The Nation: Elizabeth Warren

THE NATION (November 7, 2012) E J Graff:

Excerpt for educational and discussion purposes, the complete article may be read at

Now Elizabeth Warren is going to Washington as the senator of the left. After Michael Dukakis, Deval Patrick and John Kerry lined up to introduce her, to escalating off-the-chart roars from the delirious crowd, the future senator herself came out. “You go, girl!” someone yelled, and she laughed so hard she could barely stand. “This victory belongs to you!” she said, beaming like a sun. “Let me be clear: I didn’t build that—YOU built that!” The cheering slashed through my eardrums. From the stage, she called out, “For every family that has been chipped at, squeezed, and hammered, we are going to fight for a level playing field, and we are going to put people back to work. To all the small-business owners who are tired of a system rigged against them, we are going to hold the big guys accountable. To all the seniors who deserve to retire with the security they earned, we’re going to make sure your Medicare and Social Security benefits are protected, and that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes. And to all the young people, to all the young people who did everything right and are drowning in debt, we’re going to invest in you. To all of the service members and your families who fought so hard for us, we’re going to fight for you.”

“We love you!” someone cried out.

“I love you!” she cried back.

“And to all the women across Massachusetts—“ They cut her off. They screamed and whistled and whooped for nearly a minute: she’s never said it, but she knows, and we know, perfectly well that she is the first woman stodgy Massachusetts has ever elected to the Senate. “To all the women in Massachusetts who are working your tails off, you better believe we are going to fight for equal pay for equal work.”

You’ve heard her credo. You’ve seen her ruthlessly interrogate Timothy Geithner, the banker’s champion. She has the charm to work with anyone, the ability to negotiate the small things, and the relentless ferocity to push through the large things. She may be a junior senator, but there’s no doubt that she will help energize and rally the newly expanded progressive caucus—yo, Tammy Baldwin! She’ll attract and inspire talented staff who’ve been dying to actually do something in Washington, pulling for a genuinely progressive tax code, for regulations that restrain rapacity and keep consumers in mind, for investment in education and infrastructure, for women and LGBT folks and service members and retired people.

There was more. At one point, she sounded like she was going to cry. She promised never to forget all the stories she had heard on the trail, and promised: “I won’t just be your senator. I will always be your champion!”


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