According to GQ magazine, it is “The Summer of Elizabeth Warren,” so if you’re going to Massachusetts, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. The professor-turned-senator has turned “rock star,” drawing an estimated 15,000 people for a rally in Seattle (although the 12,000 who turned up for her in Minnesota is probably more impressive).
The establishment media is convinced more each day that Warren would run away with the Democratic presidential nomination, were it not for the voice of the patriarchy placing doubts in the heads of middle-aged women that she is not as electable or likeable as some of her rivals. Ironically, Warren’s rise is probably driven as much by her rivals as her own efforts.
Warren’s main problem is still Warren, and she knows it. The GQ profile gushes about her update of traditional rope-line politicking: “Other 2020 hopefuls oblige random requests for selfies with voters, but no one has the casual spontaneity of picture-taking down to a perfectly engineered production the way the Warren campaign does.” Her campaign sells the idea she has time for 42,000 selfies (and counting) because she has rejected big, corporate fundraising.
The truth is closer to the reverse. Team Warren wants those selfies flooding social media to raise her name identification in a crowded field and create the appearance of broad, grassroots support. While the campaign would probably never say it out loud to any but the friendliest journalist, the personal touch implicitly pushes back against the widespread perception that Warren is not particularly likeable. The rally crowds suggest this plan is working better to humanize her than that early campaign video of her drinking beer in her kitchen.
With Warren, it’s all about the planning. That’s not an insult when talking about a presidential campaign, an undertaking that usually requires a lot of planning (unless you are Donald Trump circa 2015). Beyond the mechanics of campaigning, Warren is marketing herself as the woman with a plan for everything, which is a turn-on to Democratic and progressive activists, if not to those who remember how central planners did during the Cold War.