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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JEFF JACOBY

‘Pledge’ didn’t make Warren-Brown race less nasty

‘CIVILITY” WAS a popular buzzword last year when then-Senator Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren signed a much-hyped “People’s Pledge” to keep third-party advertising out of their rapidly escalating US Senate contest.

“The Senate race in Massachusetts,” Fox News cheered, “is going for the civility vote.” Springfield’s daily paper hailed the candidates’ “push for campaign civility,” applauding “their efforts to reject the nasty rhetoric spewed by third party groups.” A few weeks later, New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal lauded Brown and Warren’s “mutual disarmament” pact as heartening evidence that some candidates, at least, would hold themselves to a higher standard of “respect for civility, fairness, and the truth.”

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