In her first debate as a Senate candidate this week, Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren was asked how she paid for college, in light of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) having posed nude to get tuition money.

I kept my clothes on,” Warren said, adding that she worked part-time and took out loans.

Brown decided the best response to this would be to go after Warren’s appearance.

“Have you officially responded to Elizabeth Warren’s comment about how she didn’t take her clothes off?” the host asked Brown Wednesday.

“Thank God!” Brown said, laughing.

Brown somehow managed to win a Senate seat, despite his lack of qualifications or familiarity with public policy, in large part because of his personality. Voters found him likable, and found Martha Coakley, and her unwillingness to stand outside Fenway shaking hands, unlikable. It was the difference between winning and losing.

If Brown, when his guard his down and he’s just being himself, actually turns out to be a jerk, he shouldn’t be surprised if voters reevaluate what they thought they knew about their dim-witted senator.

And if Warren’s supporters needed a little added motivation in this race, I suspect Brown’s on-air comments ought to do the trick.

Brown added, “You know what, listen: Bottom line is, you know, I didn’t go to Harvard, you know, I went to the school of hard knocks, and I did whatever I had to do to pay for school. And for people who know me, and know what I’ve been through … mom and dad married and divorced four times each. You know, some real challenges growing up. You know, whatever. You know, let them throw stones. I did what I had to do. But [if] not for having that opportunity, I never would have been able to pay for school, and never would have gone to school, and I wouldn’t probably be talking to you, so, whatever.”

First, Warren didn’t go to Harvard; she went to a state school in Texas. Second, if Scott Brown thinks posing nude for money is evidence of “hard knocks,” I imagine some laborers in Massachusetts might disagree.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.