David Bernstein’s take on the Eliz. Warren pre-rollout strikes me as about right. It’s early for her to be doing a full media press, and frankly there’s no hurry — except the stated reasons of bruised feelings on the part of the local media-folk.
I’d nitpick with one thing: I’m quite confident that the activists do indeed understand that she’s already made up her mind to run — and indeed are eager to give their advice. She’ll get an earful from the Dem activist faithful, no doubt. But she’d do well to actually listen to them — with a big dollop of discernment, no doubt. She’s got to get up to speed on running a grassroots campaign, and on myriad issues that are not within her current area of expertise. Just because she’s got a good and salient motivation for a campaign doesn’t mean that she’s a complete candidate yet. And a skillful person could and should use these meetings to try to get a feel for the grassroots landscape, as it were.
The Palin comparison is actually useful. It’s not just that Sarah Palin was miserably unprepared to answer questions about national and international issues; it’s that she acted like she didn’t care that she didn’t know anything; that it didn’t matter, because she thought she already knew everything she ever needed to know. Being informed is perhaps largely about knowing how little you know — and appreciating that it might matter.
Warren will give the professional media all the time they want — eventually. But it really doesn’t make sense for her to go out as a bona fide candidate before she’s ready and comfortable. Even for a smart and accomplished person, it’s a steep learning curve.
So OK, maybe the term “listening tour” is a bit precious, but if she’s smart, she actually will do so.