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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Warren's SNL moment

Midway through a Saturday Night Live 1988 presidential campaign debate, "Michael Dukakis" turns to moderator "Diane Sawyer" and declares "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy!"

Elizabeth Warren must be muttering the same thing under her breath. But if she isn't, some Democrats are starting to get nervous and yes, even the real Dukakis thinks it's time for a strategy change.

Speaking to a group of Bay State activists and delegates at the Democratic convention, Dukakis declared:
 “Yeah, I know Elizabeth’s media hasn’t been as good as it should be, and she knows that, and I think you’re going to see some significant changes.’’
In fact there's a strong overall similarity to Dukakis' 1988 run against George H. W. Bush and Warren's  campaign against Scott Brown. Both Republicans tried -- and so far have succeeded -- in painting the Democrats as out-of-touch Harvard elites.

Brown has a distinct advantage over Bush, a Connecticut Yankee awkwardly transplanted to Texas. Brown has a personality that has been amply on display in his ads -- starting with the truck and the barn coat in 2011 and moving on to the truck and a Bruins' T-shirt this year. Substance? Nah.

Bush used Roger Ailes and third-party slash-and-burn to destroy Dukakis, while Brown has eschewed those tactics so far. And with good reason, beyond the People's Pledge.

Warren's spots have been roundly panned as preachy and stilted, reinforcing the Harvard tag Brown uses at every opportunity. And while there's still a long way to go -- and lots of money to spend -- the Warren brain trust may finally be getting the message, particularly when it is delivered by respected Democrat hands like Dan Payne:
“Brown looks and acts like a Massachusetts political figure,’’ Payne says. “He is engaged with people and their problems. Her commercials could be for any Democratic candidate for Senate anywhere in America. They feel like cookie-cutter. There is no feeling in those ads that she is even in Massachusetts.’’
The Warren team is said to be ready to make some changes, a wise move before she gets tarred with the same brush that doomed Martha Coakley -- and Dukakis.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant believe Warren isnt hitting Brown harder with something like if you want someone who will fight for you, vote for me, if you want someone who feels writing letters and not allowing congress to vote using filibusters is all a senator has to do, vote for Brown.

September 12, 2012 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Tyran said...

Not saying things can't be better, but is that the sound of a circular firing squad I hear?

Looking at the LV models used in the last rounds of both polling, do we really think they represent MA? Further, aren't we expecting presidential election coattails?

The media around these parts was calling Coakley / Brown close too, and we know how that ended up, even as it was painfully obvious she was losing and running a horrible campaign.

It's the opposite of that this time around, but the local media needs it's horse race. After all, look at Kerrys vote totals in 2008, and tell me how Scotty diminishes or captures those voters?

September 12, 2012 1:16 PM  

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