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Spouses Pick Up The Pace On U.S. Senate Trail

As Election Day draws closer, both candidates for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts have stretched their reach by sending their spouses out on the campaign trail more frequently.

Gail Huff, wife of Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, and Bruce Mann, husband of Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, are holding as many — if not more — daily public events than the candidates themselves.

Stumping For Their Spouses

At a recent campaign stop at a senior center in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, Huff didn’t really need to introduce herself. Huff was a TV reporter in Boston for 17 years, and she’s clearly comfortable addressing a crowd.

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown drives his truck as his wife Gail Huff gestures to supporters after a campaign stop in Watertown Oct. 24. (Charles Krupa/AP)

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown drives his truck as his wife Gail Huff gestures to supporters after a campaign stop in Watertown Oct. 24. (Charles Krupa/AP)

“I would like to ask you today to consider my husband. I hope you will support Scott Brown,” Huff said as she met with supporters.

This summer, Huff took a leave of absence from her part-time job at a Washington, D.C., TV station to stump for her husband full-time.

“I’ve been going from 6 in the morning until 10 at night every single day, seven days a week,” she said. “My role in this is to get out and talk to people about what Scott stands for and, in some cases, set the record straight for what he doesn’t stand for.”

By contrast, Warren’s husband, Mann, is not a recognizable celebrity. He wears round glasses and favors casual wool jackets, looking like he just stepped out of a library. Mann is a Harvard law professor, like Warren. His expertise is in 18th-century bankruptcy.

At a recent visit to a senior center in Cambridge, Mann, who is tall and thin, had to stoop close to each resident to be heard in his soft voice. He prefaced some introductions by saying, “If I may…”

“If I may, I’m Bruce Mann, Elizabeth Warren’s husband. She’s running for Senate and we both live here in Cambridge. I was born in Cambridge,” he said.

Bruce Mann accompanied his wife, Elizabeth Warren, at the Democratic State Convention in Springfield on June 2. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Bruce Mann accompanied his wife, Elizabeth Warren, at the Democratic State Convention in Springfield on June 2. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Mann says he never expected to be in the spotlight. But since he’s taken some time off his teaching schedule, he’s crisscrossed the state, helping voters make a connection to Warren.

“Voters actually seem to enjoy meeting someone who is very close to Elizabeth and has known her for a very long time,” Mann said. “And they recognize that she can’t be everywhere. And at least meeting me and seeing me, it seems to give them a little bit of a connection with Elizabeth and puts a clearer face on her.”

The Spouses’ Roles

Mann doesn’t usually speak before crowds on specific issues; he leaves that up to his wife. In contrast, Huff speaks about Brown’s credentials, especially on women’s issues. Jeff Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University, says that’s an asset for Brown.

“For Sen. Brown, he has a significant problem with the women’s vote,” Berry said. “The polls, including your own, show a real gender gap with women favoring Ms. Warren, so that explains it on his side.”

On Warren’s side, Berry says her husband plays a different role.

“Elizabeth Warren has come across as a very strong individual, a real fighter, so I think bringing her husband out on the campaign trail is to soften the image a little bit,” he said.

The fact that both Mann and Huff are pressing the flesh on the campaign trail underscores the intensity of this race. And they say they’ll pick up the pace even more between now and Election Day.

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  • Mittgal

    Sick of Warren’s lies about Scott’s record.  She constantly portrays him as anti-female when nothing could be further from the truth.  And now we learn that, in addition to taking 60% of her money from out of state, half of the total she collected is from websites which are subject to fraud and foreign donations, just like Obama - 

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/28/Warren-Sets-Record-Half-Her-Donations-From-Online-Sites-Vulnerable-to-Fraud-and-Foreign-Donations

    So who knows who is REALLY supporting this woman?  Certainly not me.

    • LeonardNicodemo

       A really good way to make sure no one takes you seriously is to link to breitbart.com in support of your argument.

      • Mittgal

        Breitbart.com is a recognized news source.  You should try reading things other than Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times.  Most of the “Mainstream Media” is suppressing all information about Benghazi.  Not so Breitbart or Fox News.  Open your eyes and your ears to a whole new world.  Listen to and read everything.  I do.

        • Sinclair2

          I highly recommend reading “Media Matters” website.  They debunk with facts just about everything Fox News reports and they are a NON-PROFIT.  Today’s reports are especially interesting.  http://mediamatters.org/

  • Sinclair2

    There is no way that Gail Huff can reverse the damage her husband has caused regarding women’s votes.  His choice of Antonin Scalia as his favorite justice and who votes in lockstep with Clarence Thomas, was deadly.

    Back when Brown originally announced he would run for the senate, Huff was asked about how they kept their marriage together with two careers.  She replied they never talked politics.  Hmm… 

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