Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hard Time Plays for Senate


She can out-hick as well as out-debate him. There's a long, messy matter of a Dem campaign, convention and likely primary, but the fun should begin in September.

Today's Boston Globe has more on Elizabeth Warren's upbringing. They don't contrast it with incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown's. He's opened himself to plenty of comeuppance on his own.

The latest Warren upbringing profile has a 7-minute vid of her walking and driving around Oklahoma with a reporter. She's wrong commenting that none of that is of any interest to anyone.

What's amusing is that Brown had been claiming rough times as a youth. Hers was much, much tougher and his much, much more privileged. If he wants to pull the identify-with-me card, he'll have to play it with prep school, high-end private university grads. She came up raw.

Both ended up in good situations and financially secure. He followed in his auto-exec/sometimes politician father's tassel loafers. She came up through the lower end of the middle class, with a disabled dad and working mom, an earned debating scholarship to public university, and working her way through Rutgers law school with a young child.

Brown has been tone-deaf enough to say he didn't go to Harvard, which is where Warren and her second husband ended up teaching after long personal struggles to get to the top of the academic mountain. Ahem, Brown went to Tufts, which is in the same price and prestige range as Harvard.

He pretends struggles and cites a short period where is mother got public assistance. Yet his parents were in far better financial straits than hers.

Warren did marry and mother young (19), but went straight ahead, got her degrees while working for them, raised her kids, and continued to advance herself incrementally — you know, the American dream. Her second marriage has been long and successful in every sense. Both teach at Harvard law. They are by all account the rewards from hard work and a bit of luck success story, a story the GOP would love to claim for one of their candidates.

Brown's tale is not so tough. His parents switched partners several times. If I read the available factoids right, there was some dickering over spousal and dependent payments along the way and maybe some poor money handling, but Brown was not like Warren with a father disabled by a heart attack and a mother working at Sears to pay the mortgage.

In his initial campaign against MA Attorney General Martha Coakley for the Senate seat, he played up costume trappings of a rural life. That would be the like of a barn coat and a pickup truck.Turns out one was a high-end gift from a daughter, which she claims to have bought at a fashion outlet. He doesn't do manual labor and his barn coat is like those Weston and Dover SUVs that never leave the road or get mud on them. Likewise, the pickup's use seemed to be largely for hauling tack and hay for his daughter's horse — not real work, rather gentleman farmer's play.

Brown has never seemed particularly smart when he's spoken. Only Coakley's stolid stiffness humanized him so you looked past his limited messages. Yet, if he has savvy advisers, they'll tell him not to try to pretend to deprivations that he never felt. He lied baldly during the special election campaign with impunity. He's not likely to get by with it if he faces a much smarter candidate who was a debating champion.

What was it that George Bush the Lesser said — Bring it on!?


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