Beam and Carr: playing the gender card so Coakley doesn't have to

Suppose you're still weighing who to vote for in next week's Democratic US Senate primary--and then you read this, courtesy of the Globe's Alex Beam:

Martha Coakley is a very good-looking woman, and by far the handsomest candidate among the four Democrats running for Ted Kennedy's seat.

Call it the babe factor. 

I know what you are thinking, and you are right. She does not photograph particularly well....

In person, however, she's a knockout. If you don't think women over 50 can be attractive, well, you've got a lot of living left ahead! "Foxy," one political blogger called her. "People say I am better looking in real life than I am on television," Coakley commented. Most definitely.

 And then you turn your attention to the musings of the Herald's Howie Carr:

Have you seen a male in [Coakley's] TV ads, other than the dog I mean? If you want to know which men in your neighborhood are henpecked, check out the houses with the Coakley yard signs out front.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say if her name were Martin Coakley, her candidacy would be a joke. But what exactly is the rationale here, other than payback for Shannon O’Brien?

If you're a woman--or, for that matter, if you're a reasonably enlightened man--wouldn't gender-based pablum like this make you a bit more likely to vote Coakley on December?

Maybe not. Still, if I were one of Coakley's opponents, I'd be wishing Carr and Beam had kept these insights to themselves.

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