Sometimes the fastest thumbs in politics are just too fast for their own (or their bosses') good.
About 15 minutes into Wednesday night's debate between Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, Team Brown — using the boss' campaign Twitter account — tweeted out a brag about the senator authoring an amendment to create a consumer protection board for members of the military service "which is now headed by Holly Petraeus."
That's a good name to drop. Holly Petraeus is the wife of retired Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded U.S. and allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming director of the CIA. There's just problem with Brown's tweet — evidently recognized somebody on the campaign who deleted it after 10 seconds: Holly Petraeus got her current job from none other than Elizabeth Warren.
Warren made the appointment last year when she was helping to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, mandated by the Dodd-Frank as part of the response to the Wall Street meltdown. President Barack Obama made Warren the agency's interim head, but backed down from appointing her permanently because of opposition to her by Republicans in the Senate. At the time Warren appointed Petraeus to head the bureau's military division, Brown said he was "pleased" by the appointment of the general's wife.
A new tweet posted to Brown's account shortly after the first one was deleted repeated the claim about the senator's role in setting up the consumer protection agency for members of the military but omitted mention of Petraeus.
The deleted tweet showed up in Politwoops, a Sunlight Foundation tool that tracks tweets deleted by politicians. The race between Brown and Warren is one of this year's most closely watched Senate contests and one of the most expensive. The two candidates have reported raising a combined $53 million so far, with reports for the third quarter due to be made public next week.