Saturday, June 2, is the Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Elizabeth Warren and Marisa DeFranco each need to obtain 15% of the vote at the convention to be on the September 6 primary ballot.
There is a move afoot to keep DeFranco off the ballot to clear the path for Warren, but will Democrats run the risk of having Warren as their sole candidate when there are questions swirling around Warren’s claim to be a minority, woman of color, and Cherokee?
What records are out there which may drop a month or two from now? Harvard has not released any of its files, which certainly must exist, both as to the recruiting of Warren and also how it came to be that she was listed as Native American on federal filings.
Warren has treated DeFranco the way Warren has treated her Cherokee scandal, ignoring her and pretending she doesn’t exist. Via Boston Herald:
This is a volatile issue, as rank-and-file Democrats are pushing back against a Warren campaign push — through surrogates like former Gov. Michael Dukakis — to keep DeFranco under 15%. As reported by The Boston Globe:
But Warren’s advisers and some seasoned political hands say she will have a difficult time blocking Marisa DeFranco, a North Shore immigration lawyer, from getting the 15 percent of delegate votes she needs to qualify for the primary ballot. Since the 15-percent requirement was put in place in 1982, no leading Democratic candidate has eliminated an opponent by getting more than 85 percent of the delegate vote at a convention….
But former governor Michael S. Dukakis, who rarely speaks out on internal political matters in the state party, said he is making the case to convention delegates that it is important to avoid a primary fight by giving Warren enough of a margin to end DeFranco’s challenge.
Holly Robichaud at The Boston Herald, obviously no fan of Warren, thinks DeFranco could hurt Warren:
Although Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren is their anointed candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, state Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh is predicting that Marisa DeFranco, a Boston immigration lawyer with a mere 1200 Facebook friends, is going to get 15 percent of the delegates, allowing her to be on the September ballot. That means Sitting Duck Warren will have to face a primary.
This is contrary to the strategy deployed last fall when Democratic challengers such as Mayor Setti Warren and Alan Khazei had a mysterious change of heart and thus quickly dropped out of the race. Khazei has to be kicking himself around the block for quitting the race so early and clearly missing the Native American bundler in his opposition research.
It’s hard to imagine, on May 28, that DeFranco could beat Warren, but if Warren cannot clear up the mysteries, DeFranco may be just the type of person to make the case against Warren being a phony:
DeFranco, 41, is unabashedly liberal and unapologetic about her reputation for feistiness.
“I’m opinionated, I’m a wisenheimer, I make smart aleck remarks,” she said during a recent interview in the small, nondescript office suite that serves as her campaign headquarters.
Her campaign, DeFranco said, eschews the traditional political wisdom that comes from consultants whom she could not afford to hire even if she wanted to, including advice on how women should run for office.
“They’re always trying to make women exactly right, not too soft, not too tough, just right — Goldilocks — and then you end up an empty shell,” she said. “Because if you are not true to who you are, and true to your personality, it’s going to come through as fake.”
Elizabeth Warren’s sense of entitlement will hurt her no matter what the outcome of the convention. If Warren’s supporters knock DeFranco out at the convention, there will be howls that the fix was in; if Warren doesn’t knock DeFranco out, Warren will face someone unwilling to be quiet.
In the end, delegates at the convention have to wonder, are we willing to hitch the entire election to Elizabeth Warren this early in the process, when there are so many unanswered questions.