This was a good debate, and it was close. Both candidates had moments when they connected, and both—at times—disconnected. On balance, I thought it was not Scott Brown’s best debate, and I thought Elizabeth Warren has never been better.
Take the Native American issue, which dominated the beginning. Brown repeated his challenges to Warren’s claim, but this time, Warren was ready. She made her case calmly, which seemed to frustrate Brown, and the tempo was set.
Throughout the debate, Warren was methodical. Brown was more emotional. And Brown came close to bullying when he wanted to speak and interrupted Warren saying, “I’m not a student in your classroom.”
But Warren won this debate on her own. She was very well-prepared, and even her delivery improved. There was no preaching or repeating. She made her points, and moved on. She was confident and conversational. You could see her in The Senate.
The biggest difference between Warren and Brown is that one is a Democrat, and the other is a Republican. I thought Warren did a much better job of defending her party, while Scott Brown danced around his Republican roots.