BOSTON (CBS) – In case you missed it, President Obama went head to head in public over the last week or so with Sen. Elizabeth Warren over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) plan he claims will boost US trade and economic growth.

Warren has spent months aggressively making the case thast TPP is a poorly-designed cave-in to the agenda of multi-national corporations at the expense of American workers.

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And despite an intense lobbying push and strong support from Senate Republicans, on Tuesday the president got his clock cleaned on a key vote.

Wow, this is something you don’t see every day.

And what it shows is the power of candor and principle, as well as the weakness of imperial spin.

We have long since learned that this president’s many skills don’t include an ability to schmooze dissenters. But I hope he and his people now see how much damage they’ve done to themselves by not being straight with people.

That’s not so easy to do when you’re a politician; in fact, it can be the hardest thing to do. Would Obamacare have passed if he and his people hadn’t fibbed about what was in it, as Professor Jonathan Gruber so helpfully disclosed?

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But to me, much of Sen. Warren’s rising political clout is due to her bluntness and candor, traits that connect with regular folks even if they may disagree with her.

She’s not perfect, of course; I have yet to get a straight answer about her plans to curb higher-ed tuition costs, if she has any.

But we’ve just seen how her credibility trumps the president’s among the people who know them best. And that’s quite a commentary.

Politicians everywhere, take note.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

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

Jon Keller