Another tactical mistake by Brown or ill-advised Sununu ad lib?

Has Scott Brown’s hired the same folks for his latest senate bid who counseled him to mock Elizabeth Warren at every opportunity by calling her “professor?” It sure looks that way.

Apparently, someone in the Brown camp thought it would be a great idea to accuse Jeanne Shaheen of being “the third senator from Massachusetts” as a way to deflect his carpetbagger status and to paint Shaheen as an Elizabeth Warren-style liberal. This is too cute by half. Let’s hope this was just an ad lib by the notoriously tin eared John Sununu. Otherwise, we’re in for another ham-fisted, substance free campaign by Scott Brown.

Because Brown doesn’t really have a clear, compelling explanation for why he’s the right guy for this job, his unfortunate tendency to go for the “gotcha” line and the rhetorical gimmick are likely to be particularly damaging to his overall message. Brown needs to avoid saying or doing anything that can be characterized as “mocking” his opponent because mockery reminds voters of his very thin rationale for running. Brown, more than most, needs to appear serious and substantive. He’s not off to a very good start i this score.

About Jerold Duquette

Jerold Duquette is an associate professor of political science at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author of Regulating the National Pastime: Baseball and Antitrust and has published articles and book chapters on campaign finance reform, political parties, Massachusetts politics and political culture, public opinion, and political socialization. Professor Duquette lives in Longmeadow, MA with his wife and four children.
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