Since Warren clinched the nomination nearly a month ago, along with the ads which have been scattered across the television landscape, its debate preparations that have received much of the attention.
Earlier this month Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator Edward M Kennedy (D-MA) extended an invitation to both Warren and Brown for a debate hosted by former NBC Nightly News Anchor Tom Brokaw at the Edward M Kennedy Institute at UMASS Boston. Warren accepted the invitation, but Brown who won the special election in January 2010 to fill the seat left vacant after the August 2009 death of the longtime Senator, made his acceptance contingent upon Kennedy promising to stay neutral in the Senate debate and MSNBC not host the forum.
Though Kennedy has not yet formally endorsed Warren and the Institute said they were still looking for sponsors, both this conditions were deemed as ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unprecedented’, so Brown declined the offer and the debate is off. The Brown campaign said that to have the Institute’s head trustee host a debate and possibly later endorse his opponent was a conflict of interest and so the debate was off. Such a conflict however, didn’t seem to present itself when Brown challenged Warren to a debate on conservative leaning Boston talker Dan Rea’s radio show.
Warren turned down the offer to appear on the WBZ News radio show this Wednesday and Brown went on the show anyway and in an awkward way the two seemed to be debating from afar and indirectly, when Brown was on Dan Rea’s show and Warren appeared on MSNBC’s ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’.
The Warren camp meanwhile has pushed for a more regionally diverse roster of debates, including ones that would take place on the south shore and central Massachusetts. Despite that these would take place in two areas of the state that are Brown strongholds. he has declined such an arrangement.
For now though there are a total of five debates scheduled, one on the radio and the other five to be aired live on television. The first televised debate will be an hour-long and take place on September 20 from 7pm and 8pm on WBZ-tv in Boston, and will be moderated by the station’s political reporter Jon Keller. Another will take place at the UMASS Lowell campus, while two others that don’t yet have set dates or venues will take place, one to be hosted by a consortium of Boston media, while media outlets based in Western Massachusetts will host a similar event in Springfield for the candidates.
The radio debate which will take place at a date still to be decided, will be on the ‘Jim and Margey show’ on 96.9 WTTK AM, hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.
Warren has come under fire by conservatives and the Brown camp for saying she is part Cherokee, but some recent comments by Brown made on a Boston radio show where he claims that he meets with kings, queens, and world leaders daily have made him an object or derision. Brown later said he misspoke, but it was later found the freshman senator has made the claims more than once, and the Massachusetts Democratic party have made an ad lampooning him.
The latest survey from public policy polling shows a race literally tied with the two candidates each garnering 46% of the vote, but Brown enlarging his lead among independents and the gender gap as alive as ever between the two.
This week a series of front page U.S Supreme Court rulings have animated the race including one decisions summarily upholding the controversial ‘Citizen’s United’ ruling (or as I think of it the progressive’s Roe v Wade) and expanding it into state and local elections, a decision striking down several components of the Arizona immigration law while also letting other parts of it stand, and of course the surprising verdict on healthcare.
Warren applauded the court for upholding the individual mandate requiring all people buy health insurance or be penalized with a fine, while Brown who before the law’s passage made his opposition to ‘Obama care’ a center piece of his campaign penned an op-ed in the Boston Globe.
And this past Saturday Marisa DeFranco, a North Shore immigration attorney and Elizabeth Warren’s last standing rival for the Democratic senate challenger expressed thanks to her supporters in an e-mail, marking the end of her campaign nearly a month after she failed to get the 15 percent of support needed from delegates at the state Democratic convention to get on the ballot in the September 6 primary election. DeFranco still has not officially endorsed Warren.