Quick takes on the debate which just ended.
End Result – As with most of these things, people will see what they want.
I’d say while Brown won hands down the first debate, this one was more even. Brown won big on Warren’s personal problems, which took up the first 15 minutes or more of the debate (Cherokee and representing big companies)(the licensing issue was not raised). Warren supporters on Twitter were going crazy mad at Gregory.
Warren scored some points trying to tie Brown into Washington Repubublicans. She rattled off some votes where Brown was “lockstep” with Republicans, but she may have hurt herself because he was able to explain that some Democrats opposed the bills and a compromise eventually was worked out.
But Brown also drove home repeatedly and forcefully the same theme he drove in the first debate, no more taxes and he’s independent. He clearly is fighting for the independent vote, which actually is the narrow majority in Massachusetts.
I’d still give the win to Brown, because he wasn’t trying to win over liberals who never will vote for him anyway. On immigration he staked out the blue collar position, not the Cambridge liberal position.
Brown was going for what he needs, people in the middle who are not ideological.
In his closing statement Brown said “I’m from here” and talked about how “I married a Waltham girl.” Warren launched a class warfare and war on women closing. That pretty much summed up the difference. The hometown guy versus the shrill class warrior.
Line of night: “Excuse me, I’m not a student in your classroom, please let me respond.”
A similar line was used against Coakley (I’m not a defendant in your courtroom, or something similar) and it worked. At least one liberal columnist thinks it was preplanned.
Some back and forth points. My paraphrases of some questions and some answers:
Started off with Native American issue. ”Do you consider yourself a minority and if not is there any other reason to list yourself in the faculty directory?” Warren had the usual family stories.
Brown said the issue was integrity, character and trustworthiness. When she was asked by Boston Herald, she said she didn’t know. Brown points out that I can’t change who she is. Until 38 years old changed from White to Native American. At pinnacle of success at Harvard changed back to White. “If she says can’t change who she is, but she has done it twice.”
Gregory: “Are you hiding something?” Warren: “No I am not.” “The truth is the truth, I believe my mother.”
Brown said I don’t question what her parents said, the issue was why she misled the voters for over 5 weeks. Warren says “I misheard a question at a very noisy press conference.” Brown says this went on for 5 weeks.
Doesn’t bother her that he calls her Professor.
Gregory says Warren released a list of clients? Apparently she released it literally minutes before the debate.
Then switched to issue of her legal representation. I think she defended it better.
Line of the night “Excuse me, I’m not a student in your classroom, please let me respond.”