Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and his challenger Elizabeth Warren faced off against each other in their first debate. Brown attacked Warren on her ethnicity attacking her repeatedly in attacks that were characterized on the Rachel Maddow Show as being a bit racist. Warren, who identified herself as Cherokee due to family stories that her great-great-great-grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith was Cherokee.
No documentation can be found stating that she either was or was not. Brown made several attacks on Warren stating that it was obvious that she was not Cherokee because of her appearance. It should be noted that basing someone’s ancestry on their looks can be misleading. John Bennett Herrington, a retired astronaut, was of Choctaw ancestry, but looked like this:
Some 2.3 million Americans can claim descent from a Native American tribe.
The two exchanged some sharp barbs, especially about the economy. Warren hit Brown with “When I talk about how people who are really struggling, I don’t know how Senator Brown can vote against them. but Senator Brown is lining up with the Republicans to vote no.” Brown retorted with “The criticism you’re hearing is that I don’t want to raise taxes — guilty as charged. I don’t want to raise taxes. The only person who’s hurting the middle class and raising taxes is you!”
Brown refused to make any mention of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney while Warren mentioned President Barack Obama repeatedly:
Warren’s job heading into the debate was to counter charges that she was too extreme, or too partisan, and would only lead to more gridlock in Washington. The Brown campaign has also tried to paint her as an inflexible schoolmarm and a scold. She acquitted herself well of both charges, coming off as warm and thoughtful, without being overbearing. She spoke in paragraphs, while Brown bounced around from half-sentence to half-sentence, though as Al Gore will tell you, that means less than one might think to some voters.
Warren regularly returned to the theme of control of the Senate, a topic Brown worked hard to avoid, arguing that Warren was not running against the GOP at large but Brown specifically. But the logic of Warren’s argument is unavoidable — and, as Warren noted, one that Brown makes to national GOP donors. Control of the Senate may, indeed, hinge on Massachusetts.