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Keller @ Large: Does Free Ride Help Or Hurt Elizabeth Warren?

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Special Advisor on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Elizabeth Warren at the White House on July 18, 2011. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Special Advisor on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Elizabeth Warren at the White House on July 18, 2011. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Have you ever watched or listened to the political pundits analyzing the news of the day like dogs with a bone and said to yourself:

‘Hey, that doesn’t look so hard. I bet I could do it just as well as them.’

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Well, here’s your chance to have at it.

Alan Khazei, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010 who sought the nomination again this time around, has dropped out of the race.

He was yet another casualty of the well-funded machine that is the Elizabeth Warren campaign, following Newton Mayor Setti Warren to the sidelines, and leaving only a handful of relatively obscure, underfunded candidates still in the hunt.

They are competing for the right to challenge well-funded incumbent Republican Scott Brown next year.

And here’s the question you, the pundit, have to weigh in on — does it hurt or help Warren that she now seems headed for only token competition in the Democratic primary, and can therefore focus almost all her time, energy and money on beating Brown?

On the one hand, history suggests that candidates, especially first-time candidates, benefit from the experience of winning a contested primary.

Would Barack Obama have been as accomplished a general election candidate in 2008 if he hadn’t survived his battle with Hillary Clinton and the rest?

How about Deval Patrick in 2006?

Like him or not, can it be denied that Mitt Romney is a better candidate now for his experience losing in 2008 and competing with a crowded field this time around?

On the other hand, Warren looks pretty sharp right out of the box.

No real primary means less risk of taking positions that might hurt her in the showdown with Brown, a la Martha Coakley in 2010.

Warren can essentially spend the next year raising tons of dough, watching her allies tear Brown apart, and preparing for the debates, while Brown has to actually try to show he can legislate.

OK, fellow pundits, go to it.

Is the free ride good news for Elizabeth Warren, or bad news?

The best spin below (in the comments section) gets a shout out.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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