When Senator Scott Brown turned down an invitation to debate Elizabeth Warren at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, did he shrewdly avoid a trap? Or foolishly blow an opportunity?
The invitation had been extended on June 8 by Vicki Kennedy, widow of the late senator and president of the institute’s board. Last week Brown agreed to take part in the debate — but only if Kennedy promised to personally uphold “the spirit of neutrality” by not endorsing any candidate or otherwise getting involved in the race. When Kennedy wouldn’t go along with that condition, Brown said no to the debate. “The Kennedy Institute cannot hold itself out as a nonpartisan debate sponsor,” Brown’s campaign manager insisted, “while the president of its board of trustees gets involved in the race on behalf of one of the candidates.”