Ever since I first heard the name “Elizabeth Warren” used in connection with the US Senate seat now held by Scott Brown, I thought her candidacy would be a terrific idea. The other Democrats who have entered the race are all good candidates who bring a variety of strengths to the contest, but to beat Brown, who has national stature and more money than anyone else in the Commonwealth, you need someone whose campaign can become a cause. To me, Elizabeth Warren does that. I’ve never met her but any time I’ve seen her on television or read her quotes I’ve been impressed. But most of all, when I witnessed the ferociousness with which national Republicans attacked her, I concluded her election to the Senate would be their worst nightmare. The old saying, “you can tell a lot about a person by who their friends are” has a corollary: You can tell a lot about a person by who their enemies are.
With her demonstrated ability to describe, condemn and advocate a remedy for the war that’s been waged on the American middle class for the past thirty years, Warren has the potential to connect with a wide swath of Massachusetts voters. The aforementioned conflict with national Republicans guarantees her a flood of national campaign contributions much like the deluge of out of state money that flowed into the Scott Brown treasury in the closing days of his race with Martha Coakley so I believe she could compete with Brown financially. And while Brown is said to be the most popular politician in Massachusetts, he has the unenviable task of living in two incompatible worlds: the reasonableness of Massachusetts and the insanity of the Congressional Republicans in Washington. In straddling that chasm, he has undoubtedly taken positions abhorrent to each. Under the scrutiny of a nationally-watched campaign, those straddles will be magnified to his detriment.
Warren is by no means a slam dunk. She’s never run for public office before and as capable as any candidate may be, having made beginner’s mistakes while you’re a selectman or school committee member makes someone running for higher office a better candidate. Warren’s non-Massachusetts roots (she was born in Oklahoma) and her employment as a professor at Harvard Law School will be energetically used by her opponents to get voters to tune her out right from the beginning, but if people actually listen to what she has to say, what they hear will make sense; more sense than they’ve heard from a whole array of other politicians. If that connection can be made, she can win.
So check out the “Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts” exploratory website, signup for emails, donate a few bucks, and start following her on Facebook. And then get ready for a very exciting 2012 election.