Love Warren’s Great Story, Just Wish That Nasty Fly Weren’t In The Ointment


I attended Elizabeth Warren’s appearance in Ware today.  Another member of the Sturbridge Democratic Town Committee attended. In an email, CarolM remarked:

I feel we should support her fully as a strong, knowledgeable, passionately committed candidate who will fight for equality of opportunity and a “level playing field” in America and who would no doubt be formidable in a political debate against Scott Brown!

I replied with an agreement and a “but”.

I agree about Warren’s message. She has a nice, coherent story that ties together the role of government in creating the environment for us all to succeed. When she tells the history from the depression era through the 1980s and into the 2000s where she describes what we as a country did right to get us to our pre-eminent position in the world and what we started failing to do since the 1980s, it makes a wonderful counter to the story the Republicans have been selling since Goldwater lost to Johnson.

I have to put one fly in the ointment that worries me, though.

In a “debate” with Scott Brown, she won’t have 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to give this shpiel. This is one of the reasons why she needs to debate Marisa DeFranco while the electorate is not even watching. Consider DeFranco as the sparring partner that would get Warren into shape for the real fight.

After watching the “debate” in Lowell (see Warren shines in debate debut), I commented,

I was not that impressed with Elizabeth Warren.

The format was a mix of long form answers that lasted 1 minute, and quick answers that were supposed to take 10 to 15 seconds. This is not a format that a champion debater has honed her skills on. Debate skills are almost useless in this format.

The skill you need is to quickly come up with a short answer to a surprise question that finds the pithiest reflection of your deepest beliefs.

There was one person there who managed to do this for almost every question. That woman was Marisa DeFranco. I had never heard of her before. Until tonight, I didn’t know she was running.

Being charitable to the Warren staff, they seem so devoted and committed to her, that they won’t brook any mention of any possible problems. I wish I could get my message through to them, but every time I try they throw me out of the campaign.

Maybe I am being paranoid, but when Elizabeth saw me close up in Ware, she seemed to be almost frightened to get close enough to talk to me. (Her field organizer, GregM, definitely knows who I am.) (I suppose it could have been that I forgot to shave this morning.)

If anybody else knows how to deliver this message in a tactful manner that might get listened to, please feel free to use any of my ideas or words along with your own to get through to the campaign.

I have liked the story about the economy that Warren can explain since even before she was running. I have a number of her lectures and interviews posted on this blog.  Since she started to campaign, I have seen much progress on her part in honing that message so that she can deliver its essence in a relatively short amount of time.  She did not speak that long in Ware, but she managed to deliver a beautifully put together and coherent story as I said above.  If the electorate ever gets to hear the whole pitch, I think they would be convinced.  My fear is that there are very few forums where she can deliver that message so that  enough of the voters will get to hear it.

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