin Laden.  There's no context about Gomez's position.  It's just a good old-fashioned smear. Liberals may make the accusation that Saxby Chambliss did the same thing to Max Cleland during the 2002 Georgia Senate race, but unlike Markey, Chambliss went after Cleland's votes against Bush policies aimed to make our nation more secure at the time. Yet, the Gomez campaign should've seen this coming given how close the race is in a deep blue state.  On the other hand, Markey doesn't thrill the press all that much either.

After all, when some members of the press think of you as a relic -- a haggard career politician that decided to step outside of the walls of his crypt -- you need to something.

Fox 25’s Jim Polito: "The difference is, the old white guy is Democrat Ed Markey. Oops, looks like the democrats have real dilemma." (Jim Polito, "Democrat vs ‘Democrat,’" My Fox Boston5/3/13)

Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi: “There’s nothing groundbreaking about Markey. He has served in Congress since 1976, and the bags under his eyes make him look his age — 66. If anyone needed to be reminded that the Democratic establishment stands with him, the establishment — Coakley included — stood right behind him on primary night.” (Joan Vennochi, “Like Brown, but in a bomber jacket,” The Boston Globe, 5/2/13)  

Boston Herald’s Margery Eagen:  “Markey, meanwhile, looks like he could fit right in on the set of ‘Downton Abbey.’ He talks like he grew up not in Malden, but next to John Kerry in Louisburg Square.” (Margery Eagen, “Race shaping up as Brown V. 2.0,” The Boston Herald, 5/2/13)

The Hill: “Markey has rarely faced a competitive challenger, and there were early concerns among some Democrats that he might make a weak candidate.” (Alexandra Jaffe, “Six ways the GOP can make the Massachusetts Senate race competitive,” The Hill, 5/2/13)

Patriot Ledger“That makes it a bit hypocritical for Markey to challenge Gomez to sign the ‘People’s Pledge,’ which would limit spending from outside groups.” (Our Opinion: Lots to consider in US Senate race,” Patriot Ledger, 5/2/13)

Ouch! That's gotta hurt.  Nonetheless, even with Markey's "Osama bin Gomez ad  -- to borrow a phrase from David Freddoso -- this is still going to be an interesting race.  Nonetheless, there are a few differences, as Freddoso noted from the PPP poll on May 3:

  • “Gomez is “up 47/31 with independents and winning over 21% of Democratic voters…[O]ur final poll in the 2010 special election found Scott Brown winning them by a 64/32 margin (sic)…
  • One reason the race is surprisingly competitive is that we are seeing an electorate that’s about 5 points more Romney friendly than the results of the election in Massachusetts in November. That sort of enthusiasm gap was a big part of what let Brown win in 2010 and what more broadly allowed Republicans to be successful nationally that year…
  • “Barack Obama remains pretty popular in the state. He has a 53/41 approval rating. Obama was at only 44/43 when Brown won in 2010 and the President’s lack of popularity was a big contributor to the upset.

He also wrote on May 2 that, unlike Brown, Gomez lacks the element of surprise this year, but he could out-work Markey to push him over the top.  In fact, this should motivate him even more.  With the electorate 5% more Romney friendly, Gomez -- and the Republicans -- have another chance to embarrass the Democratic Party in their own backyard.  It will -- or should -- boost the morale of Republicans before the 2014 midterms.

As for Markey, he may have misfired with this ad given that a Medal of Honor recipient is calling it "outrageous" and "dishonorable."

Boston, MA – Medal of Honor recipient Thomas Hudner today called Congressman Ed Markey’s negative attack ad, the first of the special election for U.S. Senate, “dishonorable,” and should be taken down “immediately.”

The attack ad, entitled “Meet Gabriel Gomez: Just Another Republican,” points to a split screen shot of Osama Bin Laden and Gabriel Gomez, the former U.S. Navy SEAL and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the Massachusetts open seat special election.

I was shocked to see that the first advertisement from Congressman Ed Markey’s campaign is a negative attack on Gabriel Gomez that places a picture of him next to the terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.” said Hudner. “This dishonorable political attack is beneath the dignity of the office for which Congressman Ed Markey is running for and he should immediately take down this outrageous ad.

Gabriel Gomez is a former Navy Pilot and Navy SEAL and fought like so many other brave men and women to defend this country against threats from abroad. As a Veteran, he deserves better than to be juxtaposed with a terrorist for Congressman Markey’s political gain.”

Gomez said, “Career Politician Ed Markey has started his campaign with a textbook despicable political attack to attempt to connect me with Osama Bin Laden in the minds of voters. This attack is an insult to my service and an insult to the intelligence of the people of Massachusetts. Congressman Markey should direct his campaign to immediately stop this ad, stop his mudslinging and debate me on issues that Massachusetts voters care about, the economy and jobs.”

Nice going, Ed.