BOSTON (CAP) - Republican officials are questioning the validity of the last-minute endorsement of Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley by the re-animated corpse of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
"My friends, I ask you to join in this historic journey - to have the courage to choose change," said Kennedy at a rally at the Park Plaza Hotel, flanked by two large security personnel who seemed to be holding him up. "It is time again for a new generation of leadership. It is time now for ..."
At that point a voice that sounded similar to Kennedy's, but also not unlike that of Mayor Quimby from The Simpsons, shouted out "Martha Coakley!" A survey of video from the event shows that Kennedy's lips failed to move during the entire length of the presentation.
"I don't know, it just seems fishy to me," said RNC Chairman Michael Steele, whose party is banking on a Republican victory to derail President Obama's health care vote. "The way he was propped up, and didn't move his lips, and used the exact same words as his endorsement of Obama ... something's just not adding up.
"Also the rotting flesh," he added.
Still, Kennedy's resurrection and subsequent endorsement of Coakley, the state's attorney general, seems to have gone a long way toward energizing the Democratic base in Massachusetts.
"I think it says something about the importance of this race that Sen. Kennedy was willing to come back from the dead to express his opinion," said Cindy Markenson of Brookline, Mass. Markenson, a lifelong Democrat, said she'd actually been leaning toward Republican candidate Scott Brown because Coakley is "so dull that just looking at her actually makes my molars ache."
But now, the dead Kennedy has convinced her to rethink her position.
"It was very moving, his speech, and the way he would lift his arm to wave in tandem with his security personnel, and how he even took time to go water skiing from the back of his yacht even though it's January," she said. "Kind of unfortunate how he kept bouncing off those buoys, though."
Republican Brown has surprised many on the Massachusetts political scene with his success at wooing "unenrolled" and former Democratic voters.
He's certainly the more dynamic of the two candidates, having even posed nude in Cosmopolitan in the early '80s, in the first edition of the magazine to include the article on "hot sex tips that will drive him wild" that it would repeat every month for the last 27 years.
Also, Brown's daughter Ayla was a popular contestant on American Idol in 2006 and has been instrumental in promoting her father's candidacy. Unfortunately, those efforts suffered a setback when it was discovered that supporters could not vote for Scott Brown by calling an 800 number that appears on their screen.
Still, the unexpected return of Kennedy to the political scene has reignited support for Coakley, whose campaign strategy up until this point has been to say and do as little as possible, and to form her reed-thin lips into a pained facsimile of a smile whenever a camera happens upon her face.
"I hope I can continue to have your support right up through Tuesday's election, so Sen. Kennedy can return to his eternal rest," said Coakley Saturday to a crowd of supporters in Newburyport, Mass., many of whom were asleep.
Meanwhile, at a star-studded Coakley campaign stop Sunday - with Kennedy sandwiched awkwardly between President Obama and former President Bill Clinton, their arms wrapped tightly under Kennedy's shoulders - conservative Boston radio host Michael Graham stood up and shouted, "Wait a minute, I know what's going on here! I saw Weekend at Bern..."
But before he could finish, a group of Democratic operatives beat him with truncheons and dragged him into a nearby underground tunnel.