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July 31 2012

Which Elizabeth Warren Will Address the Democratic Convention?

Charlotte Hays

This Just In: Elizabeth Warren won’t deliver the keynote at the Democratic convention, but she has nevertheless snagged a top-billed slot: she’ll speak immediately before former President Bill Clinton formally nominates President Obama.

Warren, you might recall, once claimed to have laid the intellectual foundations for Occupy Wall Street and test drove the “You didn’t build that” rhetoric before President Obama used it in Roanoke, Va., with such disastrous results. Warren represents the left end of the Democratic spectrum, though she will possibly be balanced that night by the presence of Bill Clinton, on whose record President Obama appears to be running.

Josh Kraushaar of the National Journal points out that Warren is a risky choice:

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 Walmart 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.

Democrats believe Republicans are waging a war against the middle class and have embraced hard-edged rhetoric to make that point.  They would be wise to remember, though, that rhetoric that appeals to the base doesn't always resonate in the middle.

Just asking: Do Democrats really believe that Republicans are “waging a war” against the middle class or is that just incendiary speechifying designed to turn the middle class against Republicans? Not sure which side of my question this comes down on, but the other day I heard a Democrat talking about the need “invest” in the middle class. Maybe they think any group that hasn’t had a massive bailout is under siege?

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air puts the odds that Warren will go on one of her anti-business rants low. She is attempting to reinvent herself as the “savior of Wall Street.” Hillary Chabot of the Boston Herald reports amusingly on the SOWS aspect of Warren’s persona:

Elizabeth Warren’s new claim that Wall Street execs are behind her because they believe she’ll “save capitalism” had conservatives rolling in the aisles yesterday, saying the outlandish line is as bad as President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” gaffe.

The Democratic Senate challenger, already under fire for her own remark that “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” made her claim that she is a business champion in an interview with the National Journal published Sunday.

“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.

So I guess that question is which Elizabeth Warren will address the Democratic convention—the OWS (Occupy Wall Street) fan Elizabeth or the SOWS Elizabeth? Or maybe Fauxcohontas Elizabeth?  

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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