Partisanship, Principle Color Massachusetts Senate Race

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From left: John Reynolds / AP; Tom Williams / Getty Images

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren

On a recent sweltering Tuesday night in Brockton, Mass., Elizabeth Warren told a crowd of 200 people packed into a storefront campaign office that she’s no typical campaigner. “I’m not a politician,” she said. It’s a line she repeats often, one that has a certain appeal — who likes politicians these days? — without really being true. Warren is running for Senate, her first attempt at elected office after years spent teaching law, studying bankruptcy and, most recently, setting up a federal bureau in Washington to police consumer financial products like credit cards and mortgages.

Warren’s point is that, unlike Republican incumbent Scott Brown, a longtime state lawmaker who won Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat in a dramatic special election two years ago, she is new to electoral politics. But as she explained to supporters in Brockton, who sweat as they ate ice cream from single-serving cups and stole glances at a small fan on one wall, that doesn’t mean she would be new to Washington’s ways. Warren speaks of the government agency she designed like a proud grandmother (its first birthday was on Saturday!) and recounts her work on the Congressional Oversight Panel, a bipartisan group created in 2008 to oversee the Treasury Department’s implementation of the bank bailout known as TARP. “I believe in working bipartisan,” Warren said, though she added a qualifier: “You’ve got to be willing to fight.”

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Bipartisanship — its merits, its limits — is a hot topic right now in this closely watched Senate race, already the most expensive in state history. Although Massachusetts overwhelmingly votes Democratic, independents make up 52% of the state’s electorate, and it’s a narrow band of those unaffiliated voters who will determine what looks likely to be a tiny margin of victory in November. Brown is the lone Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, but he’s remained popular at home, thanks in part to his skillful navigation of partisan Washington and his reputation as an independent thinker. “I think he’s a done a pretty good job of threading the needle and balancing different competing interests,” says Jim Manley, a former spokesman for Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid. “He avoids the extremes and tries real hard to find the center as much as he can.”

Despite the fact that Brown ran in 2010 on a pledge to be a bulwark against Democrats’ health reforms, he has lined up with his Republican colleagues only 54% of the time since then, a fact he isn’t shy about mentioning. He has opposed all tax increases, but voted against some of his own party’s deepest spending cuts and in favor of the Wall Street regulation bill that Warren championed. New York’s three-term independent mayor, Michael Bloomberg, just endorsed Brown, citing his moderate position on gun control, and his campaign’s latest ad features a glowing testimonial from Ray Flynn, a former Democratic mayor of Boston.

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This record is both Brown’s central case for re-election and his strongest critique of Warren. “She’s certainly a very qualified, thoughtful teacher, academic,” Brown said backstage at a Veterans Assisting Veterans benefit concert on Saturday in Lowell, where his daughter, a former American Idol contestant, performed. “When it comes to being someone who can work across party lines to get things done, I’ve never heard one thing, when asked, that she would work with the Republicans on … Imagine 100 Professor Warrens down there [in Washington]. We have people down there who are not working together. That’s what the problem is.”

Warren points to her time chairing the Congressional Oversight Panel and its bipartisan reports as evidence of her coalition-building skills and draws a distinction between “the inside game” of winning consensus “for everyone who can hire an army of lobbyists” and the kind of groundswell support that helped create her consumer agency. Bringing that support to bear is not necessarily a polite business. As the Boston Globe wrote on Sunday, Warren is better remembered in Washington for her unrelenting advocacy and clashes with members of Congress and the Obama Administration than for making friends. And that “willingness to fight” as Warren called it in Brockton remains a central part of her political identity — and her case for turning out Brown.

Asked in an interview what legislation she would introduce that might win over Republicans, Warren instead focused on her contrasts with the GOP. “Part of this is about investing in the future. Investing in education, in roads and bridges. The [Republican Paul] Ryan budget goes in exactly the opposite direction,” she said. “This is a real difference. This is, fundamentally, how we build a future, what kind of a people we are. And the Republicans say the way we build our future is to cut taxes for the richest, cut regulations for those who are in power.” If you hadn’t just been told otherwise, you might assume you were talking to a politician.

MORE: After a Hard Month for Warren, Massachusetts Democrats Crown Their Nominee

68 comments
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Kyle
Kyle

like Ethel

replied I cant believe that a mom can get paid $7440 in 4 weeks on the

computer. have you read this web site

http://www.LazyCash49.com

MDABE80
MDABE80

Waren is big on infrastructure when she worked for obama? She would never point out that of the near trillion dollar stimulus she participated in, only 6% went to the roads, streets, bridges, sewers etc.  Think of this when voting. Obama and Warren gave the taxpayer a big hustle.

superlogi
superlogi

Well, now Barry is pushing for half a trillion.  It appears he's, currently, channeling Ike Eisenhower.

markneveu
markneveu

Lie-awatha has some genuine 100 percent artificial Cherokee recipes for cooking America's goose and just recently lifted from the NY Times dining section that she wants to submit for the next edition of Harry Reid's "101 Ways to Skin Taxpayers: Cooking the Golden Goose".

Craig
Craig

This is an interesting race. Scott Brown is like Jeff Daniels from the Newsroom. A republican that democrats love, except of course in Massachusetts where he is hold Ted Kennedy's seat!!!! If Scott Brown was in Utah or Kentucky they would love him.

Elizabeth Warren has a similar problem.She is beloved by liberals, about 20% of the population and perhaps 35-40% of Massachusetts. Unfortunately she is toxic to most people who call themselves indepedent thinkers. She is also kind've of jerk, but she is a far better candidate than Martha Coakley.

bobell
bobell

So why doesn't Brown run in Utah or Kentucky?  They're welcome to him.

JayfromBrooklyn
JayfromBrooklyn

Article is headed Brown vs. Warren, then talks only about Warren.

iamhungry
iamhungry

Ahh the whole middle section talks about Brown.

Kevin Clark
Kevin Clark

Every time I see Warren it makes me wonder what poor Cherokee is living a hard life out there who's college education Elizabeth Warren stole..... Someone out there who really IS a Cherokee didn't get college funding and later some affirmative action government promotions because  the European descent white lady stole an opportunity intended for someone less fortunate.  

Guinness_Beer
Guinness_Beer

When is  this left wing rag going to join Newsweak on the scrap heap of history?

iamhungry
iamhungry

A wee while after you stop reading it.

Steelyal
Steelyal

The Obama Admin has employed Class Warfare and no we have the gay bullies getting into peoples lives. Both will fail and the gays will foment hatred against their cause. LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE.

iamhungry
iamhungry

How are gays bullying into your life? You do know they aren't trying to marry you, right?

Steelyal
Steelyal

Warren is a fraud. She didn't build it , because she can't claim it. She is trying the Class Warfare garbage that does not float. She did not build it and Obama ruined it.

James Christensen
James Christensen

I pegged Fauxcahontas as soon as she appeared on the Mass. political scene and announced her intention to run against Brown. As soon as she started that "roads and bridges" spin, I knew she was the female version of Obama. Ironic that the comments Obama is running hardest from now, were originally spoken by her. As I remember correctly, Warren's comments on "businesses, roads, and bridges" didn't go over with the public all that well at the time. That makes it harder to understand why Obama, (being the smartest human on the planet) decided to co-opt them? We see now, that it didn't work out so well for him. As a matter of fact, the "If you own a business, you didn't build that" comment may end up being the final nail in Obama's political coffin. If it should turn out that way, it will go down in history as:

THE DUMBEST COMMENT IN CAMPAIGN HISTORY EVER SPOKEN BY A MAN CONSIDERED BY MANY TO BE THE SMARTEST HUMAN ON THE PLANET.

Go figure?

paulejb
paulejb

Jfante1452,

"I'd be shocked if you ever said anything objective or non-inflammatory, Paulie. Will you ever get a life?"

---------------------------------------------

This is a political blog, pal. Did you wander in looking for the Home Shopping Network?

paulejb
paulejb

jillibrown,

"He's funded by wall street - 60% of his donations come from the financial industry."

----------------------------------------------- 

"Re: Elizabeth Warren’s Wall Street Money Machine"

 http://www.nationalreview.com/...

The Indian Princess is a hypocrite.

f_galton
f_galton

Warren supports "affirmative action" policies which discriminate against whites, then she exploited such policies to advance herself over more qualified individuals and real minorities by pretending to by a Native American.  

treblehook
treblehook

Interesting point, she actually went out of her way to cheat minorities in a program she supposedly supports.  What a complete low life.

sacredh
sacredh

Partisanship? In a senate race? You're just making stuff up now Adam.

paulejb
paulejb

"Elizabeth Warren tells a crowd of 200 people packed into a small storefront campaign office that she’s no typical campaigner: “I’m not a politician,” she says."

-------------------------------------------------------------

Indeed! She is the muse of the Occupy Stupidity movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

jmac
jmac

We wouldn't want someone to actually fight for the hoi polloi.   Shh.  One of the 88 percenters in the US who make less than $ 75,000 a year might get a clue.   

paulejb
paulejb

jmac

Elizabeth Warren is a fraud who advanced her career by exploiting the affirmative action scam created by liberals to feather the nest of liberals. 

In the meanwhile, Warren was getting rich exploiting the plight of people with foreclosed homes.

"Mass. GOP Ad: Warren Got Rich Flipping Houses"

http://www.weeklystandard.com/... 

bobell
bobell

Whereas Mitt Romney got rich through the much more dignified process of flipping businesses?

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"Elizabeth Warren is a fraud..."

You make Elizabeth Warren look like Abe Lincoln. You're the biggest fraud on this site...by a mile.

Jfante1452
Jfante1452

I'd be shocked if you ever said anything objective or non-inflammatory, Paulie. Will you ever get a life?

jillibrown
jillibrown

Scott brown is a walking talking truck driving facade.  He's funded by wall street - 60% of his donations come from the financial industry.  He's proven time and time again that he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, he's a lapdog, but that's irrelevant in comparison to a non-issue like checking a box on a college ap. 

paulejb
paulejb

"Elizabeth Warren tells a crowd of 200 people packed into a small storefront campaign office that she’s no typical campaigner: “I’m not a politician,” she says."

-----------------------------------------------------------

Indeed! She's an Indian Princess.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Jfante1452
Jfante1452

I bet you don't even realize that your comment is racist. Don't believe me? Look it up.

occam
occam

Name calling ... the last vestige of the intellectually compromised. 

catwoman_rules
catwoman_rules

Clearly we have to vote for Romney to show we don't hate Mormans.

bobell
bobell

You hve to vote for Obama to show you don't hate the United States.

paulejb
paulejb

Jfante452,

I am not pretending to be a minority to get on the affirmative action gravy train, sport.

There is nothing more racist than that!

catwoman_rules
catwoman_rules

Can't you libs ever stop playing the race card?

treblehook
treblehook

paulejb, they have one card but its a joker.

James Christensen
James Christensen

 It's the only thing they have cat-women. I just want to know one thing.

If I had to vote for Obama in 2008 to prove I wasn't a racist, isn't it just as logical to assume that I have to vote for Romney in 2012, to prove I'm not an idiot?

paulejb
paulejb

catwoman_rules,

Without the race card, libs have no cards at all.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

Bipartisanship:  When  right-wing Democrats get together with Republicans and agree to whatever short-sighted, greedy, and ultimately disastrous scheme the Republicans have cooked up.

Examples:  The war on Iraq.  Medicare Part D.  The Bush-Cheney tax cuts.  Deregulation of the financial "industry".  Bailing out the financial industry, with no meaningful re-regulation. 

~

Stuart Zechman
Stuart Zechman

Those are centrist Democrats, not rightists.

They're New Democrats, not Blue Dogs.

And it's not that they agree with the Republican schemes, it's that Third Way policy necessarily includes asinine and unworkable neoconservative preferences.

destor23
destor23

The crack about her not being a politician being "not really true," is undeserved.  Obviously, Warren knows, and assumes that the people writing about her are smart enough to know, that somebody technically becomes a "politician" simply by running for office.  But her background is not typical of most people seeking elective office.  She's an academic and a regulator.  That's unusual.  There's no reason to be a pedant, Adam.

superlogi
superlogi

Well, it's a very clear choice for the people of Massachusetts.  They can vote for a progressive or a communist.  Frankly, I could care less.  In the end, it will turn out the same.

Jfante1452
Jfante1452

What makes her a communist?

superlogi
superlogi

The way she thinks.  And, I know the way she thinks because of what she says.

superlogi
superlogi

Because I'm no progressive, I have neither powers of prescience or clairvoyance.  So, I'm forced to judge someone on how they act and what they say.  Tea leaves and ouija boards don't work for me either.

bobell
bobell

Don't forget the tea leaves and the ouija board.

paulejb
paulejb

JFante1452,

This does:

"Elizabeth Warren: U.S. should be more like Communist China"

http://www.examiner.com/articl... 

James Christensen
James Christensen

 JackPumpkin:

Oh yeah, we could do better, but like LiberalLies2012 says, at what cost?

Why do you think the state of California hired a Chinese Engineering company to rebuild the Oakland Bay Bridge? Somebody must have held a gun to Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown's head on that one?

The reason Obama is always yacking about infrastructure, is because he knows that all government infrastructure jobs, from potholes to super-highways, have to go to union contractors. That guarantees that the job will cost twice as much and take twice as long as originally projected. Have you guys forgotten about the "Big Dig" already?

The main issue here, is Obama's agenda and the ideology that business exists because of government/infrastructure, when actually it is the other way around.

Who built those bridges and roads, the government? Of course, and where did they get the money? From the tax-payers! And who pays the biggest share of taxes? Businesses!

Government creates nothing! NOTHING! All government can do is spend and redistribute the money that they suck from the tax-payers. That's why the stimulus failed. It did nothing but save jobs of public sector employees, and now Obama wants to do the same thing all over again by hiring MORE public sector employees.

What's the definition of insanity again? C'mon let's hear it! (crickets)

JackPumpkin
JackPumpkin

She said, "China invests 9% of its GDP in infrastructure. America? We’re at just 2.4%. We can do better."  I agree; America can most certainly do better.

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Elizabeth "I am a Cherokee woman" Warren initially coined the words "You didn't build that" which Barry Soetoro-Obama picked up and ran with it.

Elizabeth also says "Let's go to work".  In her most recent political ad, she touts the greatness of China and how they are putting their people to work.  

Yes Elizabeth, they make their people work.  AS SLAVE LABOR.  

This woman doesn't have a clue.  She is a communist / socialist.  No doubt about it.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

JackPumpkin
JackPumpkin

Whoa, you used an alternate version of the President's name.  Watch out everyone, we've got a badasss here.

Jfante1452
Jfante1452

How can you call her a communist based on one complementary comment about China. Remember, it was a Republican president who opened up relations with China. Was Nixon a communist? How about citing real facts instead of tossing garbage?

bobell
bobell

Didn't Barack Obama once compliment Ronald Reagan for having a significant effect on the course of America?  Does that make him a Republican?

Clevelandier
Clevelandier

Opening diplomatic relations and open admiration are two different things,  partisan hack.

MrObvious
MrObvious

None of what you wrote is relevant to what Warren wants to do as their representative.