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.