Mass. Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren to address DNC

By Steve Leblanc

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 5 2012 12:21 p.m. MDT

Senate candidate from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren looks over the podium during a sound check at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is hoping to give her campaign a boost with a prime-time speech to the Democratic National Convention.

Warren is scheduled to take the stage in Charlotte, N.C. at about 10 p.m. ahead of the keynote speaker of the night — former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

Democrats gave Warren the prized spot in part because she is locked in a tight race with incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.

Democrats are hoping to win back the seat — held for nearly a decade by the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy — as part of their effort to retain control of the Senate. Brown won a special election in 2010 to fill the office and is up for re-election.

Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate, has said the speech will echo some of the themes as her campaign.

"Mostly I'll talk about the things I've been talking about for a very long time and that is how middle class families are drawing the short end of the stick over and over and Washington is rigged to work for the big guys," Warren said last week.

Warren, who chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel, also is expected to talk about her efforts to push for the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that Congress passed in 2010.

In one recent political ad, Warren used audio of President Barack Obama praising her work to help create the agency.

"She's a janitor's daughter who has become one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class," Obama says in the ad. "She came up with an idea for a new independent agency that would have one simple overriding mission: standing up for consumers and middle class families."

Warren has also invoked Kennedy, telling Massachusetts Democratic delegates on Tuesday that Kennedy changed the way she views public service and that she thinks about his legacy every day.

Brown, who was invited to speak at last week's Republican convention but declined, said he hopes Warren focuses on the economy and the nation's spiraling debt. He also joked that he'll probably watch football instead of Warren's speech.

"I'm hopeful she'll talk about what we're going to do to get out of this mess. It certainly isn't by raising taxes and having more jobs-destroying policies," Brown said Tuesday after touring a charter school in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston.

Brown, who has tried to cast himself as an independent, said Warren's proposals would increase taxes and make it harder for the nation to get back on a sounder fiscal footing.

"It will be a very different state and country if she's elected," he added.

The race already is the most expensive in Massachusetts history with Election Day still more than two months away. The candidates have raised more than $52.9 million combined.

Warren joins a slew of Massachusetts Democrats who have taken center stage at the convention.

On Tuesday night, Gov. Deval Patrick gave a speech designed to light a fire under Democratic activists.

"If we want to win elections in November and keep our country moving forward, if we want to earn the privilege to lead, my message is this: It's time for Democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe." Patrick said to a roar from the crowd.

Massachusetts congressional hopeful Joseph P. Kennedy III, a candidate for the seat of retiring Rep. Barney Frank, also addressed the convention Tuesday.

Other Massachusetts political figures slated to speak include Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who has yet to formally endorse a candidate in the Senate race, and U.S. Sen. John Kerry, the party's 2004 presidential nominee.

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