Elizabeth Warren’s Mass Non-Appeal

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Reid Epstein considers the risk that Dems are taking in showcasing Warren, scheduled to introduce Bill Clinton tonight:

Will she handle the flood of interviews without hijacking Obama’s message to middle-class voters or alienating what remaining Wall Street donors the campaign still counts as friends?

I'd keep her as far from the podium as possible. She can turn Democrats into Republicans more effectively than Reagan. In Massachusetts, she is currently losing the race to Scott Brown by five points – losing a safe seat that any effective Democrat should win back. Monica Potts explores the candidate's weaknesses:

[Interview moderator Christopher] Lydon brought up an anecdote he’d heard: Warren, while she served on the bankruptcy panel during Clinton’s presidency, had known the first lady, Hillary Clinton. Clinton had supported Warren’s work and opposed changes to bankruptcy law. But later, when Clinton was in the Senate, she’d turned around and voted for changes Warren opposed. Lydon quoted what Warren had said at the time: "If she can’t take the heat, who can?" Later, Lydon asked Warren if she thought she could withstand the same pressures Hillary had sometimes caved to, or whether she’d just join the old boy’s club of the Senate.

"Oh, I think there’s a real question about what people run for," [Warren] replied. She added that she got into the race to uphold her principles, "not because this was a great career move for me." The implication was that other politicians, including Clinton, were in it for themselves. It was a pretty harsh dig at a Democrat admired by many in Massachusetts, whether or not Warren meant it to be.

Alec MacGillis' profile from last month touched on similar themes, arguing that Warren launched her campaign guided by "the Aaron Sorkin–esque notion that, if a candidate laid out the facts and made her argument with conviction, voters would see the light." Then there's the problem of her pedigree:

Warren is no carpetbagger—the Oklahoma native moved to Cambridge in 1995—but she lacks the same fluency in the state’s cultural preoccupations. She "doesn’t know that Ben Downing, the state senator from the Berkshires’ dad used to be the D.A. and he died of a heart attack shoveling snow," says [former Democratic president of the Boston City Council] DiCara. "You can get briefed all you want, but it’s tough to understand that stuff."