, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
This video got me thinking about how the class background of a politician impacts their ability to speak authentically with non-elite Americans. Silver spooners like Romney, McCain, GWB, GHWB, John Kerry, & Al Gore couldn't inhabit this role as authentically as Warren does here.
Despite their different politics, Obama, Bill Clinton, Carter, LBJ, Reagan, and even Bob Dole had personas that were more easily accessible to Americans who have not been socialized into a world of privilege and power. I see that same sensibility in Warren.
This is merely one lens--and maybe not even a very important one--for interpreting what makes someone an effective retail politician. But as a person who grew up middle class in a working class small town, this is an aspect of a candidate that stands out to me.
Harris, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Castro, Biden, & Sanders also appear to me to have that hard-to-pin-down dimension to their personas that Warren has. They spent their formative years not amongst the powerful, but amidst us, "the rabble." And it shows in ways that can't be tutored.
I've got no beef with Beto (scion of a dynastic Texas political family), Booker (child of two IBM executives), or Gillibrand (child of two attorneys); but there's something about their personas that feels different than the ones listed above.
The vast majority of Americans who inhabits this non-elite world of "ordinary people" is a diverse lot--it's multi-racial, multi-denominational (or unchurched), with a huge number of regional variations on the theme (WVA is not Maine is not Texas is not GA or WI).
But what this broad majority of Americans shares are a set of quite concrete, pragmatic concerns that all people born out of privilege and power have--how will I keep my family healthy, how can I find rewarding work, what do I need to live a life of dignity & self-determination.
Richie Rich Trump (and arguably, even JFK a little bit) sold such folks glitz and glamour, an escape from hardship that would be secured by someone who was not like you, a patron from the halls of power who would use that power on your behalf. "Only I can fix it."
But I think there's a progressive, populist appeal to be made to the American electorate in the way that Bill Clinton or Barack Obama made it...while they were were technocratic nerds by night, they were just warm, accessible, humble people by day.
Those intangibles go a long way with folks who don't pay a ton of attention to politics, i.e. the majority of American citizens.
My dad tells me a story of the time Bill Clinton came to my tiny, conservative central PA town in 2008. He spoke for 90 minutes to an enraptured crowd of a few hundred "forgotten men and women" from the porch of the local historical society. Obama won the county 50-48.
Thanks to the Tea Party/Birther/Fox News/Glenn Beck rebellion against Obama, he lost the county in 2012 to Romney 58-40. In 2016 the county went 67-30 for Trump.
My gut tells me that a candidate like Warren, if the voters of that county get a chance to actually encounter her w/o the Fox News filter, might have that same appeal that Obama and Bill Clinton did.
Of course, the Dems might ultimately decide that counties like this one in PA are a lost cause, not worth fighting for. But I think there are many places like it, with class-inflected cultures that resemble it, that can be won back with the right candidate.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Seth Cotlar
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!