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14 September 2011


Shirley Moskow

Sue, I don't know yet whether I'll vote for Warren, but I think you're being too harsh. She's shown by her actions in Washington that she's a fighter for poor and middle class people. As a progressive, she'd alienate more people than she'd attract if she addressed your issues. I believe that she has to win the confidence of those who vote -- the poor and working poor, unfortunately, do not turn out at the polls in the numbers that they should on election day -- before she can speak more forcefully.


Sue: The dual challenges of using the proper language (not resorting to cliches and hackneyed characterizations) and of enunciating a clearly progressive, yet non-threatening description of the problems and solutions are seldom overcome by a more-or-less conventional candidate. Still, there's hope that she will hone her message as she goes on and that she also becomes a multi-issue candidate, thus able to appeal to many voters for many different reasons.

Sue Katz

Shirley, thanks for the response. I think Obama's seeming sincerity and the power of his speeches brought out a lot of poor and working class voters who felt (unfortunately mistakenly) that at last they were hearing an authentic recognizable voice. Scott Brown's popularity is in large part due to his lack of artifice and his relaxed way of being himself. It's not a "self" that appeals to me, but it sure did appeal to plenty of others. I don't think parroting party-speak is gonna do it for any candidate, let alone one who is a Harvard professor and new to the game.

Sue Katz

Walter, I guess you and Shirley are both right that it is a thin line that politicians need to navigate, but I got no clear impression of her as an individual with special skills/talents to offer - which clearly she is. It was the blandest speech possible. Against a personality like Scott Brown, with an alienated democratic base, that's not going to work.


Hey Sue Katz,

Go easy, Tiger and go listen to her up close and personal. She was inspiring and inspired and she is ready to fight (she is already fighting) just as she has done in the past. (I too was a bit disappointed by the message, for most of the same reasons you state, but she is sharp and progressive and she needs the constituents to work for/with her.) Go see her as soon as you can.

Sue Katz

Shaari, really I was addressing you in this blog because you were the first to raise her potential run for Senate and the first to express admiration. And of course, you have tip-top taste. But if you are involved in the campaign you should raise these points with her or send her to my posting. Who is likely to run around looking behind the public messages of a new candidate? She should be herself in all of her public messages if she doesn't want to put people to sleep (at best) or alienate people who want something real.

Allen Young

My take is rather simple-minded and partisan, which you may not respect. I want a committed Democrat who will fight successfully to defeat Brown, and the nuanced viewpoints of that Democrat are not so important to me if they are not horrible. I have previously commented on the problem with semantics and vocabulary.

Sue Katz

In these times of nasty nasty Republican candidates, I can sure understand your position, dear Allen.


Hey Katz, great post. Words do matter. Let's be honest about this - In American politics "middle class" is code for "White people". Democrats and Republicans have been playing that game as long as I can remember. I suspect the DNCC is keeping a tight rein on her messaging.

Sue Katz

Wot? You actually complimented me on a posting, Kevin? I'm thrilled. You know, I feel so strongly about the whole "we're all middle class" that I never thought about the race undertones, but of course you are right. One aspect of that is convincing white industrial workers that they are "middle class" - separating them from the "others" - and draining the fight from them. Thanks, Kevin.

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