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Midterm Buzz: Massachussettes

From NBC's Ali Weinberg

Everyone on both sides of the aisle has something to say about Massachusettes  – er, Massachusetts Democratic Senate nominee Martha Coakley's attack ad about her Republican opponent, Scott Brown.

Also at NRO, Jim Geraghty comments on the already much-ridiculed "Massachusettes" spelling error in Coakley's "Lockstep Republican" ad: "The punchlines write themselves: Before you represent a state in the Senate, shouldn't you learn how to spell its name? This isn't the sort of thing that sways votes, but it does suggest a certain haphazard hastiness surrounding the Coakley campaign; they probably never thought they would have to run attack ads against a little-known state legislator in this state," Geraghty writes.

Red State's Swamp_Yankee criticizes Martha Coakley's "Lockstep" ad, calling it "full of dark, harsh tones, lies and subliminal images, including one distorted image of Rush Limbaugh with his hand up a 'heil' manner." He then analyzes Scott Brown's response ad, in which Brown appears in a light-filled kitchen, telling viewers that the Coakley campaign isn't addressing issues important to viewers, but rather "decided that the best way to stop me is to tear me down." Writes Swamp_Yankee: "The difference between the two ads and the two candidates couldn't be more stark. But will it work? Brown could have ignored it. Brown could have hit back just as hard. Or Brown could have taken this middle ground. All three options bear risks and rewards. Brown chose to confront the negative attack ads and the lies, but he stays positive."

Liberal bloggers have a positive take on Coakley's "Lockstep" ad – conveniently forgetting about that typo, however. Daily Kos' Laura Clawson expresses relief that "Martha Coakley is moving to define Scott Brown more aggressively," adding simply, "about time."

Blogging at NRO, Robert Costa remarks on a fundraising email sent by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) to Democrats in anticipation of next week's special election, where Kerry frames voters' choice as: "Do we elect Martha Coakley - who will fight for jobs, our families and our communities as my Massachusetts colleague and the state's first woman senator, or Republican Scott Brown, whose allies in the right wing dream of holding a "tea party" in Kennedy country?"

Costa responds: "Massachusetts isn't Kennedy country, senator. It's the people's commonwealth — a great one at that — and one that could just elect a Republican to the upper chamber next week. And about that "right-wing dream." I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me tea (Brown, please)."

Not Ford Tough? BalloonJuice's DougJ is less than enthusiastic about former Tennessee Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr.'s announcement that he is seriously considering challenging New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, not to mention the forum in which he decided to announce it: "Crypto-Republican Harold Ford insists he is a real Democrat. And what better place to prove your Democratic bona fides than the New York Post? I'm ready to start following Harold Ford around with giant papier-mache dolls if he gets into this race."

Kiss-el it Goodbye? And the Washington Independent's Dave Weigel picks up on a rare narrative for conservative-district Democrats in this election cycle: "Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), a freshman who rode into a western North Carolina district on the 2008 Obama wave, is comfortably ahead of several credible Republican challengers." Kissell is "the rare Southern non-Blue Dog in a swing seat who looks set to win in 2010," Weigel comments, noting that Kissell's saving grace was probably his no-vote on the House heath care reform bill."