CHAPTER 7

MAKE SURE THOSEWIRES HAVE GOODINSULATION

“First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.”1

—ANCIENT PROVERB

Iwill never forget the news conference in which Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley fielded questions from reporters. At the time, Scott Brown, her opponent in the special election following Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy’s death in 2009, was rapidly gaining ground in the polls. The outcome was important nationally because if Coakley lost, Senate Democrats forfeited their ability to shut off a filibuster. Coakley, however, was overconfident because many considered her victory to be guaranteed. When ...

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