Sunday, May 3, 2015

Warrenting the 2016 Democratic Nomination For President

She says no.

"Invoking Warren can work wonders; Online marketers of all stripes use senator’s name, image to advantage" by Annie Linskey, Globe Staff  March 30, 2015

The Massachusetts Democrat’s online marketing power is so strong that even her foes want her as a pitch woman. Put her image on Facebook and it can generate hundreds of thousands of shares. A simple e-mail from her with the subject line “I’m sorry” once yielded more than $430,000.

In the parlance of online marketing, Elizabeth Warren generates clicks. She doesn’t just boost e-commerce, she creates it. 

Political economy that makes numbers look good and yet provides the people with nothing!


As the political world prepares for the 2016 elections and Democrats attempt to regain control of the Senate, her image has become even more ubiquitous. Even though she is just a freshman in the tradition-bound chamber, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is plastering news websites with fund-raising ads using her face.

She's a player now.

Political news sites like Politico and the Huffington Post frequently prominently feature headlines about Warren, no matter how minor or incremental her statements. Stoking the flames is persistent buzz about a possible presidential candidacy — which Warren consistently denies, but without quite tamping down unequivocally.

I think she knows it won't go anywhere. Maybe she needs a push.

Why is Warren such a powerful online draw? Supporters cite her “authenticity.” They also note that Warren occupies a laptop liberal space on the Internet carved out by Howard Dean and Barack Obama before her and fueled by annual meetings like Netroots Nation, a gathering of progressive online activists.

Can they get a drink of water in Detroit yet (if they managed to keep their homes?).

Warren’s office declined to comment. Interviews with staff at many of the outside groups that use her image to generate attention — both her friends and enemies — revealed the same theme: Warren is Internet catnip.


Early last week, at a time when Warren wasn’t doing anything pro-actively to generate news, 30 percent more people were talking about her on Facebook than Jeb Bush, who is exploring a presidential bid, according to data provided by Facebook. She has been in 32,000 news stories in the last 90 days, according to Cision, a company that tracks news.

Last year she was among the top 10 most-searched politicians on Google. Hillary Rodham Clinton didn’t even make the list.

Top Republican groups have also raised money, using warnings that Warren is out to wreck the economy.

“A lot of our supporters view her as potentially dangerous for America,” said Colin Reed, executive director of America Rising, a Republican opposition research super PAC. “Elizabeth Warren is the titular head of the democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”

Wow! With a sitting president and all.

Reed’s group assigned a tracker to shadow Warren this month who asked her questions as she went from her office to various committee hearings. Footage was circulated online and, like most things Warren, generated a raft of tweets and quick-hit news items.

In late October, blasted an e-mail to its membership from Warren. She urged readers to “fight the right wing billionaires.” Warren asked for only $3 from each reader. The e-mail yielded four times more cash than the typical online fund-raising pitch from the time period.

I gue$$ left wing billionaires are okay.

The haul was particularly noteworthy because the message went out during the frenetic last 10 days of the 2014 midterm election, a time when Democrats saw their in-boxes inundated with pleas for money. The yield was slightly above par for Warren. A message from her typically causes e-mail lists to generate two to three times more money than usual, according to one Democratic operative familiar with her fund-raising.

And they still got clobbered?

In 2012, MoveOn noticed that the Warren appeal went beyond her own campaign. One of the most effective ways to raise money for other Democrats in 2012 was to deploy her name first in an e-mail, and then mention the other candidate as a secondary message.

“She had coattails as a first-time Senate candidate,” Wikler said.

Liberal groups that have little or no connection to Warren use her name and image in a quest for clicks, said Mark Provost, a self-described “meme maker” for a progressive group called US Uncut, calling her “gold.”

More of a progre$$ive.


Not every e-mail with Warren’s name is a break-out success. Warren’s digital team in 2012 concocted a contest where the winner would fly out to Los Angeles and spend time with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and John Krasinski.


The mingling of celebrity and politics -- with a CARBON FOOTPRINT that is of NO CONCERN! I mean, they are nice guys with some good movies, but....

The staff was so confident in the message, they never tested it on small segments of the list like they usually did. It was a dud, raising only $30,000 from a list that would typically yield $100,000.

But, the misses are far less frequent than the hits.

“Elizabeth Warren makes it rain money, I just stand next to her and hold the bucket and try to collect as much of it as possible,” said Lauren Miller, Warren’s onine guru, during a 2013 panel appearance at Netroots Nation. In 2012, Warren raised $42 million, nearly half of it on-line, Miller said.

There is your solution to wealth inequality, right? 

Believe what you want about her, the Globe, the $y$tem, but I can no longer take the mixed me$$ages.

Ironically, one of the top performing e-mails in Warren’s history apologized for the constant barrage of e-mail requests seeking money, and then asked for money.

You don't have to; I check delete for the whole page and never open them. Who reads e-mail anymore?

Warren’s staff tested the message by sending it to a smaller portion of the list who hadn’t given any money to her campaign.

“At the very least, if they unsubscribe, oh well, who cares, they weren’t giving to us anyway,” explained Miller. But, within the first 20 minutes the campaign raised $50,000.

But they do care about you and are looking out for you.

“We couldn’t believe what was happening,” Miller said. “So obviously we sent the e-mail out to the rest of the list.”

I can't believe what I'm reading.

Over $430,000 raised from that single message, she said.

There is money out there! Wow!


On to Iowa:

"Iowa is on the front line of the draft-Warren movement, a $1.25 million effort funded by the liberal groups and Democracy for America, which have chosen the country’s first caucus state as a cornerstone for their push. The shadow campaign’s greatest challenge is Warren herself. She has repeatedly stated that she will not mount a White House bid, so these supporters are left to prove they are anything more than a doting fan club of wishful thinkers."

I know one.

On to N.H.!

"Two Democratic lawmakers are seeking details of the Federal Reserve’s probe of a leak of market-sensitive information about interest-rate policy. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland said the central bank’s investigation focuses on a 2012 leak after closed-door deliberations of policy makers, citing news reports. The security of market-moving information has become a concern for federal officials. Possible leaks of data led the Labor and Commerce departments as well as the Fed to impose tighter procedures for distributing information early to reporters. According to the lawmakers, details of Federal Open Market Committee discussions in September 2012 showed up in a newsletter that circulates among traders on Oct. 3, 2012, a day before the Fed released its September meeting minutes. That could have given some traders an unfair advantage. In September 2013, the Fed said it was concerned about suspiciously heavy trading of gold futures after a meeting of its policy-making body, possibly triggered by a premature release of information. News organizations that get information early must agree to withhold the data until the time set for its release." 

If I remember correctly it was all leaked to Goldman Sachs and such so they could profit. Obviously not that big a concern based on Globe coverage. 

Need to maintain the boost in funds:

"Supporters in Western Mass. want Warren to wait for presidential run" by Jim O’Sullivan, Globe Staff  February 19, 2015


NORTHAMPTON — At the Bluebonnet Diner in Northampton, Jennifer Allen, who works for a nonprofit here, exhorted Elizabeth Warren to “yell louder” her gospel that Wall Street has benefited at the expense of the middle and working classes. She called herself an “unapologetic liberal” and Warren a “hero.”

But even she doesn’t want Warren to run for president next year.

“I think she could win in the future,” Allen said. “Her best role right now would be to turn Hillary into more of a progressive.”

Looks like Bernie is going to do that.

Indeed, Clinton allies worry that Warren could exert such a leftward pull on Clinton that she is yanked out of the national political mainstream. The two women met at Clinton’s home late last year, a sitdown first reported this week by The New York Times.

During a visit to a fire station here, Warren said she had not modulated her populist message at all in her meeting with Clinton. “It was a policy discussion, and I’m never shy about my point of view on the issue of working families,” Warren said. “Never.”

Asked if she felt she had to coach Clinton on progressive issues, Warren replied, “That’s not the point. The point is: I talk about the things that I’ve been working on for my entire career.”

Asked whether she were concerned about the hundreds of millions from Wall Street and foreign countries that have reportedly poured into the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic group former president Bill Clinton founded in 2001, Warren replied, “I’m always worried about the influence of Wall Street on the political process.”

The pre$$ is playing that up a bit while at the same time minimizing it.

A Clinton spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

After meeting with students at Greenfield Community College, where she touted her proposal to reduce student-loan interest rates, Warren told reporters that she was still undecided about whether Boston should host the Summer Olympics in 2024....

She was in town, and the next four paragraphs are on what she thinks of the elite Olympic party coming here.

Pressed by a reporter, she also weighed in on the controversial planned address to Congress next month by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Warren visited last year during her first overseas trip as a senator....

Warren accused John Boehner of using Netanyahu’s visit as a political weapon against Democrats, saying, “I agree with the Anti-Defamation League that the Netanyahu speech should be postponed.”

Look, I can't say I'm not disappointed that she toes the Zionist line. She's just part of the $how now.

The annual three-county swing brought Warren through one of her strongest areas of Massachusetts. And there were at least some supporters eager to see her run for president.

At the Bluebonnet Diner, she slid into a booth to clutch hands with a diminutive elderly woman, and hushed the man across the table when he hinted at her White House prospects.

“Now, now, watch your mouth,” Warren joked.

!!!!!!!!!! I'm not finding the elite condescension funny. Must be her time at Harvard.

And at her Springfield office, more than one Warren admirer thought 2016 would, indeed, be the right time....

Keep pushing.


RelatedElizabeth Warren’s man in New Hampshire

Doesn't look very happy about it, does she?

I suppose she knows it's a gamble, but the moment to run is now. It would be a surprise and a credible threat to Clinton.

"Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren hold private talks; 2016 presumed front-runner sought meeting" by Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin, New York Times  February 18, 2015

NEW YORK — Hillary Rodham Clinton held a private, one-on-one meeting with Senator Elizabeth Warren in December at Clinton’s Washington home, a move by the Democrats’ leading contender in 2016 to cultivate the increasingly influential senator and leader of the party’s economic populist movement.

The two met at Whitehaven, the Clintons’ Northwest Washington home, without aides and at Clinton’s invitation.

Clinton solicited policy ideas and suggestions from Warren, according to a Democrat briefed on the meeting, who called it “cordial and productive.”


The conversation occurred at a moment when Warren’s clout has become increasingly evident after the November election.

Dems got pummeled!

Warren has repeatedly said she is not running for president, and she has taken no steps that would indicate otherwise. Still, she is intent on pushing a robust populist agenda, and her confidants have suggested that she will use her Senate perch during the 2016 campaign to nudge Clinton to embrace her major causes: addressing income inequality and curtailing the power of large financial institutions.

Taking her at her word, and.....

Elizabeth Warren joins calls to tighten investment broker rules

No audit of Fed though! So much for curtailing their power.

The get-together represented a step toward relationship-building for two women who do not know each other well. And for Clinton, it was a signal that she would prefer Warren’s counsel delivered in person, as a friendly insider, rather than on national television or in opinion articles.

For Warren, the meeting offered the opportunity to make clear what she believes are the most pressing national issues.

That Clinton reached out to Warren suggests that she is aware of how much the debate over economic issues has shifted recently.


She is casting a shadow on Hillary just as Kennedy is casting a shadow on her.

"Can Elizabeth Warren be the new Ted Kennedy?" by Joan Vennochi, Globe Columnist  February 28, 2015

SENATOR ELIZABETH Warren knows what it takes to go viral — just turn left.

A confrontation with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will do it. So will a sly comment on MSNBC, that she’s still waiting to see how progressive Hillary Clinton will be as a presidential candidate.

From the Massachusetts perspective, Warren represents the Ted Kennedy wing of the Democratic party. It’s a fitting ascension, since Warren holds the seat Kennedy held for 46 years.

But now, what about Kennedy’s ability to move the left and right to center, where compromise happens? The upcoming opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, with its emphasis on bipartisanship, is a reminder of just how important that was to the senator and his legacy.

Warren is her own woman and deserves to carve out her own path. These are also different times, and Congress is in a different place than when Kennedy could play the dual roles as liberal lion and great compromiser on contentious issues.

Besides, as a fresh, powerful voice, with no Kennedy-like baggage, Warren occupies a far different political space than her ideological soul mate.

Liberal groups are begging her to run for president. With their blessing comes the power to confront fellow Democrats and move them to where she wants them to be.

In that spirit, she scuttled the nomination of Wall Street banker Antonio Weiss as President Obama’s Treasury Department pick. Now, as Politico reports, the president is “wooing” the Warren branch of the party with an anti-Wall Street pitch.

She’s a definite media darling. After her showdown with Yellen over the conduct of the Fed’s top lawyer, the Washington Post exulted, “Elizabeth Warren went full Elizabeth Warren.”

In a recent interview with Yahoo News, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said of his colleague from Massachusetts, “We’ve become friends. I think she would like to have a relationship with me like Kennedy had. I like her. I think she’s a very bright woman. She’s certainly playing the media in a beautiful way.” Asked if he believes Warren can attract left-wing support and still be a compromiser, Hatch said, “We’ll see . . . I’d like to see her become the new Kennedy if she can.”

Can she — and is that what she even wants to be?

Kennedy embraced compromise once he realized he would never become president. After that dream died, he set upon another mission: to become the leading voice on progressive causes, but also, to reach out and get something done. It gave Massachusetts unique representation in Washington.

Warren is unique in other ways. After a brief fling with Republican Senator Scott Brown, Massachusetts voters returned to their liberal senses and in 2012, elected Warren. She immediately filled the progressive vacuum left by Kennedy’s death. Her arrival in the Senate coincided with a time of national economic turmoil, giving her populist message special resonance across the county. Her intelligence and fearlessness also set her apart, and she quickly rocketed to national prominence.

So now, like Kennedy, Warren has established herself as a strong, partisan leader, with a national voice. But she has yet to grab hold of the deal-making piece of Kennedy’s mantle.

Asked for examples of bipartisan out-reach, her office sent a long list that included work with Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska on a budget amendment that passed to help fund fishing disaster relief; an act to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, introduced with two Republican  Senators — Bob Corker of Tennessee and David Vitter of Louisiana; the Truth in Settlements Act, to increase transparency around settlement reached by federal enforcement agencies, co-sponsored with Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma; proposed legislation with Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida to strengthen financial protections for veterans; and the Smart Savings Act to improve the retirement security of federal employees, filed with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and co-sponsored by Republican Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming.

Although not as high on the sexy meter as Kennedy causes like immigration and health and education reform, they are certainly worthy issues that may someday produce results.

But that goal is especially daunting in these partisan times. It will be even more challenging over the next two years, when it’s all about presidential politics and what goes viral.


Ready for a breakfast buffet?

"Groans outpace guffaws at St. Patrick’s Day breakfast" by David Scharfenberg and Joshua Miller, Globe Staff  March 15, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden’s phoned-in appearance at the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston Sunday was a bit long. It was not terribly funny. And his ode to Irish heritage was more maudlin than moving.

After one attempted — but failed — interruption by the host, state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and some awkward silences, the vice president finally yielded to US Representative Stephen F. Lynch.

“I just hope he didn’t call collect — holy cow, holy cow,” cracked Lynch, a South Boston Democrat. “That was painful!”

And so, order was restored at a storied, but often cringe-inducing event that briefly detoured into the lively and historic last year when Dorcena Forry, a Haitian-American woman, assumed hosting duties at a roast long dominated by Irish-American men.

This year, the host retained her spark, but those she introduced mostly hewed to the breakfast’s history: jokes proudly delivered and poorly received, interspersed with occasional laugh-out-loud humor.

Sunday’s notable first came not at the breakfast, but at the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade that followed, with organizers allowing two organizations representing gay men and lesbians to take part after years of court battles and recriminations.


Amid the often flat attempts at humor, a few of the speakers, riffing on Boston’s Olympic bid and the failures of the storm-ravaged MBTA, managed to elicit guffaws from the hundreds dining on sausage and eggs at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. 

That's why they want an expansion; so they can have a nice place to party.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who got more laughs than most, took a shot at an erstwhile political rival.

“Since the last time I was here, I’ve really focused on the economy. There are a lot of people out there who have entirely given up on looking for work,” Warren said, pausing for a moment. “But enough about Scott Brown.”

Brown lost his 2012 tilt with Warren and then another US Senate election — this one in New Hampshire — last fall.

The line drew sustained laughter from the Democratic-leaning crowd, as did her dig at a former governor and presidential candidate. “This winter has been so brutal that Mitt Romney left his money here and he went to the Cayman Islands,” Warren said.

The winter theme was a constant.


Mayor Martin J. Walsh spoofed his many snow-related news conferences in a video that included Star Wars jokes (“We have reports of a young Jedi gone missing on ice planet Hoth,” he announced from the podium) and a nod to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (“We’re on to the next storm,” Walsh snapped at an aggressive reporter, in an echo of Belichick’s dismissive “We’re on to Cincinnati” line after a disastrous loss last season).

Yeah, never mind the unplowed streets or complaints that were accidentally deleted.

Near the start of the breakfast, Governor Charlie Baker appeared in a video with Dorcena Forry, waiting for a bus driven by departing MBTA general manager Beverly Scott, who announced her resignation amid the T’s winter woes.

Later he appeared onstage with the sort of law enforcement and emergency personnel that flanked him during storm-related press conferences this winter and delivered a faux weather update: High levels of hot air emanating from the convention center, he said, would lead to significant snow melt along the parade route.

That's for sure.

Several speakers made reference to hefty consulting fees collected by those working on behalf of Boston’s Olympic bid — many of them veterans of former governor Deval Patrick’s political operation.

“Look at all these elected officials here today, all of them,” Dorcena Forry said. “You know they must have thought this is a Boston 2024 job fair.”

Funny, ha-ha.

City Council President Bill Linehan, who filled in as breakfast host while the Senate seat was vacant, declined to yield to Dorcena Forry in the run-up to last year’s event, saying the emcee has “always been someone from South Boston.”

The controversy served as an uncomfortable reminder of the city’s history of racial tensions.

Really, because I've been told the last few days Boston is a model.

And it brought a wave of support for Dorcena Forry, with officials from the governor to the mayor of Boston urging Linehan to yield.

He did, eventually. And when he skipped the breakfast for a trip to Ireland last year, he became the target of the sharpest jokes at the roast.

This time, Linehan appeared, made some gestures at reconciliation, and offered up several jokes. At one point, he held feathers behind his head as he poked fun at Warren’s claims of Native American heritage.

Yeah, THAT KIND of RACISM is OKAY! Even have a football team named Redskins.

Nearly all his gags fell flat.


Always leaves me feeling flat.


"Senators Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, have filed a bill to require the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to publicly record votes on enforcement actions that include $1 million or more in payments. The proposal would also give each governor his or her own staff, as is done at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., so that they would not have to share researchers. The goal is to make governors more independent, the lawmakers said Thursday in a news release."