It’s not quite as good as getting the keynote slot, which will instead go to San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, but for Republicans, it’s pretty darned close to perfect. Democrats gave Elizabeth Warren the prime-time slot just before Bill Clinton will officially nominate Barack Obama to be the party’s candidate in the November election, which means she may get even more viewers and attention than Castro in the keynote position. National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar wonders what Democrats are thinking:
She’s clearly a hit with the Democratic base, as demonstrated by her record fundraising numbers and rock-star appeal with liberals. But fundraising and base enthusiasm don’t necessarily translate into political support. She’s locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., but polls show about one-quarter of Obama supporters in Massachusetts are supporting Brown — the highest cross-over total seen in any competitive Senate race this cycle. Many of the defectors are working-class Democrats who don’t naturally connect with her personally. As one senior Democratic strategist put it to me, she’s struggling among the Democrats who are liberal, but don’t know it.Democrats publicly are confident about using the convention to cast Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat, and believe Warren’s background advocating for consumers makes her an ideal prosecutor. But it’s worth remembering that Obama’s biggest recent campaign blunder was when he downplayed the individual efforts of entrepreneurs, in ad-libbed remarks in Roanoke, Virginia. It was his watered down version of Warren’s view of the free market, remarks that went viral last year.In a best-case scenario for Democrats, Warren could emerge as a hit among the Wal-Mart moms, that oft-cited demographic that could be decisive in a close election. In a worst-case scenario, sounding too hard-edged could risk a Democratic version of Pat Buchanan’s infamous 1992 convention speech, where he argued there was “a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America.” It was a hit in certain conservative circles, but a total flop with the average voter.
What are the odds that she’ll go on another “you businessmen are barely-tolerated parasites on the body proletariat” rant on prime-time TV? That’s probably a long shot; she’s already trying to backpedal from her angry tirade, as the Boston Herald reports. Now she’s claiming to be the Savior of Wall Street:
“Every now and again, I meet with someone who’s been very successful on Wall Street, who says, ‘I want to support your campaign because I believe you will save capitalism. I believe in capitalism, and I understand there have to be rules. And they have to be consistently enforced,’ ” Warren told the National Journal.
“She certainly has a high opinion of herself,” chortled Republican strategist Rob Gray, adding, “It’s not one that most people who started their business from the ground up would agree with.”
“Nice try, but to make it sound as though government is business-friendly is laughable,” snarked Fran Wendel-boe, a New Hampshire Republican operative who noted that voters nationwide have bristled at Obama and Warren’s claims that business owners can’t succeed without government help.
“Obviously she’s trying to turn it around, but I don’t think voters or small businesses are going to buy that,” Wendelboe said. “She opened a door she shouldn’t have opened.”
You know who else ran as a Savior of Wall Street? Barack Obama, in 2008. How did that work out for Wall Street? Based on their pattern of support in 2012, one would have to conclude that Obama is a bad investment. The two main purveyors of class-warfare rhetoric in the Democratic Party aren’t going to be able to sell themselves as the Defenders of Capitalism after their footsie-playing with the Occupy movement. Don’t forget that Warren claimed credit for providing the “intellectual foundation” for the Occupy movement, when she thought that she could benefit from the association.
Expect Warren to spin a lot of sweetness and light toward Wall Street and entrepreneurs in her prime-time speech at the DNCC, but don’t expect anyone to buy it. This angry rant from Warren and Obama have already shown what lies beneath the mask, as well as her embrace of Occupy nihilism in the streets:
Maybe they can play this music behind her during the speech, too ….