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Will Mass Dems risk clearing field for Elizabeth Warren at convention Saturday?

Will Mass Dems risk clearing field for Elizabeth Warren at convention Saturday?

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.


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DeFranco sounds EXACTLY like the kind of person Warren would like to face LEAST in a dark alley…

or on a debate rostrum.


DINORightMarie | May 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

I wonder why the Democrats don’t like DeFranco, and favor Warren so much? Is it that Warren is openly socialist? Her Ivy League creds? Her connections?

DeFranco, in my opinion, has a better chance of beating Brown. And, she is honest in her leftism (unlike Brown) which is appealing to many these days (honesty is hard to come by in either Party).

You gotta wonder about the “leadership” in BOTH parties…..what are they thinking?!

    stevewhitemd in reply to DINORightMarie. | May 29, 2012 at 10:28 am

    DINO, it’s for the same reason that Prof. Warren was able to take advantage of affirmative action.

    Ms. Warren is one of them. One of the ‘in’ crowd. She’s a made person, to use mob language (which strangely may be appropriate). She’s an insider.

    Ms. DeFranco, for all her hard work, is not an insider, at least not for this race. Now if Ms. DeFranco shut up, backed down, and worked as a career civil servant, elected official and loyal Democrat for 30 years, she might get her Martha Coakley moment. Some other time. But not this time, because this time was set aside for Ms. Warren.

    Prof. Warren has carried water for the Democrats. She’s fought for ‘consumer protection’ which led successfully to the creation of yet another large federal bureaucracy. When she couldn’t gain the nomination to run her creation, something had to be done — why not make her a Senator? That will stick to those evil Rethuglicans who wouldn’t let her be First Consumer Advocate.

    That is why the path was cleared. That is why even Vicki Kennedy stepped aside. Prof. Warren had the pedigree, had generated all the right political favors, and had done great deeds to further the democratic-socialist cause.

    She was due.

    That’s the mind-set. That’s why she could check off the ‘NA’ box — she was due. That’s why she could climb over other deserving candidates for the Penn and Harvard jobs — she was due. That’s why she elbowed people out of the way for the Senate nomination — she was due.

    What has DeFranco done other than serve the public in her own elected office? Is she due?

    Ms. Warren is the modern political patrician. Ms. DeFranco is the modern plebeian. Surely we can see how this is supposed to go.

Massachusetts has been a single-party state for ‘way, ‘way too long. When the party even considers running a candidate who has been exposed as being on-the-take for their entire public life, it means that the party itself is putting the wishes of its members ahead of the best interests and wishes of the voters.

There are such things as “yellow dog democrats.” But when the Democratic party runs yellow dogs for high public office, then there is an opportunity for another party to step in.

It will be interesting to see if the Democrats have it in them to go “Tea Party” on their own masters, i.e. challenge the orthodoxy of their masters, cleanse the system. I can just hear Warren begging them to stick with her in that whiney tone that’s now part of her persona. I don’t know the answer, but if Massachusetts Democrats crack, can the rest of the party be far behind? I’ll bet it won’t be far behind. DeFranco’s a classic big government, tax and spend Democrat, but it would be lovely to see Warren, one of their “chosen,” squirm under attacks from within. Perhaps, if she goes down, Kerry will too (see below). Could this be the beginning of a return to substantive issue politics? Well, perhaps that’s too optimistic but it may be a start.

Here’s part of my LI post from May 24:

“It would be more interesting to know if Democrat voters would be willing to throw Warren overboard in favor of an apparently, similarly down-the-line Democrat such as Marisa DeFranco in their primary on September 6. None of the Democratic mouthpieces – not the Globe, not the NYT, not PBS, nor any others in the pack – will say anything to upset the chances of the anointed Warren from being upset in the primary, for fear of retaliation. That Massachusetts Democrats might have a viable, honest (as much as is known) alternative to the conniving Warren is information they’ll have to learn somewhere else, if at all, on their own. DeFranco’s biggest obstacle may well be her party’s apparatchiks, operatives, and sycophants.

“That Scott Brown, Republican, must appeal to Massachusetts voters isn’t nearly as troubling as Bob “The-Carpetbagger” Kerry being able to run for the senate from Nebraska. The problem is that the system has become so corrupt that insiders can, and will, deprive voters access to viable alternatives to themselves. That Warren’s probably a two-bit liar and Kerry’s had nothing to do with Nebraska, 1,500 miles and as different as the dark side of the moon from where he’s lived for the past decade, are obstacles easily overcome by manipulation and strong arming. “

casualobserver | May 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Even though DeFranco wasn’t hand picked by the power structure, she isn’t that far off from the modern progressive movement that has taken over what was once more generally a liberal (classical sense) party. In some ways, she may even be more progressive than Warren in her ideology. Both aren’t likely to find a regulation or law or government role inappropriate or excessive. All problems, and I mean every last one, are best solved by law and government power in their minds.

For all but the most “pure” conservatives across the country surely Brown would be the better choice, on average, to be in the Senate in order to maintain some balance against progressives. But as Warren has become tainted by showing her ineptitude and sometimes pity-inducing weak tone, DeFranco could be a better contender as the next “fresh blood” for independents/unenrolled types in MA who are really liberal, just less progressive. So I wonder what the purists on the GOP or conservative side are really wishing for….

Kerrvillian | May 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I predict that the Dems will risk the defeat of Warren rather than run an honest person instead.

The reason is because Warren is a true acolyte of the cult. If she were to win she would continue to be a loyal party-line voter for so long as she holds the seat and would give it up when a groomed successor needs it.

The Dems are still smarting from the trouncing Lieberman gave them. Letting someone who does their own thinking get into the Senate is dangerous to their ambitions.

    Owego in reply to Kerrvillian. | May 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I’ll take the bet. She’s been tongue tied and hapless, the issue hasn’t died (thanks, Professor), her posturing is consistent and has disclosed consistent stonewalling and duplicity in every organization it has touched for a generation back. It has left “the party” nowhere to go. So, here’s my prediction: The line will be ‘Of course we’ll have a primary, it has always been planned, nothing to see here.’ “The party” will stand back and let them duke it out, neither supporting Warren (openly) nor opposing DeFranco. If Warren wins, everyone’s happy, DeFranco gets to fall on her sword, do some fundraising, a little flag waving. If DeFranco wins, the full weight of the Beltway Machine falls on Brown (it will, anyway), DeFranco gets to make her own case in the election with strict instructions for behavior and cue cards from the Beltway gang.

    I also agree with Casualobserver . . . be careful what we wish for. Whaddaya think, Professor, don’t back off Warren, or try to make sure she survives to the general in November?

I also believe that Warren was too smart to not know that she was 31 times more white than Native American. She’s too smart to not know that the designation could help her career, while taking pressure off Harvard Law to hire a real minority. But she was not so liberal that she cared.

I love the term, “Sitting Duck,” by Holly Robichaud at The Boston Herald. Seems to me that this should be a slam dunk but unfortunately not in “Kennedy Land.”

I think that in the end, Scott Brown will still have his work cut out for him…

You know, it’s a shame how they ran Bob Massie out of the race last fall…he would have been a great candidate. But that’s all in the past now.

Marisa DeFranco had the tenacity and guts to stay in the race when she was no doubt getting a lot of pressure from the MA Democratic Party to “step out of the way”. Maybe that’s why they failed to implement their vetting protocol (there is a standard vetting questionnaire, right? Right???) – they were so busy running the competition off the road that they couldn’t be bothered to run a background check on their precious Elizabeth.

Thank goodness DeFranco is stubborn and wouldn’t listen!

The Democrats need to keep their options open at this point; they are lucky that DeFranco has held on and stayed in the race.