While Allen has never held elected office,she brings an impressive resume to the campaign. She directs Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, and has written extensively on both ancient political philosophy and contemporary U.S. society, including how to respond to the manifold challenges posed by COVID-19.
Danielle Allen is a great scholar of the American founding and has a lot of appreciation for the radicalism of the American Revolution that’s getting lost with some of the excesses of the era. In some ways, she’s following the Warren playbook by trying to transition from academia to public office. That said, there are some key differences as the article brings up:
unlike U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who successfully moved from academia to electoral politics in 2012, Allen has not been an active participant in the partisan fray.
I think that’s going to be the rub with this candidate. At this stage of the race it’s all about winning over delegates to get on the ballot and she has yet to show up and do the work to help local Democrats get elected or even be highly involved as a Democrat in some high profile fights. Her COVID work was largely apolitical and academic, even though she did help author the Smith-Cassidy relief bill, it’s behind the scenes tinkering and not the full throated bully pulpit that Warren enjoyed back in 2012.
The question she didn’t answer in her remarks is why Charlie Baker, who enjoyed a 60% approval rating from her fellow Democrats, needs to go and why she’s the one to beat him. All the candidates need an answer to that, and fast. Although perhaps it’s an open race after all since Baker isn’t raising any money and his own party is at war with him…