Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is Elizabeth Warren the Left’s Chris Christie?

Based on the number of hits it’s getting, and the rave reviews it’s receiving in the liberal blogosphere, the viral Elizabeth Warren video (on which I commented here) reminds David Weigel of the videos that made Chris Christie a rock star to the Republican base:
“Previously, all I'd say about Elizabeth Warren was that Republicans were too glib in comparing her to Martha Coakley. I'd revise that: Not only is Warren better on the stump than Coakley, she's starting to star in viral videos of the Chris Christie style. On liberal news sites, this one's racking up thousands of Facebook shares and likes -- not Christie territory yet, but promising.”
I don’t doubt that the Warren video is getting a lot of hits and warming a lot of liberal hearts. But note the difference between it and the Christie videos. Warren’s shown preaching to a liberal choir crowded into someone’s living room—probably for a neighborhood fundraiser. She’s not persuading anyone of anything they don’t already believe. Her performance excited the people in the room because it provided, and still provides demoralized liberals watching it on the Internet, with an occasion for affirming their ideological identity.

The viral videos that endeared Christie to conservatives usually show him in a public forum delighting a lot of people who probably aren’t even registered Republicans, much less straight-laced right-wingers, by dressing down some obnoxious public employee with a swollen sense of entitlement. Here's an example.

Conservatives love this sort of thing because they're seeing a guy who they’d like to think sounds a little like them in the shower actually winning blue-state hearts and minds.

If hearing Warren tell it like they think it is gives liberals high hopes for her Senate candidacy it can only be because they're presuming that someone who sounds so right to them must sound right to most of the good voters of Massachusetts, a very substantial majority of whom aren't self-identified liberals. Maybe that’s so. Yet you can’t help remembering that Obama excited, and disappointed, substantially the same hope over the last couple of years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Christie breaks out of the conservative bubble. Warren doesn't know that there is a liberal bubble to break out of.