Ted Kennedy has been dead for more than three years, but his shadow hangs over the battle for his old seat between Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren. It’s the people’s seat, all right, and the citizens of Massachusetts deserve a senator who can represent their interests and their values . . .
After three years in office, Brown can point to a few high-profile instances when he’s bucked his party. But his longer-term priorities — the issues on which he would stake his career — aren’t easily discernible. In the Senate, he’s held back on divisive matters like repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” often making up his mind after most of his colleagues have already weighed in. By then, it’s too late for him to have a major impact. Meanwhile, vital Massachusetts needs like medical research and renewable energy aren’t properly addressed. As a political moderate, Brown has major clout in a polarized Senate — but Massachusetts has too little to show for it. The problem is less with Brown’s political skills, which are obvious, or his centrist values, than in his conception of the job. He often seems to view being a senator as an exercise in political positioning.
After issuing its full-throated endorsement of Warren, the Globe editorial wraps things up with one last swipe at Brown:
Brown has also sacrificed some of his good will with Massachusetts voters by making personal attacks on Warren. After having milked every conceivable benefit out of the news that she identified herself as Native American at points in her teaching career, Brown returned to the theme as a closing argument. He thinks it helps him to portray her, without clear evidence, as an unwarranted beneficiary of affirmative action; it may make him seem like the more relatable figure. But relatable doesn’t cut it if you don’t excel at your job; and by campaigning on his personality, rather than his abilities, Brown seems to be bucking for his own form of affirmative action.
Contrast that with the Boston Herald’s endorsement of Brown last week, which is moderate borderong on perfunctroy.
Two years ago few voters outside Wrentham and its environs knew much about Scott Brown beyond the pickup truck, the barn jacket, and his pledge both to stand squarely in the path of Obamacare and to cut an independent path in Washington.
Brown still has the truck and the barn jacket, though the props are less prominent now that he has a voting record to go along with them. And on that score he has kept the promises he made during that special election campaign.
There is every reason to believe Brown will continue to be a voice of fiscal sanity and of bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate. He deserves election to a full term, and the Herald is pleased to endorse his candidacy.
Here’s the only mention of Warren:
Democrats have made much of the fact that, should he win election to a full term, Brown would represent a vote in favor of the current GOP leadership. But Brown at least has a track record of breaking with that same GOP leadership and representing a more moderate voice. We’re less certain that Elizabeth Warren would challenge Harry Reid & Co. on important issues.
Is it just the hardreading staff, or is it that cold day in hell when the Globe is more wild-eyed in its editorial position than the Herald?