Elizabeth Warren has stepped in it with her boast that she created the Occupy Wall Street movement:
“I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do,” she says. “I support what they do.”
Warren’s boast was an overstatement much akin to Al Gore’s claim of credit for the internet, but even worse because aligning so specifically with OWS is an implicit endorsement of all the ills of the movement. Remember, while Massachusetts is a liberal state, it also is home to some of the largest financial services companies and money managers, including Fidelity, Eaton Vance, Mass Mutual, and Putnam.
So Warren’s campaign started to walk back the claim:
In an interview Tuesday with a local reporter published in Mother Jones, she downplayed her earlier claim of credit. “I had a long conversation with someone about the Occupy Wall Street movement. I said, I think, I’ve been protesting Wall Street for a very long time.” She added, “There’s not a question of is there enough credit to go around…So I am glad that that conversation is going forward and that it’s going forward in an organic way.”
Having walked back the claim, Warren is walking it forward once again, trying to associate with idea but not the reality of OWS:
Elizabeth was making the point that she has been protesting Wall Street’s practices and policies for years — and working to change them. Wall Street’s tricks brought our economy to the edge of collapse and there hasn’t been any real accountability. She understands why people are so angry and why they are taking their fight to the street. She has said repeatedly everyone has to abide by the law. Elizabeth is working for change a different way, to take this fight to the United States Senate.
Associating so closely with OWS is the first big mistake Warren has made, as she thereby associates herself with all the images of the protests plastered all over the Boston press.
And she gives the GOP the opportunity to run ads like this one: