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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Answer Woman

By now it should be clear Scott Brown wants to talk about anything except his record. Elizabeth Warren needs to stop enabling him.

Brown scored one hit from his uneven debate performance Thursday night (not the beaten horse issue of her heritage) by raising the complex relationship she had with Travelers Insurance.

The senator who was too tired to meet the media Thursday (but not too tired to party with supporters)  sought to press that issue at a Friday news conference, complete with rustling papers.

Brown insisted Warren betrayed her consumer protection roots by joining a complex asbestos lawsuit that the giant insurer was eventually able to turn against consumers.

As with so much in politics today, Brown had the basic facts right, but presented them in a distorted fashion.

But that didn't stop the Cosmo Centerfold from going before TV cameras to declare:
“She can’t hide behind commercials any more. She’s got to answer the questions.”
Pretty hilarious stuff from a man who has posed with his wife, daughters, veterans, fishermen and assorted fanboys and girls in what has been a issues-free advertising campaign that seeks to obscure his votes for the financial services industry.

But the problem is Warren failed to come up with a strong rebuttal -- whether Thursday night or on Friday. The failure to immediately address what a Brown website has called a "fake Indian" problem has allowed the incumbent to continue to change the subject when questions are raised about his own record.

Unlike the heritage issue, where Brown is questioning Warren's family lore, there are concrete answers to the Travelers imbroglio, but not the kind of answers that can be easily addressed in a 30-second commercial or a 10-second sound bite.

But the Warren team needs to do just that and fast -- so Brown can't keep fudging his positions and shifting the discussion away from his actual voting record.

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