WORCESTER - With the special election less than a week away, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Martha Coakley pulled out all the stops Friday, bringing former President Bill Clinton to the Bay State.
The visit from the former president stood to give Coakley's campaign a shot in the arm as polls have shown the state's attorney general in a tight race with her Republican opponent, state Sen. Scott Brown, of Wrentham.
Speaking before a crowd of about 1,000 people at a rally at Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Alden Memorial Hall, Clinton told Coakley supporters that they need to do everything they can to make sure their friends and family members head out to the polls on Tuesday.
"Go talk to every living soul you can find between now and Tuesday," he said. "Tell them that not voting is voting, not voting is voting for the other guy."
Clinton also said Coakley would be the critical 60th vote in the Senate to pass President Barack Obama's health care bill, which the former president said is imperative to getting the nation's economy back on track.
"We are being crushed by a system that doesn't make a lick of sense," he said of rising costs in the health care industry.
While the bill may not be ideal, Clinton said, "it's so much better than what we've got."
During her time at the podium, Coakley stressed her record of fighting for the interests of residents during her time as attorney general, as well as in her previous post as Middlesex County District Attorney.
"Once I get into a fight, I don't quit," she said.
Joining Coakley and Clinton were congressmen James McGovern, D-Worcester, and Richard Neal, D-Springfield, along with Lt. Gov. Tim Murray and Worcester Mayor Joe O'Brien.
Clinton's visit, along with the news that Obama will be stumping for Coakley in the state on Sunday, comes after a series of polls have shown the race much closer than many pundits and experts believed.
McGovern said he thinks the poll results have re-energized many Democrats who may have grown complacent and thought the election was a done deal.
"I've noticed a growing intensity among Democrats," he said after the rally. "It's good we got the wake-up call when we did, rather than a week after the election."
Speaking after the rally, Murray said the campaign's final weekend will be spent on G.O.T.V. - or Get Out the Vote - efforts, as well as trying to reach the remaining undecided voters.
"(Coakley's) record speaks for itself," Murray said. "You want a work horse, not a show horse."
In her remarks, Coakley said she and her campaign will work diligently over the next few days to get gain new supporters and make sure those already in her camp make it to the polls.
"We're going to use every minute until Jan. 19," she said. "I know that we'll bring this election home."