EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

September 9, 2012

Warren, Brown go different routes in ad campaigns

BOSTON — Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren are spending millions of dollars on television ads to reel in Massachusetts voters, but the two U.S. Senate candidates are taking dramatically different approaches to their on-air appeals.

While Republican incumbent Brown has largely relied on personal stories to drive home his everyman persona — from meeting with Gloucester fishermen to greeting a Korean War hero — Democrat Warren dives deeper into policy, at one point citing the nation’s gross domestic product to craft an argument for more infrastructure spending.

But what may be most remarkable about the television ads is what’s missing. To date, neither Brown nor Warren has mentioned each other by name.

That may be a result of the so-called “People’s Pledge” signed by both candidates. The deal is intended to discourage outside groups and political action committees from launching attack ads.

So far, the deal has held, leaving the decision to air tougher ads up to Brown and Warren, a strategy neither had adopted yet.

Brown has instead opted for a series of relatively sunny ads, including testimonials from his wife, former television reporter Gail Huff, and a handful of Democratic officials including former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn.

In one recent ad, Brown is shown visiting with fisherman and talking about how the industry is struggling with “overregulation, unfair enforcement and crushing fines.”

“I’m going to be fighting to protect them,” Brown pledges, but offers few other details. A press release sent to reporters points to Brown’s support of a bill to ease federal regulations on fishing communities.

In another ad, Brown is seen meeting with Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and Korean War Navy pilot Tom Hudner, who crash landed his plane behind enemy lines to rescue his wingman.

Brown thanks Hudner for his service but makes no reference to specific policies for veterans.

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