You don’t find tonnage the size of Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s description of Elizabeth Warren among people who work in the news media: “It’s embarrassing,” a Democratic insider said in reaction to Warren’s assertion that congressional Democrats have chosen between Hillary Clinton and Warren for a 2016 White House run.
Though Warren’s comment, which came Monday evening at a breakfast on Capitol Hill sponsored by US News & World Report, was all wrong, it got a ton of attention:
Elizabeth Warren: Wannabe Dem frontrunner doesn’t see potential rivals in Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. https://t.co/u9OUXxbS8h pic.twitter.com/hDsWdrv9Q6 — Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) September 28, 2015
Here’s why Warren’s statement struck us as unobjectionable: It was just an attention-seeking political statement.
We are in an environment in which political candidates typically play to the “in-group” and eschew or downplay the presence of potential opponents. The Democrats’ Democratic presidential candidate debate, for example, was decided by the usual of-the-moment media narrative instead of asking how any one person might perform in a global political environment in which leaders are coming and going all the time and a large portion of American politics – be it presidential or congressional – is dominated by the outrageous and the unpredictable. We saw that in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.
We can’t be sure when the Clintons and Warren reached out, but they have always maintained that trust with the media and that perspective shouldn’t change despite what some in the media might see as Warren’s value as the primary challenger against the Clinton machine.