Tue May 22, 2012, 09:10 PM
karynnj (46,668 posts)
More about Brown and the Boston Globe than Kerry, but thought there could be
Last edited Tue May 22, 2012, 09:14 PM USA/ET - Edit history (1)
interest. This is a long piece on Brown in the Senate. When I saw it, I dreaded that it would be another BG love letter to Brown. It actually is reasonably fair. What surprised me is that they actually put Brown's centerpiece legislation in context -
Within three days of a “60 Minutes’’ broadcast that suggested some members of Congress were financially profiting from advance knowledge of government regulations, Brown introduced a measure blocking anyone in Congress from using nonpublic information to influence personal investments. Brown muscled his way into the headlines in a race against a fellow Senate freshman, Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York who was drafting her own version of the same bill.
Brown has said that he does his homework and that he reads the bills that come before Congress. But in this instance, Brown’s measure was so hastily drafted that it contained exact language lifted from an earlier House bill on the same subject. And even after Brown’s draft was set aside by the Homeland Security Committee in favor of another version, Brown continued to claim credit in an encounter with President Obama. In January, Brown intercepted the president as he departed the House after his State of the Union speech.
“My insider trading bill is on Harry’s desk right now,’’ Brown told the president, referring to Reid. “Tell him to get it out. It’s ready to go.’’
It stretches credibility for Brown to claim the act as his own, said Wendy Schiller, an associate professor of political science at Brown University. But the rookie showed a quick response and deft footwork that could help him rack up more significant achievements if Massachusetts voters decide to send him back to the Senate for a full term.
The second half of the last paragraph really does not match the first 3 and a half quoted. The fact is that the Gillibrand bill was better and had far more sponsors (including Kerry).
The other thing is that Brown's behavior with the President was atrocious. The President had already called for such a bill. It was a "live shot" move if there ever was one. The fact is that this was opportunistic - Gillibrand also based hers on the House bill - but credited the two House reps who wrote it. ( 60 minutes covered the lack of success the House bill was having - leading to it getting tons of sponsors overnight.)
It is also interesting that they use that incredibly incoherent speech as the frame - though they have various references of him charm and political talent - then they mention he is really not close to any other Senator.
3 replies, 615 views
More about Brown and the Boston Globe than Kerry, but thought there could be (Original post)
Response to karynnj (Original post)
Tue May 22, 2012, 09:33 PM
Mass (24,628 posts)
2. Unfortunately, as bad as we find it, in the electoral climate of MA
Last edited Tue May 22, 2012, 09:37 PM USA/ET - Edit history (1)
it can as well be a love letter.
The battle will be on the independents and the gist of this story makes him very sympathetic (the speech was incoherent, but he was sick. I am not sure this speech was more incoherent than any other speech Brown makes, but this does not appear in the article). He is frustrated not to be able to be bipartisan. He voted with the Democrats on the finance bill (they do not even say that it was after emptying him of part of his substance). And while they criticize Brown on the legislation he tried to still from Gillibrand, it comes in the very end, at a point where most readers will be tired of reading.
I do not disagree with you on your comments concerning Brown, but this is not how the Boston Globe's article will be read by those people to convince. He comes out as an independent voice frustrated by the Senate's partisanship. In addition to the idea that it could be good to have a divided representation just in case Romney is elected. Frankly, this article is too subtle for those who are not yet convinced by Warren (not to the Warren's campaign. Start talking to other people than those who already support you or we'll be stuck with 6 more years of Brown).
In addition, Brown is running an excellent ad, which of course does not focus on what he did, but on the fact that he is an independent ready to work with everybody and that, with work, you can get over any adversity, just like him (of course without mentioning that he was helped). Of course, the ad is full of vacuum, but it is effective and talk to these independents that he needs to win.
At the same time, a new Suffolk poll is going out today. The rumor is that it is very bad for Warren, so bad that the DSCC published a poll where they are tied. I know that people will say that Suffolk is biased, but they tend to be pretty good in MA and were spot on during the two last elections). So, we really need these negative ads on Brown.
Sorry to be so gloomy, but I really do not feel good about this election.
Response to Mass (Reply #2)
Tue May 22, 2012, 09:45 PM
Mass (24,628 posts)
3. Just a last comment about a local blogger who posted on this article
Regular readers will no doubt be unsurprised that I don't think the Globe's picture is complete. And once again it's a failure to really look at the former basketball player's insider moves before signing on to the Dodd-Frank law that Brown touts has a hallmark of his bipartisanship.
The Globe glides over the deal Brown brokered for his vote, one that watered down the Volcker Rule, saying it would hurt companies like Mass Mutual and Liberty Mutual. A vote that has made Brown the apple of the financial services industry campaign finance eye, particularly against that industry's most-hated and feared candidate, Elizabeth Warren.
one-time aide to Edward Kennedy and Harry Reid offers the perspective on whose favors Brown is currying:
... t makes sense in the context of internal Senate politics, where Republicans seeking to blaze a centrist path must carefully choose when they part ways with McConnell and other GOP leaders and when they toe the line.
“To his credit, I have to say he has done a pretty good job of threading the needle,’’ said James P. Manley, a former top aide to Reid and to Kennedy.
This is the problem with this article. Everybody will read into it what they want. Manley is right: Brown is pretty good at threading the needle. Dems' role should be to make sure he cannot.