I tweeted my commentary on last night’s Massachusetts Senate debate between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren in real time, so no need to go much further on it. Basically you saw an incumbent Senator clearly behind in his own internal polling, so he decided to go hard negative. Warren wasn’t flustered by it and played the front-runner role of sticking to her script. You would have thought she was the incumbent. And it showed .
The attacks that Brown leveled may have sounded novel to virgin ears, but all of them, as I understand, have been litigated inside Massachusetts for several months. I don’t think anyone in Massachusetts watching that debate learned anything new in those attacks. The Cherokee heritage story and the story about Warren’s Harvard salary have been in the right-wing fever swamps forever. This story about Warren as a corporate lawyer working with Traveler’s Insurance on an asbestos case was new to me, but it has been vetted in Massachusetts. This report from the Boston Globe from May offers the best insight. Warren joined the case looking to salvage a key piece of bankruptcy law, her core area of expertise. The idea was to save claims for compensation from victims of abuse when the corporations who perpetrate it go bankrupt. After Warren left the case, Traveler’s used the ruling to malign ends. It’s a complicated story without an easy answer, and so Scott Brown is using it. But it has been pretty thoroughly examined in the state.
But I think today’s events outshined anything that happened in that debate last night. Tom Menino, the longtime mayor of Boston, endorsed her for Senate , a critical show of support that comes early enough to