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Friday, October 21, 2016

BOSTON — Elizabeth Warren is the kind of person Massachusetts has always liked to send to the U.S. Senate.

She would instantly become a national leader, which appeals in a state that has sent to Washington Democrats such as John and Edward Kennedy and Republicans such as Henry Cabot Lodge and Edward Brooke. The Harvard Law School professor who warned of abuses in the financial system long before the economic crisis should draw suburban liberals who admire her seriousness as well as lunch-bucket Democrats who appreciate her populism.

And few in her party have made a more compelling case that successful capitalism requires a dose of government to guarantee fair competition, economic justice and the public infrastructure businesses require. Warren’s off-the-cuff statement on the subject a year ago was so eloquent that it went instantly viral.

So why hasn’t one of this year’s most exciting Senate candidates put the election away? The obstacle is a Republican incumbent who is making voters forget that he’s a Republican. If former House Speaker Tip O’Neill preached that all politics is local, Sen. Scott Brown makes all politics personal. He’s running even or, in one recent poll, slightly ahead of Warren simply because so many voters like him.

The best summary of what’s happening is offered by Dick Flavin, a veteran of the Massachusetts political wars. “A lot of people vote for how they feel about a candidate, not what they think about a candidate,” Flavin said, “and she’s doing the think stuff.” Brown can walk into a tavern and make people feel he’s one of them. Thus his simple slogan: “He’s for us.”

Brown has also been good at picking issues where he can separate himself from his party — even as he often votes with the Senate Republican leadership. When Rep. Todd Akin made his outlandish comments about rape, Brown sensed not danger but opportunity. Speaking as “a husband and father of two young women,” he won banner headlines by quickly condemning Akin and urging him to drop out of the Missouri Senate race.

Brown won a celebrated special election in January 2010 as a tea party hero who traveled the state in his pickup truck and pledged to fight President Obama’s health care plan. Ever since, Brown has cast himself as a middle-of-the-roader who can work with everybody, including local Democratic officials. Todd Domke, a Republican consultant, said that even “moderate-to-liberal Democrats” here warm to “the idea of a moderate Republican who breaks with his party.” The state’s many independent voters relate to the profile Brown has painstakingly built.

But Brown is different from classic Republican moderates (such as Brooke) who battled conservatives inside the party. He more fits retiring Rep. Barney Frank’s quip that “moderate Republicans are the people who are there when you don’t need them.”

  • Ken

    I like Scott Brown. Unfortunately for him this is a time when we need Democrats who know why they’re Democrats, not Republicans who don’t why or if they’re Republicans.

  • sigrid28

    What my dear mother used to say of her smart, truth-saying daughter I’m tempted to say of Elizabeth Warren: When the good Lord made her, he broke the mold. To those who like her, she has immediate appeal, the kind that is unlikely ever to fade. Exactly what we like about her is that she cannot be other than she is. Those who don’t like her, for whatever reason, will not be persuaded by cosmetic changes or vague assurances of any kind. They don’t suit her, and she wouldn’t squander our trust that way.

    However, Republican women in Massachusetts who have resisted her sensibility for whatever reason may change their minds when they realize that no matter how cute Scott Brown is in his pickup truck, or how gosh-darn personable he tries to be setting aside the ravings of Todd Akin, he is still running for office under the aegis of the Republican Party and its anti-woman platform. Pro-life lite Scott Brown-style may not be enough to convince savvy grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters that Brown will not turn back into an Akin-Ryan sympathizer, once he is in office. What he says is a matter of convenience, his own convenience, as he would like to be elected. But women know that in matters of birth and death, there is usually no convenient do-over. Many women will trust a steady, truthful progressive with their vote, who will not change sides depending on which way the wind blows. Elizabeth Warren is such a candidate.

    • jojo

      Elizabeth Warren lies. She is unethical and her lies for the use of minority status makes her a typical liberal progressive candidate.

      • Can you flesh out your comment regarding her alleged use of minority status with some factual data? Blog nonsense does not count.

        • jojo

          Brown is from Massachusetts – Warren is from Oklahoma and started to work at Harvard 20 years ago. 
          Brown votes for the best interest of Baystate citizens (all of MA) to DC – voting only 66% with the Republicans he is definitely bipartisan. 
          Warren should run for the Senate in Oklahoma….or see if Obama might hire her back, he let her go.

          She lied big time about her heritage . She got caught in that lie but kept it up, embarrassing to say the least.

          • oh you mean like ryan did. when he lied about taking money and said he did not. is that what you mean dum-ass jojo

          • jojo

            We were talking about Warren stupid. Got your panties in a wad this afternoon?

          • jojo, when Mitt Romney decided to run for Governor of Massachussets his candidacy and eligibility were challenged because he had filed tax returns claiming he was a resident of Nevada. He quickly submitted amended returns changing his residency to MA and the rest is history. Is that what it takes to be credible in the GOP?

        • the dum-ass jojo don’t have any they are stupid ass-hole’s

          • jojo

            Why do you have such a BIG chip on your shoulder? Did you lose a big poker game or something? Get a grip!

      • then don’t vote for her dum-ass jojo she don’t need you and she will win

        • jojo

          Well guess what you little dumb twit, I won’t! Scott Brown will win!

          • jojo: with males like you out there, don’t bet on it. Of course, pigs just might start to fly.

      • I hesitate to voice an opinion on this issue because I am not too familiar with what is going on in Massachussets, but I would say that the relevance of her statement to the ongoing campaign depends on whether she was trying to establish a specific status, in this case her ethnicity, to get special privileges, or whether she only made a comment among friends or even during an interview for the purpose of establishing her identity based on what relatives told her.
        My hobby since I retired is genealogy, and when two of my daughters in law told me they were part Cherokee Native Americans I decided to investigate their background on Ancestry. I found out that the great grandfather of one of them was actually a Choctaw Native American born in a reservation in Oklahoma; the other did have a great grandmother that was part Cherokee born in Tennessee. Did the one that thought she was part Cherokee instead of Choctaw lie? Not really, she repeated what her elders told her. If Ms. Warren’s assertion was influenced by pride, and was just a casual comment, it should not be construed as a lie.

      • jojo: you are obviously a republican small-minded, mean-spirited male who would love to see the world turned back in time. But women will NEVER go back to that. NEVER!!!!!

        • Yes indeed. Let’s bring back the good old days of the Grand Ole Party, when women were legally forced to give birth as if they were cattle.

      • Bodine666

        Of course we all know brownie was being truthful when he declared, on several occasions, he regularly meets with kings and queens of foreign nations. HA!

        Brownie is a repub in the style of mittens. He is a pathological liar who will say whatever he thinks will get him a win. Odd how a tea bagger has done a complete 180 on everything he campaigned on to win the last time. More likely, just as mittens, he claims to have changed when it is really just more lies in the repub fashion to win. He will be 100% in lockstep with repubs and baggers if he is elected. Even low info cons know that. Anyone that believes he is sincere just needs to take a look at where his money comes from. Wall St. More than any other member of Congress. He promised Wall St. he will block any oversight. With brownie the future definitely holds another major crash, with the middle class being the big losers just as they were with the repub crashes of 2008, 1929, and the 1870s. It’s really suspect how every major economic crash was preceded by a republican administration.

        Brownie may be somebody folks think they want to have a beer with but the last time I was in a bar I didn’t see any senate material sitting around. Just a bunch of drunks. Take him for a beer — and keep him. He can tell you all about the kings and queens that confide in him.

      • Zac

        If by unethical you mean she thinks people matter more than money or power, yes, I guess she would then be unethical.

  • Two good people, a tribute to Massachusetts, one of our more reasonable States. BUT, the Democrats MUST take the Senate and so the election of Elizabeth Warren is necessary. Maybe when Scott Brown becomes a Democrat we can consider him in the next go-around.

    • sigrid28

      This occurred to me, too. Then I thought about Scott Brown, and asked myself, “Self, so far he’s a two-faced Republican; do we need any more lying Democrats?” His motivation is, like Romney’s, a sense of entitlement, which makes him seek office, because he would like to obtain it, then retain it and keep it as his own. I had to give up the hope of Scott Brown as a moderate Republican, because I do not think he will ever be a public servant, no matter what office he holds. With Elizabeth Warren, there is no question regarding her dedication to public service and adherence to progressive ideals.

  • Brown is another mitt , he goes where the votes are and not what the people wan’t in other words he is just trying to get reelected and will say or do anything to get elected. He is a typical lying republican trying to get democrats to vote for him. Were as Mrs. Warren is asking for support so she can help with what the people want, not what she wants.

  • lcarman

    You go JoJo: Wish I lived in MA so I could vote for Scott Brown –

  • browninghipower

    Scott Brown is a fake and beholden to the GOP extremists and the Kochs. He can only slide by for so long. MA is my adopted home and I love everything about it, good and bad. But what I’ve loved all my life is is the intelligence and political savvy of its people. Sure sometimes they screw up…Romney and Brown…but they’re bright and colorful but above all they’re smart and informed. How could they possible allow someone like Warren slip from their grasp? She is what not only MA needs now…she is what the Democrats and the country needs to stave off the GOP fascist/corporatist onslaught. I hope she wins.

  • A quote from Honest Mr. Personality: “Each and every day that I’ve been a United States senator, I’ve been discussing issues, meeting on issues, in secret meetings with kings and queens and prime ministers and business leaders and military leaders, talking, voting, working on issues every single day,” he said

    Really, you believe he is being honest?

    Your name “no more puppy mills” I agree. However your party wants to ban abortion and FORCE women to have chilren they do not want, can not afford, and are not emotionally ready to care for. Why – do they want women to be baby mills?

  • rustacus21

    Recently, I had a similar conversation with a conservative friend, which offers a similar take as presented here, as conservatives reject true virtue & Constitution-oriented candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren, in exchange for the Browns & Aikens & Ryans of American politics. But we should make no mistake about it – Brown is a true-‘red’ trojan-horse, knowing when to distance himself (Aiken) & when to join in on reasoned policy (those few instances he ‘did’ support President Obama & Democratic policies). But when it comes down to it, there is ‘NO’ difference between he & other conservatives, who mean to undermine & ultimately destroy American Democracy – if given the chance. A decision that is ultimately up to the voters of Massachusetts & across the nation this November…