Jim O'Sullivan profiles the Massachusetts Senate contest in Monday's National Journal Daily. From the piece:
Veterans of Massachusetts politics recall an earlier U.S. Senate race of gentility, large swaths of policy agreements, two candidates of patrician backgrounds, and fat political résumés squaring off in memorably civil debates: the William Weld-John Kerry campaign in 1996.
This is not that race.
Republican Sen. Scott Brown and his challenger, consumer advocate and Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, ought to have memorable debates all right, if not for their fundamentally different views of government then for their conversational styles. Warren challenges a reporter's diction during interviews, taking issue with descriptions of her criticism of Brown as ad hominem. Brown cuts in on a reporter quoting Warren's criticisms of him, interjecting, "Blah, blah, blah, blah."
And, to borrow a worn sports announcer's construct, these two teams do not like each other. With each side discouraging outside groups from getting involved, the "contrast" side of campaigning has been largely left to the candidates themselves.
And neither middle-class-raised candidate feigns the Brahmin niceties that marked the Weld-Kerry race.
Subscribers can read more here.