At Saturday's Massachusetts Democratic Party convention in Springfield Elizabeth Warren's campaign got the shot in the arm it needed by knocking her nearest rival, Marisa DeFranco, off the ballot with astounding support from the party faithful. Today her campaign got another boost fromMichael Levenson and Noah Bierman's story that features emails between Scott Brown's legislative director and the US Treasury Department indicating that the Senator was advocating for looser bank regulations. This is right in Warren's consumer advocacy wheelhouse and fits nicely with her efforts to paint Brown as an agent of high powered Wall Street interests that is oblivious to the struggles of everyday people.
According to recent polling Warren's campaign has failed to get the Wall Street accusations to stick to Brown in a negative way. Part of the reason for this is the last six weeks have revolved around questions about Warren's American Indian heritage. It has stifled Warren's ability to get her message out and it appears it will continue until Warren produces some kind of documentation that she is indeed a member of the Cherokee Nation. If this story has legs it probably won't have the same impact that the Cherokee story has because it's more complicated. The Volcker rule, along with some of the other proposals mentioned in the emails, are difficult to understand and don't have the same type of impact on voters as a story that screams, "Oh hey look, this lady lied about who she is to get ahead in life."
At some point Warren will have to stop relying on the media to go after Brown for his Wall Street connections and do it herself because it will be far more effective in damaging his "I'm Just Like You" brand. It's easy to smear someone as a Wall Street hack in a 30 second TV ad. Think scary music coupled with selective quotes from newspapers flashing across a black screen accompanied by a poor photograph of the offending pol.
The convention certainly helped but Warren's campaign needs to do more if they really want to shift the conversation away from allegations that she lied about her heritage to Brown's coziness with Wall Street. Plus, it appears she may have another problem looming on the horizon.
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