Warren finds refuge in the present tense, as Hillary’s weaknesses are exposed by her disastrous book rollout.
I told you so. Elizabeth Warren’s repeated supposed refusals to run for President always were framed in the present tense: I am not running for President.
That, of course, technically was correct. I don’t think anyone of note “is” running for President yet, but many are seriously considering it and likely will run.
Nothing makes Warren’s word games more clear than her interview with (my law school classmate) Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post:
The Massachusetts Democrat insists that she’s not running for president, and there’s little reason to doubt her — although, interestingly, Warren sticks doggedly to the present tense to describe her intentions.
I asked Warren about this phrasing the other afternoon over iced tea mixed with lemonade at a restaurant near her Capitol Hill office. In these precincts, senator sightings are commonplace but, even here, Warren enjoys celebrity status; the manager promptly presented Warren with a copy of her memoir, “A Fighting Chance,” to sign.
Why not simply declare that she will not run for president in 2016? “I am not running for president in 2016,” Warren responded. Yes, I pressed, but why not say, I am not running and I will not run?
“Because we can’t get so deeply involved in the politics of 2016 that we miss the importance of the issues in front of us today in July of 2014 and the 2014 election,” Warren replied, jumping slightly ahead of the calendar. “It is absolutely crucial to stay focused right now on this set of issues and that’s what I’m doing.”
Hmmm. “The point is not to try to create any ambiguity,” Warren added. “I am not running. I think I am being definitive.”
Considering how badly Hillary’s book rollout and interviews have gone, Hillary’s weaknesses as a candidate have been exposed, again.
The narrative of Hillary beating up on a child rape victim and laughing about it also doesn’t help.
If I were Elizabeth Warren, I’d stick to the present tense, too. Until it’s no longer needed.
When I ask about what she made of Clinton’s book-tour comment about being “dead broke” on leaving the White House, Warren paused for a full 19 seconds.
“Um, I was surprised,” she finally said. “But, families across this country are working so hard to hold together,” she added, veering into an unrelated disquisition about young people falling behind their parents and the false promise of trickle-down economics.
As to “Hard Choices,” Warren said, “I have the book. I just got it and I’m looking forward to reading it. I will be on an airplane tomorrow, and I will start.”
(Featured Image: New Republic Cover)