Skip to main content

This snippet from last night's debate between Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown really encapsulates the theme of the evening, and of the larger issues at stake in this national election.

I'm concerned about how the Senator has voted. And he has voted that billions of dollars of your tax money should go to the oil industry. They’re already making big profits. That's not where tax payer money should go. This is really about how we're going to solve our financial problems. And giving breaks to those at the top to those who are already making billions of dollars in profits? That's not how we solve our financial problems. That's not how we get this economy started again. This is a real difference between the senator and me. This is really about whose side you stand on. He has made it clear. He stands with subsidies for the oil companies, he stands for breaks for the billionaires, he stands for the top folks getting special deals. I am out there for working families and small businesses. That is why I am in this race.
That was the substance of the debate, essentially, in which Warren was pretty effective in making her point that yes, Scott Brown really is, and votes like, a Republican. It also blunted Brown's sometimes nastily personal and frantic attempts to paint Warren as "The Professor," as he insisted on calling her the entire debate, as some kind of radical, saying she was "obsessed with raising taxes." It just didn't work, because standing on the side of working families and small businesses just isn't radical.

But how did the local press see the debate?

(Continue reading below the fold)

Here's Boston Globe reporter, Glen Johnson:

[F]rom the opening exchange on, a spirited debate unfolded in which Brown worked to seed doubts about “Professor Warren.” She worked just as hard to hold him accountable for votes he has cast since joining the Senate two years ago.

For Warren, the hour-long, unfiltered forum offered more upside, with Brown having near 100-percent name recognition and her still introducing herself to the electorate. [...]

For Brown, it was to continue branding Warren as a tax-and-spend liberal and someone lacking his everyman image. The Republican called her “radical” several times. [...]

In those twin contexts, the candidates gave their supporters no reason to feel any doubts about them.

Now for the not-so-objective view, from WBUR's Republican and Democratic commentators Todd Domke and Dan Payne. Domke, the Republican, calls it a draw.
Sen. Scott Brown came in as the more likable candidate, but he didn’t leave that way. At times he seemed to smirk while talking and listening. And while his personal attacks on Warren were intended to throw her off her game and put her on the defensive in post-debate news coverage, he seemed a little too pleased in attacking so personally.

Elizabeth Warren seemed to be playing a role: earnest, innocent populist. She obviously had been coached to sound less like a complaining, lecturing professor. But trying to play “Mrs. Smith Goes To Washington,” she came across as a pol delivering memorized lines.

The Democrat, Dan Payne, saw a Warren win over the "repetitive" Brown.
If you like your debater to be condescending, snide, repetitive, off topic, rote, eager to get personal, willing to toss out extraneous comments and charges, and full of phony manners (thanking the host for every question), then Sen. Scott Brown is your man.

His dark, hyperkinetic style in the first U.S. Senate debate revealed that he thinks he’s in trouble and needed to commit hard fouls on “Professor” Warren, who looked calm, reasonable, thoughtful and authentic. She didn’t wag her finger once.

Her theme was it’s not what you say, it’s how you vote that matters. Judging from the number of times he said it, his theme was “thank you.”

Goal Thermometer

When the Republican can only be generous enough to Brown to call it a draw, while acknowledging that Brown came off as an asshole, it means that it was a Warren win. She won both on substance, and on style.

Brown has three more debates to try to recover his nice-guy image, but with Warren taking this first debate, and surging in the polls, it's going to be hard for him to keep the desperation, and the nastiness, at bay.

Please donate $3 to Elizabeth Warren on ActBlue.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 08:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Massachusetts Kosmopolitans.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Bob Johnson, JWC, chuck utzman, DeminNewJ, Armando, coral, Bill in Portland Maine, homunq, abarefootboy, emal, Shockwave, Wintermute, Vico, eeff, exNYinTX, davelf2, missLotus, 88kathy, CoolOnion, retLT, TheCrank, Cedwyn, artebella, menodoc, figbash, MKS, ranger995, wdrath, Sophie Amrain, lonespark, poemworld, lyvwyr101, Ohkwai, UncleCharlie, klamothe, JohnB47, kitchen sink think tank, PSzymeczek, Beetwasher, skyounkin, bunsk, Ekaterin, mightymouse, Alan Arizona, Mother Mags, MadGeorgiaDem, third Party please, Showman, Shirl In Idaho, Dvalkure, luckydog, megisi, JVolvo, bleeding heart, justiceputnam, BB10, BentLiberal, ammasdarling, pinkhighway, Loudoun County Dem, leema, gloriana, Stwriley, cobaltbay, newpioneer, Demi Moaned, gchaucer2, skod, oxon, gizmo59, fb, olo, Cordwainer, Sixty Something, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, Lujane, RandomNonviolence, pademocrat, mofembot, No Exit, msdobie, shortgirl, lostboyjim, legendmn, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, Bule Betawi, rubyclaire, ceebee7, CamillesDad1, petral, Railfan, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, smileycreek, FogCityJohn, Tea and Strumpets, womankind, hepshiba, cordgrass, ItsSimpleSimon, dlemex, cai, DrTerwilliker, fiercefilms, stevenaxelrod, Mac in Maine, Onomastic, MidwestTreeHugger, Acktiv, Quite Contrary, bgbrad, Mr MadAsHell, mikejay611, kevin k, lillyspad, FightingRegistrar, Alice Olson, futilitismo, akmk, BarackStarObama, ziggyinbos, jolux, ParkRanger, TX Dem 50, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, livingthedream, sow hat, pistolSO, rukidingme, 2thanks, sreeizzle2012, Darryl House, This old man, belinda ridgewood, reginahny, dianamherrera, BlackNGreen, Vote4Obamain2012, George3, Marjmar, cfulton, glorificus, SanFernandoValleyMom, paccoli, Icicle68, ET3117, JKTownsend, OregonWetDog

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site