Monday, April 16, 2012

Liz Warren, Retail

I had never met Elizabeth Warren before yesterday. The only other time I had been in the same room as this year's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate race in MA was at the St. Patrick's Day breakfast. Afterwards, I noticed, she delivered the same opener as had Senator Brown, word-for-word. I scored him the winner in that one.

Yesterday at the Cambodia Town event at Clemente Park, Elizabeth Warren and her entourage arrived just a few minutes after the speeches and formal portions of the program had ended. The Democratic nominee then began to work the crowd, moving across the park in a mostly-clockwise sort of way. She stopped to talk to my sister-in-law Michelle, my wife, and me, with big hugs for each. She was friendly, she was warm, she seemed like she had all the time in the world for us, and she even cracked a joke on the fly about trying to introduce her 15-month-old grandson to our 13-month-old daughter.

Well, big deal, you might say -- she's a politician, right? She probably makes that joke to all parents of babies, she's probably been coached on the one-on-one stuff, etc., right? You would think that the basic rules of working a crowd -- be warm, make people feel important, stay long enough to make a connection but not long enough to be awkward -- would be too obvious to even mention, but apparently they're not. Think about the last time you met some public figure presumably vying for your vote -- did he or she act that way?

I will stand by the post I made after the Scott Brown event at the SAC Club -- he was great in the small setting (even if the one-on-one interaction I had with him left me kind of disappointed). However, I'm not swept up by someone who needs to tell me half a dozen times in a two-minute speech that he's a "regular guy."

As for this November, I will wear my bias on my sleeve, as I think that the Olympia Snowe retirement means that the need for moderate Republican New Englanders in the Senate is even more important than it was beforehand. I also think Scott Brown generally tends to vote in a way I like -- in other words, gays in the military are okay, but the "Buffett Rule" is a worthless political show that doesn't even begin to address our serious budget problems.

Cliched as it may sound, I feel like I fall more and more into that "social liberal, fiscal conservative" mold all the time.

But back to the observation I made on Sunday -- if you think that the Brown v. Warren race is about a *real person* who drives a truck up against an *out-of-touch* elitist professor, I think you've quaffed the wrong flavor of Kool-Aid. I'm not too partisan to be able to admit that.

Make the effort (or just be lucky enough to be standing in the right place) to meet them both.

Then make that call.


kad barma said...

My experience is that 75% of the country is 1) more socially liberal than the GOP tends to act, and 2) more fiscally conservative than the Dems seem comfortable to stop taxing and spending, (and we will give the taxing and spending Republicans a pass for this discussion but they are just as bad), yet neither major political party has yet figured out the math--there's a landslide for whoever figures out how to walk the walk on both first.

Progressive Veterans said...

Is Reuters considered part of the 'liberal, elite media?' Here they discuss the Buffet Rule.

This morning, on WCAP, I listened to Lowell 5's Bob Caruso shill for more trickle down economics. I particularly liked the part where he opined the Real Estate sector should just "clear the books" and get on with the foreclosures.

Ya, Bob. That's what it looks like in the ledger. The ledger doesn't cry. Red ink is not tears, if you are confused, Bob.

It's clear that the system is upsidedown, as wealth is consolidated by fewer and fewer. Caruso would have us thankful that our Corporate benfactors are so kind to share. Just not, via taxes.

I expect Cliff to follow up with a quip regarding the folly of Keynesian approaches to balancing the books.

I'm here to tell you, we better claw back the wealth of America's middle class because the "elites" are going to invest, what they have pillaged, overseas. The rate of return is better. What else would an investor do? Patriotism isn't an illusion held dear by the shrewd investor.

- Jack

C R Krieger said...

Ah, Cliff is up to bat.

First, Professor Elizabeth Warren is NOT the Democratic nominee for the Senate Race, no matter what the Press and the leading Democrats wish us to think (and, I am thinking, Harvard University, a partially owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party).

The fresh, young, dynamic Marisa DeFranco, esq, is still in the hunt.  Let us give her some respect for hanging in there when the rest of the original field bailed out when Ms Warren entered the field.  I like the idea of some democracy in the Democratic Party.

As for Keynes, we can either admit that he was wrong (even my daughter has read Amity Shlaes' The Forgotten Man:  A New History of the Great Depression) or we can remain mired in a bad theory (reality based?).  Taking the Keynesian approach means that the poor (and others) suffer more and longer.

Regards  —  Cliff

C R Krieger said...

OK, Lizzie is the "Presumptive" nominee, but it isn't over until it is over.  That said, if Professor Warren were to stumble, would the Democratic Machine accept Ms DeFranco, or would they try to jam someone else into the slot?

I am watching Castle.

Regards  —  Cliff

The New Englander said...

Cliff, thanks for the correction -- fair point, and it was an oversight.

Jack -- opposition to the Buffett Rule doesn't mean support for trickle-down, and it doesn't have anything to do with progressive marginal tax rates. It has to do with incentivizing investment...and the fact that a law that would apply to a few hundred taxpayers and make a drop in the ocean's worth of difference to our REAL budget issues, but would likely have negative repercussions that could discourage job not a good idea.

Kad -- I agree, and I know some people have tried/are trying (the Modern Whigs, for instance). I once heard a Poli Sci Prof say "There aren't two parties in America, there are 100." If that's the case, then the beauty of living in New England is that locally, you have an option for vote for a party with a strong "social liberal/fiscal conservative" flavor.

Progressive Veterans said...

I use "trickle down" as a catch all for the canard; if we give all the money to the rich, they will give some back.

You can't slap enough algoriths on that BS to make me believe it.

I read this today and it made me wonder: Income generated by wealth taxed at half the rate of income earned through work.

- Jack