This week, a closely watched Senate race in Massachusetts turned personal — and a bit nasty. During a Democratic primary debate, progressive hero Elizabeth Warren poked fun at the Republican incumbent, Scott Brown, for posing nude for Cosmopolitan in 1982 to help pay for law school, noting that she managed to scrape up tuition without disrobing: "I didn't take my clothes off." "Thank God," Brown later retorted in a radio interview. Will insulting Warren's looks hurt Brown's campaign?
Brown's mean response will anger female voters: Permit me to "state the obvious: By saying 'Thank God,' Brown was implying that Warren is ugly," says Nick Baumann at Mother Jones. Bad move: "Attacking your female opponent for her looks won't necessarily play well with women voters," and Brown can't afford to lose a single vote. Warren is already "within striking distance" in the polls in the deep-blue Bay State.
"Scott Brown calls Elizabeth Warren ugly"
The Left's outrage is predictable — and unfair: Brown deserves "a wrist slap" for taking such a cheap shot, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. But he said this "spontaneously in self-defense." It's not something he's likely to repeat. But Democrats don't care. They just want to stir up some phony outrage to "help Warren get a sympathy bump" by casting her as a victim and Brown as a "sneering frat boy."
"Elizabeth Warren: I didn't take my clothes off to pay for school like Scott Brown did; Scott Brown: 'Thank God'"
Brown is squandering his biggest asset, likeability: Brown won his seat as a Republican in a Democratic state because he was "a likeable guy," says Philip Klein at Beltway Confidential. A more dignified comeback would have made Warren look like "the nasty one."
"Scott Brown's comment was sexist and stupid"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
- The girl who wouldn't die
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- The little-known police department that guards the White House
Subscribe to the Week