Monthly Archives: June 2016

What Warren did, and didn’t, say to Rachel Maddow

The interview with Rachel Maddow in which Elizabeth Warren chose to publicly endorse Hillary Clinton is worth reading carefully, in its entirety. Unlike most of the punditocracy and many Democrats, Warren said the extended primary was good for the party, and she gave Bernie credit for bringing in new voters and moving the discussion in a progressive direction; for example, she essentially gave Bernie credit for Obama’s statement that we should be looking for ways to expand social security (which is a reversal of where the discussion was five years ago).

But even more importantly, Warren did not say she was “getting behind” Hillary. She said “I am ready to get in this fight and work my heart out for Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States and to make sure thatDonald Trump never gets any place close to the White House.” Warren did not say Hillary is the most qualified or most experienced. She said Hillary is “a fighter, she’s out there, she’s tough. And I think this is what we need. Look at who she is. For 25 years, she’s been taking the incomings, right? The right wing has thrown everything they possibly can at her. . . . What she’s done is she gets back up and she gets back in the fight. As a Democrat, one of the things that frustrates me the most is there are a lot of times we just don’t get in the fight. We ask pretty please if we can have things or we make the argument for why it is the best thing to do, and then wait patiently for the other side to agree to come along. We negotiate. We start our opening position by negotiating. . . . I get the reason that you should be willing to negotiate sometimes. But you also ought to be willing to throw a punch. And there are a lot of things that people say about Hillary Clinton. But nobody says that she doesn’t know how to throw a punch.” This is praise and encouragement, but also politically pointed; it is the opposite of acquiescing to more of the same.

Sometimes the boldest action is to choose one’s words very carefully, and speak them from the heart.