Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nothing, Nothing on Elizabeth Warren

My little geek purse-like-object had an audio recorder, a camera and my trusty Shirtpocket Briefcase (don't leave your desk without it). I was loaded for quotes and mugshots as I climbed the vertiginous stone stairs at #8 Belmore Terrace in JP for an Elizabeth Warren meet and greet.

Forget it. The bouncer was waiting even before the sign-in table. He reduced me to Sgt. Hans Schultz, seeing nothing, knowing nothing, NOTHING.

The event was free and not a fun-raiser for the everybody knows even though she's not saying candidate-to-be against U.S. Sen. Scott Brown. That would be after she: 1) announces, 2) sets her minions to filling their buckets with checks, and 3) wins the Dem primary.

However the cost was an unusual one for me. The guy who helped organized the JP event, Reuben Kantor, knows me by face and more important as blogger and podcaster. He worked with Doug Rubin in Deval Patrick's campaign and they set me up with interviews as well as slots on Left Ahead's show. They were drivers for Patrick acknowledging the new reality of new media types being press. Kantor is a savvy guy...with too good a memory...

He asked for no quotes from the meeting. That's kind of like expecting the butterfly to crawl back in the chrysalis. Coverage in the Globe here and here and in the Herald cite Rubin and Kyle Sullivan (Patrick's former communications king) as scripting Warren's run-up to running. The articles also quote meet-and-greet attendants.

The events surprised no one, except in the intensity of favorable impression by those in those living rooms. A passionate academic is a true force. Unlike so many wheedling and indecisive, situation-ethics hobbled pols, she knows what she's talking about and what she thinks needs to be done. She can do the rational and emotional, alternating and together. You can see why legislators and lobbyists in D.C. wanted her out of town.

Alas, I have eight index cards with notes and quotes on both sides. They await.

I regret that not because I'd scoop anyone. Folk have already quoted her and limned her strategy and route.

Instead, she's a delight to hear and a quote factory. Each output though is handcrafted and in the classic le mot juste mode.

I felt an affinity and certainly not physically. She is reed-like and distinguished gray while I'm a bald hulk. Instead, I'm a year older and we both started in Oklahoma. She alluded to the birthplace and noted that while she is a tenured Harvard professor who has lived in MA for 17 years, OK origins are rare indeed here. In fact, after over 30 years in Boston, I know I can stop the conversation and see the mouths pop wordlessly open when I say I was born there.

So, Warren has enough country and Southern in her to come with plain speaking and a love of language generally lacking in this pretentiously academic area. I promised not to quote yet and I won't, but I must say that her combination of knowledge, clarity of direction, sense of what is right, and rhetorical skills are astonishing.

Here's hoping for speeches and debates.

PM Update: Her exploratory committee (how thin an edge is that?) has a website. HT to @benpolitico.


Anonymous said...

HA! I just nod and paraphrase...but then again I never get invited to these things.

Elias N.

massmarrier said...

Grumble. She works in the next town over from your Channel Zero shows. Have YOU personally invited her and her hubby to a screening. I bet they have $10 to spare.