POLITICO OFFERS a prime example today of why more women don’t run for office. The headline above says it all. Written by Maggie Haberman, the piece begins with a typical caption underneath stories about women in politics, which feeds off female candidates for sport.
“Some believe…” notes the picture caption, that Warren is a “high risk” choice. Establishment, squishy Democrats believe would be accurate, while also lifting the blame off of Warren that isn’t hers to bear. However, when top Democratic officials help push the talking point, you can’t totally blame the media for lapping it up. From Haberman:
Warren has “that one elusive quality that we all want in our leaders, but can’t ever seem to get — freshness. Few people can combine newness with competence — Palin demonstrates the obvious pitfall — but she’s one of them. That was obviously a big part of Obama’s allure in 2008,” said former Democratic Governors Association executive director Nathan Daschle.
“At the same time, her anti-Wall Street message is powerful but limiting. As Obama learned, what works in Massachusetts isn’t necessarily what will work nationally,” he added.
“Most Americans are optimists, not pessimists. They don’t see themselves as victims. They see themselves as upwardly mobile, and that’s the product of their own sweat and labor. They work so hard to provide for their families that they naturally resent anyone they perceive as taking credit away. What they hear is ‘You didn’t work hard enough to deserve what you have.’”
Would they run that about Sarah Palin? She’s taking the hit for why Mitt Romney likely won’t choose a female vice president, even if it’s equally about Romney’s patriarchal persona that represents men always leading. It’s just as likely that if Palin had a prime speaking engagement the media talk would also include how she’s a big draw for the base, which Romney hasn’t successfully seduced.
Haberman’s piece does give full voice to the progressive side, which is a welcome bit of reporting amid a media who trumpets the Tea Party, but ignores this powerful (though they don’t seem to want to use it) part of the Democratic base.
More important, she represents a growing force within the party — a progressive agenda coupled with disdain for the type of transactional politicking that former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and his colleagues in the Clinton administration were known for.
The announcement of Warren as the speaker who will introduce Bill Clinton was largely lost amid headlines about Mitt Romney’s missteps on his overseas trip. Democrats highlighted her strengths — a woman and an icon with the base for her message about economic fairness, fighting one of the most competitive and strategically important Senate battles in the nation.
“Elizabeth Warren is getting the base excited by virtue of being a genuine populist anti-vulture capitalist candidate,” wrote Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas in an email. “That has nothing to do with whether she speaks at the convention or not. For activist Democrats, she’s already a hero.”
“It’s a terrific opportunity to talk about what America must do to level the playing field for middle class families and small businesses,” said Warren spokeswoman Julie Edwards of the speech. “Too often, the system is rigged in favor of the big guys. Elizabeth believes we need to do more to create opportunity for everyone so that the next person with the great idea has a chance to succeed.”
Then there is Will Marshall, president of the “center-left” Progressive Policy Institute, who reveals his invertebrate status. A common thread among all squishy Democrats.
“The truth is that most of the public isn’t going to know who she is, so I don’t think that’s going to be a big problem for her or the party,” said Will Marshall, president of the center-left Progressive Policy Institute. But he argued for the validity of criticism that Obama “needs to deal with the [Republican criticism] that he is insufficiently appreciative of entrepreneurs and the role of free enterprise in prosperity.
“But,” he said, “I don’t think they should shy away from her at the convention.”
Oh, well, if he says no one “should shy away” from Warren, what other order from on high do Democrats need?
This guy represents everything that’s wrong with Democrats.
Inside the progressive movement Elizabeth Warren is not just a star. When I talk to people about the importance of keeping the narrative on electing the first female president, Ms. Warren’s name is the first to come up. Whether that’s feasible is another story, with everything hinging on her winning what remains a very rough race against Sen. Scott Brown.
All the attention on Pres. Obama, especially to donate, is unearned, when you consider how important Elizabeth Warren would be in the Senate.