A Night of Differences: Brown vs. Warren

By Tanvir Faisal

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Maria Uminski/Collegian

If there are any Massachusetts voters who are not sure of whom to support in this November’s pivotal senatorial election, just point them in the direction of Wednesday night’s debate in Springfield. The sixty-minute long exchange was filled with both candidates displaying their differences, jabbing with juxtapositions, and on the rare occasion, even agreeing.  The following are just some of the takeaways from the debate:

No mention of Warren’s alleged claim to Native American Heritage:

In what seems to be an increasingly negatively fueled election, with both sides mudslinging their opponent in campaign commercials, it came as a bit of a surprise that Senator Brown made no mention of Professor Warren’s alleged claim of a minority status. This is a stark contrast to the first two debates where it took very little time for the controversial topic to emerge.

Warren on the Offensive:

If there is anything to be taken away from the first presidential debate, between Governor Romney and President Obama, it is that the candidate who goes on the attack, will generally be viewed as the victor. Both challengers, Romney and Warren, entered their respective debates with their guns blazing. Warren used the night to highlight the differences between herself and the incumbent. She managed to point out the policies that she has proposed in topics such as education, the budget, and the gender gap, and contrasted that with the voting record of her Republican opponent. Where Brown cried administrative cuts, Warren called for more  investment in education; where the Senator asked for tax cuts, Warren wanted military spending deductions. She constantly repeated phrases and buzzwords that have become synonymous with GOP bashing, such as “the one percent”, tax breaks, top-to-bottom economics, and Grover Norquist. Throughout the debate, it seemed as though Senator Brown was more often defending himself rather than attempting to assert his superiority as a candidate.

Moderately Brown:

For as much success as Professor Warren had with articulating the differences between herself and the Senator, Brown found an equal amount of success in pointing out that he is very much a moderate. Throughout the night, Brown highlighted how he is the second most bipartisan member of the entire senate, even going as far as stating that he votes with his party only 54% of the time. He asserted his pro-choice stance, his sponsorship of many Democrat-created bills, and his belief that the current economic situation must be solved through bipartisan efforts. Moreover, he showed his ability to cross party lines by pointing out that he had the endorsement of former Democratic Mayor of Springfield, Charles Ryan. In the most hyper partisan Congress in the history of our country, Senator Scott Brown successfully appealed his claim of a moderate voice.

Respect all around:

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the third debate between Brown and Warren is that neither candidate did much interrupting. Both candidates were extremely respectful of not only each other and the time given but also of the moderator. In fact, the most unruly member of the entire debate was the audience. Both candidates were interrupted more than a few times by not only the expected cheers for their points, but also jeers for their opponent. It is an example that perhaps our president and his challenger might do well to follow.

All in all, it was a lively but respectful debate that was undoubtedly a success. Although the winner may be hard to determine, it is ultimately up to the voters to take away from it what they will and decide for whom to vote for on November 6th.

Tanvir Faisal can be reached at [email protected]