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Political Circuit

Coakley quote stunned Obama

President Obama stumped for candidate Coakley. President Obama stumped for candidate Coakley. (Pat Greenhouse/ Globe Staff)
Globe Staff / May 23, 2010

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It was one of the more memorable quotes of the US Senate race last winter — Attorney General Martha Coakley defending her campaign tactics to the Globe by saying, “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?’’

Coakley’s response, it turns out, caught the attention of President Obama, and not in a good way.

Newsweek scribe Jonathan Alter, in his new book, “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,’’ writes that when Obama aide David Axelrod told the president that Coakley had said those words, Obama reached out and grabbed his shirt.

“No! No! You’re making that up! That can’t be right! Tell me she didn’t say that!’’ the president said, tossing in a few obscenities, according to Alter’s account, in which he calls Coakley’s line “one of the great gaffes in modern American politics.’’ -- MARTIN FINUCANE

Immigration vote incurs wrath of ‘constituents’

The angry masses going after the Boston City Council for protesting Arizona’s new immigration law have not marched on City Hall with torches and pitchforks. Nor have they, for the most part, chosen phone calls or e-mails to register displeasure. No, the overwhelming majority have found another way.

Faxes. Figuratively a blizzard of faxes. Thousands of them.

The 13-member council has one shared fax machine, a creaky, yellowed Panafax that perpetually overheats. Since the May 5 vote in favor of a nonbinding boycott of Arizona, the machine has been overwhelmed, spitting out a 4 1/2-inch thick pile of faxes in one 24-hour window last week before it jammed. The vote has provided endless fodder for local talk radio, which has orchestrated a coordinated, if unoriginal, fax assault.

“You should be ashamed of your inflammatory, nonsensical comments!’’ wrote James Casey of Bellingham. The exact same sentence — exclamation point and all — led off another letter from Scott Hayes of Beverly! Anthony Kowaleski Jr. of Amesbury had the exact same thought! So did Joe McCaffrey of Berlin! And so on!

One theme united the fax writers: Almost none lived in Boston. But that did not stop Robert Melido of Georgetown from warning the council, “I vote in every election.’’ Or Scott Caseau of Hyannis from asking the councilors when they were going to start “to listen to their constituents.’’ Or Catherine McGuinness of Lynn, who said in her missive that she was “feeling unrepresented.’’ -- ANDREW RYAN

Cash race cools off in May

All three major candidates for governor suffered a fund-raising drop-off in early May, but for Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, an independent who has been pounded for weeks by a barrage of negative advertisements by the Republican Governors Association, the decline has been most precipitous.

Cahill still leads the field in the critical cash-on-hand category, but for the first half of May, his campaign took in only $17,566, his worst fund-raising period of 2010 except for early January, when he raised nothing, according to reports filed with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Cahill’s campaign spent about $63,000 in early May, leaving his campaign kitty with a balance of more than $3.3 million.

Governor Deval Patrick’s campaign raised about $87,000 but spent $113,324 in early May, leaving the first-term Democratic incumbent with a little more than $1 million in the bank.

The campaign of Republican Charles D. Baker won’t report totals for the month of May until early June, because he is the only non-officeholder in the field, but deposits reported by his campaign’s bank indicate that the former health care executive and Cabinet secretary collected $69,444, putting him on pace for his weakest fund-raising month in 2010. However, Baker, who has led the field in fund-raising all year, started May with $2.27 million cash on hand. -- BRIAN C. MOONEY

‘Young Gun’ isn’t wet behind the ears

Joe Malone, a “young gun?’’ Those who have followed his long career in Massachusetts might chuckle at that moniker.

With Malone gunning for the 10th congressional seat, the National Republican Congressional Committee last week declared that the 55-year-old former state treasurer has done well enough in the race to qualify for initial membership in its “Young Guns’’ program, which seeks to promote “a new generation’’ of conservatives.

New generation?

Malone left the state treasurer’s office in 1998, badly beaten up in his challenge to Governor Paul Cellucci in the GOP gubernatorial primary, and on the heels of an unfolding scandal in which some of his top aides heisted a record $9.4 million from his office. There was no evidence Malone was involved, but his run for Congress will test whether voters are willing to advance the career of a “Young Gun’’ with a few political scars to show.

His Republican primary rival, state Representative Jeffrey Perry of Sandwich, is also in the “Young Gun’’ program. -- FRANK PHILLIPS

Tweet of the week
On Thursday, Richard Ross of Wrentham was sworn in to fill the state Senate seat of US Senator Scott Brown. Like Brown, Ross is a Republican, so it’s not like the GOP picked up a seat. But that didn’t dampen the excitement of party chairwoman Jennifer Nassour (@JenniferNassour), who is clearly hoping for a big year. She wrote, “I think I like this swearing in of Republicans thing — hoping to do it 140 more times!!!!’’

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