Elizabeth Warren gets a big endorsement and other developments in the Mass U.S Senate race

Democratic Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren.

First, she entered the Democratic primary race for the U.S Senate on a tidal wave of  high name recognition, the enthusiasm of progressive activists, and a bold populist message aimed at the Middle Class. Then, a poll shows her as the only candidate beating Sen.Scott Brown (R-MA) in his bid for re-election next Fall.

Now, another sign that the momentum for the Senate campaign of  Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren continues to build , is coming in the form of a high-profile endorsement.

Amanda Terkel reported Tuesday morning that the Huffington Post were given an advanced copy of an e-mail to be sent by former U.S Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) to supporters of his political action committee Progressives United, that very same day. In it, the former three term junior Senator from the Badger state said:

   “Elizabeth has fought for years to rein in Wall Street and protect the middle class,” writes Feingold in the email to backers of Progressives United, his political action committee.

“In 2005, she stood up against the Wall Street wish list of a bankruptcy bill — a huge corporate giveaway I opposed in the Senate. And after the big banks drove us into a recession, Elizabeth proposed a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and then fought tirelessly to make sure the Obama administration created it. So when Elizabeth announced her decision to run for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts this month, to keep fighting for middle class families on Capitol Hill, I couldn’t have been happier.”

He also said that like he did during his tenure in the Senate would continue the populist tradition he did by standing on principle, even in the face of pressure from party leaders and corporate special interest groups.

On his Progressive’s United Website, Feingold is also asking donors to contribute to Warren’s campaign.

Feingold, who served in the U.S Senate from 1993 until he was defeated in his bid for re-election last yearby Tea Party backed Republican candidate Ron Johnson (no not him, RON not Don ). Despite calls earlier this year for him to do so, Feingold has declined to run in 2012  for Governor in a possible recall election, to fill the U.S Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) who announced that he would not run for re-election in 2012, or to challenge President Obama in a Democratic primary.

Given Warren’s message it is hardly surprising that Feingold,  best known for his populism and efforts to keep corporate money and thus influence out of politics as co-author of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform law, would endorse someone like Warren so heartily. But the fact he is doing so with the primary more than a year away and less than a month after her entry into the primary, shows that Warren’s aggressive style is really resonating with the party base.

Khazei: Don’t Count me out yet.

Now I know I am about a week late on this one, but last Wednesday fellow Democratic candidate and ‘City Year’ founder Alan Khazei knocked Warren as the candidate of the ‘D.C establishment’.  In a swing through the Berkshires along with supporter and State Rep. William ‘Smitty’ Pignatelli (D-Lennox) who endorsed Khazei that day, told the Berkshire Eagle that the Democratic contest for the nomination is anything but over.

Khazei, who in 2009 was  a Democratic primary contender for the special Senate election following the August death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and says that having been a candidate before, that well he might not have the pomp, he is candidate that can ultimately beat Brown and deliver as a Senator.

“I’ve run before, I have the experience,” Khazei, 50, asserted. “It’s a year, there’s lots of candidates, she [Warren] is getting a big boost and a lot of attention because she’s got the support of the D.C. establishment. There have been plenty of examples where candidates get in with a big ‘ta-da,’ but at the end of the day, they don’t win.”

According to Khazei, “we don’t know what she stands for, but I’m very clear on what I stand for”.

This isn’t the first time  Khazei has taken a swipe at Warren. After about two days after she had gotten into the race, Khazei; in a comment to the Boston Globe challenged Warren to abstain from taking any campaign contributions from corporate lobbyists or political action committees. The Warren campaign then  rejected Khazei’s dare, saying that her statements and work already prove she is a champion of middle class families standing against corporate interests.

No other candidate in the field has gone after Warren, but then again she has only been a candidate for the past two weeks. One could attribute his barbs at her as an attempt to get attention in a crowded primary field, or simply as ‘sour grapes’ over her getting in when at least as it relates to money Khazei was the candidate (apart from Brown) who had raised the most money as of  late June and is the only candidate from the 2009 Democratic crowd to seek the nomination this time.

But whether his motives are purely in the interest of winning the nomination and higher officer as a whole, or if they are for a more altruistic purpose; one thing observers know from when Brown ran statewide last time is that while Coakley had been lauded the primary’s front-runner by conventional wisdom and party leaders (and thus given the liberal persuasion of the state as a whole the winner of the primary would then skate to victory in the general election against a less than nominal Republican).

When she entered the general election though, Coakley was stiff in demeanor, gaffe prone, and to put it charitably a poor campaigner. That combined with the underestimation of Brown’s political acumen and personal appeal sunk Coakley. Khazei as a former primary rival possibly takes the reasonable position that a more spirited primary contest could have produced a more battle hardened and better candidate for a general election. One who knew she had to compete actively for the votes of the electorate rather than lay supine with the expectation that they will come through for you on election day due to partisan alligances and Kennedy nostalgia.

That, combined with Warren’s inexperience in running for political office and her background as a professor which many think will be used by Republicans to frame Warren as a partisan Dukakis-style liberal; is an unease many Democrats still have even if they like Warren, and Khazei is tapping into that.

But two things. Unless she does really poor in the debates, has some slip ups on the campaign trail, or some skeleton’s in the closets;based on what  we have seen so far Warren, unlike Coakley, seems at ease talking with working and middle class voters with her compelling personal narrative and expressed concerns for their needs.

Secondly despite his moralistic and some would even say commendable stance against taking lobbyist or PAC money, the reality is that in a general election a winning Democratic candidate will have to be able to raise large amounts of money to be competitive against Brown. Tea party enthusiasm and a massive campaign war chest, give Brown (who doesn’t have to fend off a primary opponent), ample ammunition to define whoever emerges the nominee. Any candidate will have to be able to put up the money to respond to these attacks, define themselves, as well as transmit their vision for both the Commonwealth and the nation as a whole.

Brown vs. Warren?

Despite statements from Khazei and others though, it appears the Scott Brown campaign might be already looking past the primary, and see Elizabeth Warren as the likely nominee who they will face in the general election.

 Blue Mass Group reports the same video of Warren that is generating excitement with progressives, is now being used by the Brown campaign in their entreaties for campaign donations. (One can see how they are shaping a general election campaign in the way they say Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren when they refer to her).

And a familiar and very predictable charge is being launched against Warren that is being employed by Republicans nationally against President Obama; namely ‘class warfare’.

Anyway here is the email:

We expect Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren to have raised millions of dollars from progressive activists when the quarterly reporting period ends September 30.  Will you help us fight back by making a contribution today to Scott Brown?

If you want to know why she is raising so much from her ultra-liberal friends, I suggest you watch this video of Professor Warren that is being cheered on left-wing blogs. In the video, she argues for higher taxes on employers because of her belief that entrepreneurs and business people – “factory owners,” as she puts it — don’t share enough of their wealth with the state so that it can be redistributed.

Elizabeth Warren and her inflammatory rhetoric will divide our country and our Commonwealth at a time when we need to come together to confront the very serious economic challenges facing us. Let’s remember we’re Americans first.

Now Scott Brown needs your help to fight back.

Please help Scott send a message to Professor Warren that the type of class warfare she wants to wage will not create a single new job and will actually lead to a negative climate for business growth and expansion.

Please, don’t delay. Send your end-of-the-quarter donation now. Scott can’t do it alone.

http://scottbrown.com/end-quarter-deadline

Sincerely,

Jim Barnett

Campaign Manager

Scott Brown for Senate

Warren out? 

Not her him. An unnamed Democratic Official has said that Newton Mayor Setti Warren (no relation to Elizabeth Warren) will announce that he will end his campaign for the Democratic nomination for the U.S Senate at a public event on Thursday.

Warren since his entry into the primaries, has had difficulty raising money. FEC records from June show his campaign is now more than $77,000 in debt with the primary election still just a little less than a year away.

Despite that, Warren had recently been talking up his win in the Methuen Democratic City Committee’s  straw poll on September 10, where he bested all candidates including Warren.

There has been no conformation of this on the Setti Warren website.

Upcoming:

The campaign fundraising quarter for all candidates ends tomorrow when they will have to submit thier fundraising totals for this quarter and their paperwork to the Federal Election Commission.

On October 6th, in the Durgin Hall Auditorium at  UMASS Lowell will be the first debate of the primary campaign sponsored by the Boston Herald, the UMASS Lowell Center for public opinion, and the political science club. Candidates: State Sen. Tom Conroy, Marissa DeFranco, Alan Khazei, Bob Massie, Herb Robinson, Elizabeth Warren, and  Setti Warren (if he is still in the race) will be there.

Former Congressman and now UMASS Lowell chancellor Marty Meehan will moderate and students will ask questions.

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