“Excuse me, I’m not a student in your classroom,” he told the Harvard Law School professor. [Boston Globe]

THE WORD “independent” came out of Scott Brown‘s mouth as many times as he could think to fit it in. However, that didn’t stand out as much as his belligerence that makes a lie out of his “nice-guy” image marketing that doesn’t match the man.

The tartness stirred boos from Warren supporters in the crowd of some 5,700 at the ­University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Tsongas Center, a huge audience that gave Brown and Warren the aura of gladiators as they squared off on the arena floor.

It also was unlikely to wear well with viewers of their first debate on Sept. 20, many of whom remarked that Brown was too hot-headed in that encounter. Both occasions have fueled questions about Brown’s true temperament, and whether his carefully honed nice-guy, everyman image is just that, an image.

The debate began with David Gregory launching questions at Elizabeth Warren on her heritage. Her answer was simple and direct.

“I have answered this question many, many times.”

Scott Brown’s next volley was to talk about Warren being white, which he said more than once.

When Gregory went back again to the subject, Warren replied, “You know, I think character is how you live your life.” ­

At one point in the debate Scott Brown went into filibuster mode and David Gregory let him take the air out of the room, but Elizabeth Warren got in her punches regardless.

Both tripped.

Warren on saying Richard Lugar represented someone with whom she could work, though Lugar won’t be back to the Senate after getting defeated by a Tea Party Republican.

But that was nothing compared to Scott Brown’s answer on Supreme Court justices. At first he could’t think of a justice he admired, then finally said Scalia. When the hoots started coming he started scrambling, because his brain began overloading after mentioning someone who wasn’t an independent and also made the audience’s heads explode.

Warren, after the debate, said she was “amazed” that Brown selected Scalia as his favorite justice. Warren’s campaign manager, Mindy Myers, said in a statement later that Scalia’s opposition to the court’s Roe v Wade ruling, women’s constitutional rights and birth control “speak loudly about Scott Brown’s values.” [Huffington Post]

David Gregory saved the last 5 minutes for a “lightning round” on foreign policy. You know, because spending the first segment on Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry is more important than what a senator might do on votes concerning war and peace.

At one point, Gregory was so frustrated with what was unfolding he muttered something about why he was there, though I think he meant to do that in his head, not out loud.

I have no idea what David Gregory was thinking about when he began the debate, but that he kept asking extraneous questions that had nothing to do with issues was obvious. The questioning didn’t seem to get down to issues until Gregory went to the audience participation segment.