Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown is engaged in the most combative Senate race of all against Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren for the Senate seat held for nearly 47 years by Ted Kennedy.
Brown won a surprising victory in the special election in 2010 to succeed Kennedy for the rest of his term, and is the only Republican to represent the state of Massachusetts, which has an all Democratic House delegation, a Democratic Governor, and a dominant Democratic majority in the state legislature.
Brown has had a difficult course to follow, and has tried to come across as moderate, like Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, but he has voted over 90 percent of the time with his party, and has refused to back President Obama on almost anything he asked for, including jobs legislation, and is now acting very aggressively against his opponent, who worked with Obama, and helped to start the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, although GOP Senate opposition prevented her from running this new agency, so she decided to run for the Senate. Brown has come across as in bed with Wall Street, gaining a lot of financial support from top banking and corporate interests.
Elizabeth Warren is an inspiring candidate, who clearly is for the middle class and the poor, and comes across as a hero of progressives, who supports the DREAM Act, which Brown is against, and is clearly a strong Obama supporter who would fight for progressive causes in the manner that Ted Kennedy did for so long!
Their second debate last night in Massachusetts demonstrated that Brown is ready to use rhetoric in a way that is divisive, including his derision of Warren as being a professor who may control her students but not him; saying she is not native American because of her appearance despite her assertions that she is; allowing his staff to make fun of native Americans publicly; and making clear that he considers her a left wing extremist not in the mainstream, as he claims he is. When he said that Antonin Scalia was his favorite Supreme Court Justice, then swung to Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, and finally Sonia Sotomayor, the audience seemed to turn against him.
The debate brought up the issue that if Brown is reelected, he could decide a Republican majority in the Senate, and would have a dramatic effect on Supreme Court appointments of the next President, and would certainly NOT, based on his record and his rhetoric, be following in the tradition of Ted Kennedy!
This race is crucial to the future of the Obama Presidency in so many ways, and with Obama certain to win the state of Massachusetts, the hope is that he will have adequate coat tails to carry Warren into the Senate as his champion, and have Warren join Bernie Sanders and others in promoting the progressive agenda over the next four years!