Like some others (Joan Vennochi, Michael Jonas), I’m baffled by the descriptions of Elizabeth Warren’s nascent (still undeclared) Presidential campaign as being in trouble. In particular I’m befuddled by the Globe’s unsigned editorial calling for her to drop out because:
a.) she came just shy of Charlie Baker’s vote percentage — at a mere 60%! — and …
b.) she’s “divisive”. (No specifics offered.)
That’s just odd from the Globe, but their unsigned editorials have been struggling in the last few years, particularly (as laboriously documented here) on pipelines. I suspect their pro-corporate bent (unlikely to change under Shirley Leung’s leadership) is the mouthpiece of those who do feel threatened by Warren’s unapologetic economic populism. Yes indeed, someone who stands for something will be seen as “divisive”. But it’s perverse to cite a smooth-sailing, 60% re-election victory as evidence of that. She’s doing fine.
With regard to the claims of Native American heritage: There’s a place here for discussion among people of good faith and sensitivity. But let’s remember that this entire issue was introduced as a racist oppo attack by Scott Brown in 2012 to paint Warren as an unqualified “affirmative action hire” at Harvard Law; and it continues to be used by the racist Trump. She didn’t bring it up. I don’t mean to defend Warren’s perfection on this issue; no one is perfect. But to disqualify a person as capable, smart and committed as Warren, as some on the left seem to have done, is to dance to a troll’s tune. I’m not going to reward Scott Brown’s tomahawk-choppers and war-whoopers, and give them satisfaction in the long game. No way.
Now, if I do have a concern about Warren, it’s personal. In 2012, as a political newbie, she honestly didn’t run a great race. She blew through vast amounts of money in the most expensive Senate race ever. She seemed at times … tired; and Massachusetts is a physically small state without a huge amount of ground to travel. She seems to take her work very personally, very much to heart. She’s real. That is a good thing!
But it may well be a liability in a Presidential run. For instance, Hillary Clinton had tremendous physical and mental stamina, equal to hold a stage with a physically menacing Donald Trump, and to fight through the bullying and jeering. Her debate performances were remarkable. There’s a certain robotic, Terminator-like relentlessness and focus that is required to run for President, even as we may perceive it as stilted or unnatural. Well, especially these days, there’s nothing normal or natural about national politics. I’m looking to see whether Warren can maintain focus and message discipline on economic justice — and not get side-tracked or flustered by trolling, either from the MAGA-hats or the MSM.