Debating the Brown/Warren debate


Last night’s debate in Massachusetts between Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren showed that Brown is “…making a place for the angry, white working class people,” former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said on Morning Joe today. Dean also stated he believed Brown looked “condescending” towards Warren.

Recent polls show Warren maintaining a lead over Brown, and in its assessment, the Boston Globe’s Political Intelligence blog characterized last night’s debate (the second) as having “…a lot of friction but not much new illumination, lacking a game-changing moment” and “two stumbles.” With little time left in the race, Politico is considering this race for the Senate to be the most competitive in the country.

Our own Mike Barnicle wondered about Brown’s reputation as a “nice guy” and if that might carry him despite the fact that President Obama is going to “crush” Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.

“The biggest thing [Scott Brown] has going for him in a heavily Democratic state is the perception that he’s a nice guy,” Barnicle said. “That he’s the nicer person of the two candidates. That shows up in all the polls; that shows up when you see them and when you encounter them on the street. What he does in the debates runs counter to that impression, and that’s a dangerous sign for him. His biggest problem in Massachusetts is [Obama] is going to crush [Romney], and that numbers hill for Scott Brown to climb is a tremendous task.”

A recent Rasmussen poll in the state shows Obama enjoying a significant lead over Romney.

Dean wondered why Brown continues to hit Warren over her claims that she is of Native American ancestry.

Morning Joe economic analyst Steve Rattner said Brown is employing anything he can because “he knows he’s behind…He’s trying to make something out of it in politics. It’s not the first time somebody has tried to do something like that.”

The panel then considered Warren’s work on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“She actually built something that is really all about protecting the American middle class,” Mika Brzezinski added. “[Warren is about] …protecting the American people from the voracious appetites of banks and greedy Wall Streeters. She has done things that have showed that she’s not out there on the edge. She’s fighting for people.”

Brown and Warren have two more debates scheduled for October 10 and October 30.

Debating the Brown/Warren debate