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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And the race is on

The once and future Democratic foes of Scott Brown met on MSNBC last night, and if Elizabeth Warren opts to take on the challenge, her interview with Rachel Maddow will likely be marked as the launch.

The 62-year-old Harvard Law professor -- and bane to the Republicans for her calm, cool and collected defense of Main Street over Wall Street -- could prove to be an effective campaigner against an incumbent who has become increasingly isolated, preferring fund-raisers and spokespeople to actual voter engagement.

National Democrats have been beating the drums loudly for Warren, concerned over what appears to be a crowded but somewhat lackluster field to challenge Brown. National Republicans are all in high dudgeon:
Yesterday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out a news release attempting to undermine her credentials as a true Red Sox fan, pointing out she grew up in Oklahoma. Brian Walsh, communications director for the committee, previewed the Republican campaign against her in an interview, in which he tried to paint Warren as a product of national Democrats and a creature of the ivory tower.

“It’s unclear whether Massachusetts natives believe an Oklahoma native and professor at Harvard best represents their views and values,’’ he said. “If she does get in, it’s clear the Democrats are going to have a very divisive primary on their hands."

There's no book on Warren as a campaigner, although she offers cool TV images in her appearances on such friendly liberal havens as Maddow and Real Time with Bill Maher. And there are questions about her temperament, raised by Republicans who will of course try to get her to offer a comment they can exploit.

But watching Warren it's hard to avoid what appears to be a deep-seated belief in her cause -- protecting consumers against the hardships caused by the excesses of our banking and financial system.

And that's quite a contrast to Brown's position as a leading water carrier for the industry.

Brown has a formidable head start in fund-raising and a much higher profile that would require plenty of national Democratic money for Warren to begin chipping away at the image of Senator Barn Coat.

But Elizabeth Warren has a buzz that none of the current Democratic hopefuls can match.

Let the speculation begin!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your title is misleading

July 19, 2011 5:10 AM  
Blogger Tim Smyth said...

A couple of random thoughts:

1. Brown will argue that his support of financial industry is based on supporting companies based in Massachusetts such as Fidelity who also pretty tied in with many MA Democrats such Menino, Patrick, much of the Eastern MA congressional delegation etc.

2. Warren would do really well in Western MA away from Metro Boston limiting any possibility Brown will gain support in that area. The problem is that Greater Boston is still very much of a question without heavy backing from Menino and his compatriots.

3. Many national Democrats still want revenge over last time which is always a dangerous thing. Perhaps the best strategy in a presidential year is to hope higher turnout leads to more Democratic voter ID and use that coast to victory instead of re fighting the last election.

July 19, 2011 11:29 AM  

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