Guest: MA Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren

By Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel Maddow Show - September 14, 2011

Guests: Ed Rendell, Richard Engel, Elizabeth Warren, Spencer Ackerman

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Thank you very much, Lawrence. I`ve been very, very excited about this interview to the point where I think I have over-prepared and now will not know what to say. So, it should be a catastrophe. It will be fun.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, "THE LAST WORD" HOST: Well, we won`t miss a second.

MADDOW: Thank you. And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour.


SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R), MASSACHUSETTS: As always, I rely on Gail`s love and support and that of our two lovely daughters. So, I want to thank Ayla and Arianna for their help as well.


BROWN: Just in case anybody is watching throughout the country, yes, they`re both available.

No, no, no. No. Only kidding. Only kidding. Only kidding. Only kidding. Arianna definitely is not available. Ayla is.

This is Arianna. This is Ayla.

Oh, I can see I`m going to get in trouble when I get home.


MADDOW: You know, Massachusetts is an old state. Massachusetts has been a state since 1788. Massachusetts is so old it`s not even a state. It`s a commonwealth.

When the Pilgrims landed in America, they landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. Massachusetts has the world`s oldest functioning written constitution. That`s Massachusetts. It`s old.

By the time we got around to forming a Congress in this country and sending people to it, Massachusetts had a delegation of ten members, eight in the House and two, of course, in the Senate. And the 223 years that Massachusetts has existed as a state -- I mean commonwealth -- Massachusetts has sent 465 people to Congress, I think. That`s what I was able to figure out today.

Of those 465 people, a grand total of four of them have been women. That`s it. Four women in the entire history of Massachusetts sent to Congress -- 461 men, four women.

In the special election to replace Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrats did choose a woman in 2010, Martha Coakley, as their nominee. But, as you saw, and to the great momentary embarrassment of his daughters, Scott Brown did end up winning that night.

Since Scott Brown was elected to the United States Senate, he has mostly followed the wise counsel that lots of new senators get which is to keep your head down, try not to make too much noise or too much news. We`ve been asking for interviews with Senator Brown for more than a year here at this show when we frankly have not gotten anywhere with those requests. But it`s not just us, though.

The most press that Senator Brown has done in the time he`s been a senator has been to promote his glossy autobiography. That`s been the most of the press he`s gotten. When he has been forced to weigh in on national political issues, it has sometimes been a little weird in the sense that it has been hard to follow his positions sometimes. He doesn`t always seem to have a great grasp of either the policy issues that he is talking about or in some cases -- which is the weird part of it -- he does not have a good grasp of what his own position is on those issues.

Take, for example, the Paul Ryan Republican kill Medicare budget. When the Paul Ryan budget was heading toward a vote in the Senate in May, Senator Brown told an audience in Massachusetts, quote, "The leaders will bring forward Paul Ryan`s budget and I will vote for it." I will vote for it -- that`s what he said.

A few days after saying that, staffers for Senator Brown explained that that statement, I will vote for it, was not in fact a statement about how the senator would vote on that legislation. It was just a statement that he would vote on it. He was talking about having the opportunity to vote on that bill even though what he explicitly said was, I will vote for it.

Ultimately after saying, yes, he wanted to vote for the Paul Ryan plan to kill Medicare and after that, his staffers say they didn`t know whether or not he wanted to vote on it to kill Medicare, Scott Brown eventually settled on no, as a no vote on that legislation. So, it was yes, then it was I have no idea, ignore what I said and then it was no -- all in the span of 10 days.

That`s been sort of what it`s like talking to Scott Brown about national issues when he is willing to talk about them, even though mostly he`s just not willing to talk.

The single most distinguishing factor, though, about Scott Brown`s tenure in the senate thus far has been more unexpected than that. It was not seen as a big Massachusetts issue necessarily. It was certainly not what he campaigned on. It was not what I think most people either who supported him or who did not support him did not expected of him when he went to the Senate.

But in the 19 months that he has been in Washington, Scott Brown has emerged as arguably the most Wall Street of all 100 U.S. senators. And I don`t mean that in a stylistic way or a critical way. I just mean it in terms of the math. Out of all 100 U.S. senators, Scott Brown ranks number one right now in campaign contributions, campaign contributors from hedge funds.

Scott Brown is also the senator who has received the most campaign money from the venture capital industry. Scott Brown is number two among all U.S. senators in receiving money from private equity and investment firms. He`s also number two in money from the securities and investment industry.

Look at his top campaign contributors right now. Fidelity, that`s listed as FMR Corp., Goldman Sachs, Mass Mutual Life Insurance, Bank of New York Mellon.

Scott Brown has taken so much money in from Wall Street in the short time in Washington that "Forbes" magazine last year put him under the headline "Wall Street`s Favorite Congressmen."

You know, we maybe should have seen this coming. Maybe Wall Street and Scott Brown knew something nobody else did before he was elected. In the six days before his special election victory last year, Scott Brown in six days took in nearly half a million dollars from the financial industry.

The return on Wall Street`s investment, the payoff they have gotten on what they have spent on Scott Brown, is the kind of margin that makes Wall Street guys drool on to their tasseled loafers. As the Wall Street reform bill was being crafted in the Senate, it was Scott Brown who saved Wall Street firms $19 billion that they would have otherwise paid back to the taxpayers. He stripped out a fee that was included in that bill that was meant to have the guys who broke the financial system pay to fix it so that taxpayers didn`t have to bear the whole burden.

Wall Street`s investment in Scott Brown really paid off. I mean, think about that -- $19 billion they didn`t have to pay because of him specifically.

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