Quick: How familiar are you with Elizabeth Warren's upbringing?

John Carroll notes what he calls the "chin-strokerati" coverage of the nascent US Senate race by the Globe and other media outlets - they're only writing for other in-the-knowers, not the majority of us. For example, the Globe's constant references to the "now familiar" story of Warren's childhood in Okalahoma:

Ask ten people in the 351 cities and towns of Massachusetts about Elizabeth Warren and 1) 98% won’t know who she is; 2) 99.99% won't know the first thing about her.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

Overly

Sure, we can assume gross and total ignorance by MA voters. After all, in major election times with over a year of campaign coverage, quite a few of us say we had no idea who is running or when the election is.

Yet in a case like this, you'd have to hide from all TV (including FOX and The Daily Show) news/commentary, newspapers and magazines, internet coverage, radio, mailers to home and on and on. Locally and nationally, all sides have covered her and her story. Even in its small way, my own elite-hick angle got an absurd amount of splash.

I'm deeply into politics, so I went to listening-tour appearances and such with her. I'm sure I'm more familiar than some, but as my mother used to say when she was frustrated with ignorance or stupidity, "For crying out loud in a bucket!"

Not familiar? Really?

get out more often...

...at least to the places that you really normally would not want to hang out in. Insane as it might sound, not everyone surfs the net with wild abandon. Not everyone reads all the junk mail they receive that comes to their door. And many people consider themselves to "not be political" and therefore pay NO attention to news and just focus on the copious streams of sports, entertainment and who shot who coverage that exists out there. They read foodie magazines and maybe volunteer at their church. But at the end of the day they just do not pay attention to politics.

I'm not saying I think it's good or I agree with it, but I know people like this. They do not know Elizabeth Warren. Her story, her values her origins (she was bit by a radioactive spider) -- none of it. What percentage of the population is like that? Dunno. But I'm hoping it's less than 98% ferchrissakes.

My father is a LIV

Low Information Voter. He'll say something newsworthy to me a week after I already knew about it from lurking the net, after he picked it up from print or cable news finally covering it.

He knows who E. Warren is, although he might not know he childhood. He's much more ecstatic about her than he was about Coakley, and I can't blame him.

That said, yes, the globe and herald are our own little beltway inside 128. Budget cuts haven't been nice to what they can cover, at the same time they've staked out a pen in their walled of city on a hill. Hence you have them thinking Coakley was even remotely a viable candidate in a midterm like, special election.

Actually, I first heard about

Actually, I first heard about Elizabeth Warren about six months ago when some people I know in Palmer asked me about her. So, you know, maybe the truth lies not in the extremes but somewhere in between.

Right after "Mind of Mencia"

This is where I first saw Warren:
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-15-2009/elizabeth-warren-pt--2

I think I had heard her name mentioned or read about her prior to this, but it was like names in Russian novels - just bleep over them and move on. It's interesting to go back to 2009 and see what she is talking about and Stewart's reaction to her. I'm not the conspiracy sort, but I would say that appearance was the beginning of the organized electoral campaign for her. It's also quite interesting to hear her say the next 6 months or so (from April 2009) will be decisive as to where we are going in regards to deregulation of the market and entering boom-bust cycles again.

Sadly, we are the 1%

An informed electorate, we are not. Sure, I can tell you she grew up in Oklahoma in a 1-income family. Then her dad lost his job to a disability and mom had to go to work to feed the family. Her 3 brothers went into the military and she made it out to college. I could tell you all that because I'm interested in politics and part of her political identity has been to tell her story of her middle-class upbringing to connect to more people in the state.

But most of the electorate isn't so well-informed. They don't seek out the candidates' information or stances on issues. They vote by party primarily and unless they're given some media-induced reason to switch loyalty for any given race, they'll never even know what they were voting for.

It's why I wish Warren had run as an outsider while claiming that neither party had our interests at heart (like a Bernie Sanders)...and yet, I completely acknowledge that doing so wouldn't have gotten her elected here in MA. The money funnels as the money funnels and money = power on almost a 1-to-1 scale these days...I think it'll be a long time before we ever see a valid third-party candidacy unless we reform our corporate personhood and campaign finance regulations.

But with that aside, I know that most people probably don't really know Elizabeth Warren besides the name and the likely Brown v Warren race that will commence next year. These are people who voted for Brown because he shook hands at Fenway, drove a truck, and wore an outdoorsman jacket. They don't care about the big picture and they don't care about the details. It's amazing they care enough to fall on the ballot machine hard enough to have their vote counted.

This is why she has a new ad

She introduces herself straight off because a lot is going to be projected on her as the campaign progresses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE_wj6NHdEQ

She did go straight to college - at age 16 - and then she dropped out, married and had kids while finishing her degree(!)and then worked her way through.

I think Brown made a huge mistake tossing his lot in with Karl Rove, BTW. The guy won because he had a weak opponent, and he hasn't really represented Massachusetts in his quest to get his radical insane party to support him - and now he is getting used to gin up the base while likely pissing off his electorate. Rove embodies all that people hate about politics, and his greasy hateful scaremongering is going to backfire with all but the "base".