On Saturday, the Elizabeth Warren Senate campaign formally opened its headquarters in Northampton. The organization extended a courtesy invitation to the Amherst Select Board, and three of us were able to attend, along with a handful of other area elected or prospective officials, including candidate for Registrar of Deeds Mary Olberding.
|Amherst Select Board member Diana Stein|
|Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz and D.A. David Sullivan confer outside the new HQ|
|Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz|
Their bottom line was that current Republican Senator Scott Brown was not to be trusted:
• First, although he likes to portray himself as an independent thinker and social moderate, his centrist credentials were slim: As several speakers pointed out, he had voted 5 times with the Democrats/for progressive causes, but on 10 times as many occasions, he had sided with the Republicans and the right. In effect, they asked, why one would settle for that when one could have the real thing, in the person of Elizabeth Warren? Or, in the pithy phrase of Representative McGovern, "Don't be such a cheap date!"
|US Rep. Jim McGovern|
|US Rep. John Olver|
|State Sen. Stan Rosenberg|
|State Rep. Steve Kulik|
Another forty days and nights of this may be hard to take.
It's already shaping up to be a dirty campaign. Given our somewhat peculiar and less than salubrious climate, we in Massachusetts joke about having a fifth season, the "mud season," between winter and spring. At this rate, we might want to think about adding one between the fall and winter, as well.
Fortunately, we on the Select Board don't have to worry about elections until next spring.
Update, September 29
Barely had I written the above when, confirming what we all were starting to conclude, Republican ex-White House staffer and campaign advisor Matt Latimer came out yesterday with a piece in the Daily Beast, entitled, "Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren Contest in Massachusetts: Ugliest Senate Race." As the subtitle put it, "Most candidates for high office have taken a page from 'Honey Boo Boo': focusing on spectacle, weird asides, and name-calling. And the worst example is the expensive and deplorable Senate race in Massachusetts."
Noting the irony that both candidates promised to run "clean" campaigns, and pointing to the examples I mentioned above, he summarizes the problem:
Neither [candidate] is an unknown entity to the people of Massachusetts. So what is this back and forth all about? And what do these charges and countercharges possibly mean about their capacity to govern?Indeed. And what does that say about what they think of the voters' ability to make rational, informed decisions?
Brown began calling his opponent “Professor Warren” as often as possible. This was considered a brilliant political tactic. After all, why would the people of Massachusetts ever want to be represented by someone who shows any sign of being educated? Warren, meanwhile, worked to depict Brown as a right-wing extremist while others started to question everything she ever said or did. The most recent charge is whether she practiced law without a license 17 years ago.
So with weeks to go and a narrow lead for Warren in most polls, the race has turned to the core issues that really matter in a country where millions are jobless: Whether she is a liar and he is a racist. Well, good luck on that, Massachusetts. At least the rest of us don’t have to deal with such nonsense.