Last night in Massachusetts, Republican Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren faced off in their second senatorial debate — a key race that could determine which party controls the chamber for the next two years.
With polls showing Obama nearly 30 points ahead in the state, Brown continued this tactic of veering hard to the middle in order to get the support of the Democrats he needs to win the election (which he succeeded doing until his last answer, in which he volunteered conservative ideologue Antonin Scalia as his model Supreme Court Justice. Whoops.).
But when debate moderator David Gregory asked Brown if he would vote for our own Sen. Mitch McConnell as Senate minority or majority leader next year… my goodness, he did not disappoint:
Brown: … When it comes to dealing with the minority or majority leader, I’ve already let it be very clearly known to Mitch McConnell that I’m completely disgusted as to what’s going on down there, and he has a lot of work to do to earn my vote. Because I don’t work for him or Harry Reid…
(Brown goes on to praise moderate GOP Senators)
Gregory: So, undecided?
Brown: Undecided, I’ve already made that very clear with him.
Ouch. Not exactly a ringing vote of confidence, eh?
But as prideful as Mitch McConnell is, he knows he can’t take too much issue with Brown’s slap across his face, as McConnell desperately needs Brown to win in order to obtain his Ring of Mordor: the title of Senate majority leader. McConnell knows he’s about as popular as the New York Yankees in Massachusetts, and if it takes his Senate colleague public shaming him in order for Brown to win, he’s just going to have to (try to) grin and take it.
As we mentioned yesterday — and as Rachel Maddow echoed on her show last night in the clip below — McConnell now appears to possibly be crafting his pitch for the final month of the campaign around building a congressional firewall to continue obstructing President Obama’s agenda for the next few years. Which, of course, appears to also be abandoning his most recent “No. 1 goal:” helping Mitt Romney make Obama a one-term president.
As we saw last night, such a message can get a little messy in a state like Massachusetts.
*** UPDATE ***
Happier times, below. We’ll always have 2010, Scott.