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What To Expect From Warren At The DNC

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren is set to play a much larger role in her party's national convention this week than her opponent, Republican Senator Scott Brown, did last week in Tampa.

With recent poll numbers showing the consumer advocate trailing slightly in the Massachusetts Senate race, observers are keeping a close eye on the Democrat's appearance in Charlotte, which may serve as a turning point in this year's contest.

The Problem With Policy Speeches

Robert Boatright, a professor of Political Science at Clark University, said Warren's campaign seems to be focused on rallying the Democratic base in recent weeks, and the candidate's appearance at the national convention will go a long way to furthering that goal.

Warren is virtually the only primetime speaker at either party's convention who is currently involved in a competitive race.

The scheduling of her address for the DNC's "policy night" means Warren has an opportunity to lay out the kind of national Democratic policy agenda she has campaigned so strongly on in Massachusetts.

She is also positioned to avoid any blame for the past several years in Washington because she does not currently hold any elected office.

However, said Boatright, that might not turn out to be such a good thing.

"She also needs to show that she can connect to the sorts of blue collar white males who are providing Brown's margin of victory in the polls," he said.

"While a lot of people in Massachusetts might tune in to watch her, I'm not sure she can give an issue-heavy talk in a way that reaches out to the kinds of voters she needs."

Boatright compared Warren's issues with voters to those of 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. Both Warren and Gore have struggled when faced with opponents who presented themselves as more likeable to the average voter.

By delivering a policy-heavy speech, Warren risks playing into the image of the out-of-touch academic Brown's campaign has worked to cement in the minds of voters.

"The party's giving her a tremendous gift in having her speak at the convention, but I'm not sure that her speech can change the dynamics of the race," Boatright said. 

Wielding the "War On Women"

Such a policy speech could still pay off, said UMass-Lowell's Morgan Marietta, if Warren continues to further the narrative of the Republican "War on Women."

Democrats will be focusing more on the social issues, resurrected through comments made by Missouri Rep. Todd Akin last month, in order to keep attention off the GOP's preferred topic of the weak economy.

While Warren can campaign effectively on women's issues, she can also capitalize on her anti-Wall Street rhetoric, hitting Mitt Romney for his time with Bain Capital.

"Expect a firebrand speech attacking conservative positions on abortion, contraception, stem-cell research, and equal pay for women, as well as a scathing critique of corporate greed," Marietta said.

The national party will benefit by making female voters uncomfortable with Romney, while at the same time buoying Warren back in Massachusetts.

Using the National Stage for Local Gains

Warren suffered earlier this campaign season for being seen as too focused on national-level issues and not paying enough attention to the state- and local-level concerns of her potential constituents.

Blue Mass Group's Charley Blandy said not to expect that to change this week in Charlotte, but Warren stands to gain more on the personality front than the policy front from her appearance on the national stage.

"She won't be talking about Worcester rail lines or Gloucester fishing regulations," he said.

"It is a chance for some folks to hear her at an extended clip, which is good for her."

Blandy said the recent poll numbers that show Warren trailing Brown are no cause for panic in a race that has been close right out of the gate.

And Warren's appearance at the DNC may buoy her campaign as it shifts gears and heads into the post-Labor Day leg of the election cycle.

"It's time to develop and elaborate her themes and show people what I think is a winning personality," said Blandy.

"The first will help the party as a whole; the second will help her in Mass versus Brown." 


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Stephen Quist

'Lying lizzy warren' will not win election to the US Senate.....carpet baggers come and go and those that are liars are relegated to the dust bin heap of history.
Senator Scott Brown has been forthright and front and center with the citizens of Massachusetts and by and large has kept his promise to vote for the best interests of ALL of Massachuetts regardless of party politics...........lying lizzy warren will be nothing more than a tool for Sen Reid of Nevada.............
Massachusetts can and must do better than considering 'lying lizzy warren' as our next US Senator and doing better means re-electing Senator Scott Brown

Christina Roberts

How old are you Stephen? Jeez.

Stephen Jacoby

My guess is he's just like many Republicans in the City of Worcester. He's about 50 with the maturity of an 11-year old, has absolutely no interest in facts, and has absolutely no clue how often Scott Brown has been caught either lying or with his hand in the cookie jar. It's people like this that destroy the political process in this country.

Stephen Quist

Christina I had no idea age was a factor in posting comments - how old are you Christina?
Steveo - That you immediately characterized my as a republican is absolutely laughable.
I vote the candidate and not the party.
I am registered as an unenrolled voter = independent.
What party are you registered with Steveo?
btw for edification:
I support the Affordable Care Act in it's entirety. Healthcare is an inalienable right for all Americans!
I support Barak Obama to win re-election - America cannot afford 4 years of the IHOP'er Hall of Famer Flip-Flopping Mitty..........
I support Senator Scott Brown who actually wants to be our US Senator Versuses 'lying lizzy warren' who in an interview with David Korn for Mother Jones Magazine (uber-liberal mag) she is quoted as stating when asked if she would run for the US Senate seat fron Massachusetts
"I would rather be stabbed in the eyes with a fork rather than run for US Senate from Massachsuetts?

Christina Roberts

I never said age was a factor in posting comments, Steve. Your disrespectful name calling made me wonder, that's all.

Christina Roberts

I'm thirty six. I'm voting for Elizabeth Warren.

Edward Saucier

Steven Quist or "Q" as he like to be called is all over the place politically. He disagrees vehemently with the policies of Polito, Levy & Lukes but cuddles up to them with Scott Brown syndrome. He keeps repeating the phrase "Lying lizzy warren" ad nauseam. It's still not the truth "Q."

He still won't answer my question - What has Scott Brown done for us? Scotty's "On the Road" ads are ridiculous. Who cares if he had a rough childhood, joined the NG and went to college. So did millions of other people.

His ad with the fishermen that regulations have hurt them and caused them to loose their homes and other things is a bunch of baloney. If people would put this URL into their search engines, they will find that Barney Frank and others Mass. legislators including Scott Brown have been fighting for the fishing industry since 2008. That shows how much Scott Brown is a serial exaggerator, and the rest of his GOP pals are serial liars (if you kept up with what they said at the RNC. http://frank.house.gov/issue/Fishing/related-news

Stephen Quist

Christina I call them as I see them......warts and all
Ed how are you doing?
All over the place politically?
I think I have been rather consistent with my views.........unlike you I am not stuck with "political party syndrome" and I still enjoy your opinions
Cuddling up with the people occupying Assabumkissit Hill in Paxton.....lmao......
Ed btw the interview with David Korn and the quotes are spot on.....
That is one of the biggest reason to vote against the lying lizzy warren - she had to be talked into running for the US Senate from Massachusetts and quite frankly I want a Senator that WANTS to be our Senator not one that has to be convinced to run.....

Harvey Beehive

Warren will lose....

Edward Saucier

Q I'm stuck on what's right and what's wrong. The GOP is on the wrong side for the working man. If I remember right Scotty was drafted to run for US Senate too. Those on Assabumkissit Hill in Paxton are all for Scotty too, doesn't that make you think you may be wrong? We don't need someone in the Senate who votes for us once in a while and only if he gets something for the corporations which we the people have to foot the bill for. Try lyin' Scott Brown for a change, then you would be spot on. So....What has Scott Brown done for us? I hear him talking but all he says is a hot heaping pile of crap. Liz Warren will do more for the working class than Scott Brown will ever do. And the way she is running her campaign...she wants the job. You can take that to the bank.

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