Robert Kuttner* catches it, on the day her U.S. exploratory committee launches its website.
There are a lot of naysayers who point out that Warren has never done retail politics, and that Massachusetts voters very seldom elect women statewide. But as these skeptics begin meeting Warren, they become believers.
I will go one step further. She is very likely to run well ahead of President Obama. All of the volunteer enthusiasm of the progressive community that attached to Obama in 2008 will go to Warren in 2012. Those Massachusetts activists so disappointed by Obama will have Warren to work their hearts out for.
I can buy that. She’s a far better retail politician than Martha Coakley was, and the only reason to compare them is that both are women. Warren can lean on a lot of bipartisan/cross-ideological praise, and the Brown campaign’s line so far – that she’s a Harvard elitist from Oklahoma – is a little wan. Massachusetts elected Deval Patrick, Mitt Romney, and William Weld to the governor’s office, two of them twice. None were from Massachusetts originally.
*I originally gave the credit to Harold Meyerson. I renounce the mistake but like that it puts my earlier mix-up of John Lewis and Elijah Cummings in context.