Brown, a lawyer, former state senator and former Jordache jeans model, ran under the slogan “people over party,” casting himself as a moderate Republican willing to work with Democrats to end partisan gridlock in Washington. In his short time in the Senate, Brown won praise from Democrats including Rep. Barney Frank and the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson for bucking the GOP leadership, for instance in supporting a repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and President Obama’s Wall Street reform bill.
Though the race won rare praise for its relative civility and focus on policy, it degenerated in recent weeks into a more typical slugfest.
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Brown cast Warren as a fake liberal with a fat Harvard salary and called her a lawyer who had stuck up for insurance companies against regular people. He also revived the “Fauxcahontas” scandal, based on an unproven claim by Warren, the daughter of a janitor and originally from Oklahoma, that she has Native American heritage.
For her part, Warren cast Brown as a fake independent, highlighting his votes against higher taxes on millionaires and in favor of oil subsidies.
In the end, it was Warren’s arguments that won out on a bright and chilly election day of long lines that snaked across school gyms and community centers.
“I just think she is super-bright and I just totally buy into her message of wanting to work for the little people and make sure working families get a fair shake,” said Emily Kathan, 41, a graphic designer waiting in line for nearly an hour in Somerville, just outside Boston. “For me it’s very important to have a voice like hers standing up for women, and her record of standing up to Wall Street is fabulous.”
Warren seemed to do especially well among women.
“I just like her policies, and in fact I want more women in the Senate,” said Lorraine Palmer, 71, standing outside a community center in the town of Braintree, about 10 miles outside Boston. “It’s a man’s world. I don’t care what anyone says, it is. And I think we need a woman to stand up for us, to stand against the fact that all these men want to decide what to do with our bodies.”