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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Five stages of campaigning

Wow, the first words of the 2012 Democratic Senate campaign haven't been mumbled and already we're in full hyperbole mode.

It appears Republicans and conservatives are so fearful of Elizabeth Warren they are rolling out 60-year-old smear rhetoric to protect their golden boy Scott Brown. On the other side of the aisle, observers appear to be going through the Five Stages of Grief trying to come to grips with the fact their cluttered primary field is narrowing quickly.

The Massachusetts Republican Party is setting itself an almost impossible task for inflamed rhetoric next year with this Joe McCarthy press release headline:
“Communist Party News Outlet Gives Favorable Review To Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren.’’
Guys, it's 2011, not 1951. And as the Globe's Glen Johnson points out, the GOP seems to forget that Oklahoma, Warren's birthplace, is celebrating it's 104th anniversary of statehood, with its state university football team ranking No. 2 nationally in that most American of sports.

The overheated rhetoric is par for the course, particularly as the GOP sees the sheen on Scott Brown fade and knows it will be going into battle with campaign cash offered by the same bankers who are painting Warren as the devil incarnate.

But the agita on the left side of the aisle is equally amazing. With Democrats set to debate Tuesday in Lowell, the Globe's Joan Vennochi is working her way through Elizabeth Kubler Ross' model.

While she appears to have accepted Newton Mayor Setti Warren's departure from the race, Vennochi is crossing the line between denial and anger over the media treatment of Marisa DeFranco and Herb Robinson; angry over the Washington establishment's anointment of Elizabeth Warren while bargaining with herself about the Harvard Law professor's emergence.

She may also be in depression over the fate likely in store for Alan Khazei, Bob Massie and Tom Conroy, destined to be, in some shape or form, sacrificial lambs for the Warren juggernaut.

No one would blame Khazei (and to a lesser extent Massie and Conroy) for being angry or depressed that the Warren hype is outshining credible campaign efforts. But before we get too far ahead, let's at least wait and see what happens in Tuesday's debate when Warren steps out of the protective cocoon in which she's been wrapped since launching her listening campaign.

That means sparing the flowers to the rival campaign and the columnists who love them for helping to put food on their table.

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