I just finished watching the debate online (family obligations), and I’m having a hard time reading through this thread. Either I’m overconfident, or this has become an echo chamber for panicky libs but I thought Warren did an excellent job.
I think we have to understand what the landscape is:
- People like Brown and think he’s nice.
- People don’t really know Warren, by and large.
- People in MA do not like the Republicans right now.
- Warren’s views are more in step with what they’d prefer to vote for.
The fact that Brown went so heavy after Warren for the Cherokee thing, I think, made him seem petty and not very pleasant. It’s not an important issue to anyone who doesn’t read Howie Carr religiously. If he were to play to his strength, he would have avoided the subject and not taken the bait from Keller. Minus one on nice points for Brown. (It didn’t help that he seemed a little nervous and hyper at the start.)
Warren did a very fine job of peeling back Brown’s actual voting record, on behalf of the wealthy and oil companies at the expense of the middle class. And really, he didn’t disagree, taking a hard line against all tax increases on anyone, no matter how unsympathetic. He even used that wonderful GOP euphemism “job creators.” This is not stuff that’s going to get Brown re-elected — at least not with a credible opponent.
(His touting of the US Chamber of Commerce and the NFIB as independent, non-partisan blue-eyed ingenues was laughable, though that will likely evaporate, since not many folks know who they are.)
Warren also came across as intelligent, credible, calm, and personable. She was not vicious or strident; she merely talked about his record, which seemed to make him uncomfortable (and it should). He spent a lot of time explaining votes, and “if you’re explaining, you’re losing.”
Brown had a little momentum going in the second half — Warren got a little stuck on the asbestos question. But given the facts of the case, that’s not going to stick to her — it doesn’t easily follow a pre-existing narrative about her.
I thought she did just fine, and did what she needed to do. She showed what she cared about, why she’s better than the other guy, and that she’s a smart, credible, un-crazy person. Senatorial, in other words.
Well done, Ms. Warren.