Warren Cursed by the Bambino

In today's election news, a candidate for the World's Most Deliberative Body is facing an earth-shattering scandal because she said "2008" when she should have said "2007," demonstrating to all that she is utterly incapable of representing the interests of ordinary people. As the normally even-tempered Taegan Goddard indignantly described it, "Elizabeth Warren (D) and the rest of the Democratic field for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts couldn't answer a simple question about the Boston Red Sox at a forum yesterday. Apparently, they learned nothing from Martha Coakley's (D) defeat two years ago..." Witness the horror:


Yes, that's right: Warren quickly answered that the Sox won the Series in 2004 and 2008, but the actual answer is...2004 and 2007! Holy cow! What a Massachusetts-hating elitist snob! ABC News political editor Rick Klein tweeted, "If Scott Brown wins a full term, this clip will be the opening anecdote on how."

Cheese and frickin' crackers, as Mitt Romney might say. What was the point of this exercise? Well, for some reason, the moderators of this forum thought it would be worthwhile to conduct a Jeopardy-style quiz of the candidates:

Wayland state Representative Tom Conroy impressed the crowd by being able to identify the location of the town of Florida.

But Elizabeth Warren won a big one as three candidates whiffed on the highest point in Massachusetts. Warren correctly identified Mount Greylock.

Conroy scored a victory over Warren when he identified Lowell as the fourth largest city in the state, which she and others got wrong.

Only Jim King, however, knew that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007. All four other candidates guessed wrongly, drawing jeers and sighs from the crowd of about 300.

Warren correctly answered Portuguese as the third most spoken language in the state, ending the round.

I don't think anyone in Massachusetts could in good conscience vote for someone who is unable to identify both the state's fourth-largest city and its third most commonly spoken language. I mean, what are we supposed to do, send someone to the Senate who doesn't have a command of all master of state-related trivia? The answer is clearly to amend the Constitution so 12-year-old winners of the state geography bee can become senators.

Reporters, I beg you: If you're going to discuss this "gaffe" and others like it, do your audience a service and explain why this is supposed to matter. And I don't mean just by saying, "This reminds people of when Martha Coakley called Curt Schilling a Yankee fan, damaging her candidacy." I mean explain specifically what exactly misremembering the Sox series victories as 2004 and 2008 instead of 2004 and 2007 tells us about the kind of senator Elizabeth Warren would be. Does it mean that despite all the other evidence to the contrary, she really doesn't care about ordinary people and will upon taking office immediately introduce legislation to make the purchase of brandy snifters and riding crops tax-deductible? Then what?

I'm sure you didn't become a reporter so that you could ensure that campaigns would be as trivial and uninformative as possible. So try to show it.


Elizabeth Warren will make a great senator. I'm pretty sure of this from both personal experience (having taken an excellent class with her), and from her policies and campaign so far.

That said, I am a lifelong Sox fan, and I do think it matters that she doesn't know when the Sox last won the World Series. It shows that, while she is an MA resident, she hasn't been plugged into the community here. People loudly celebrated in the streets in 2007, just a few miles from her home and work, but I don't think Warren ever really followed what was happening in her "home" state. This is important because senators should be not only good senators from a national policy perspective, but people who understand and represent the interests of their home state constituents.

I think this is worse than Coakley calling Schilling a Yankee fan. That was a terribly stupid statement, but nobody can really question that Coakley had longstanding ties to our state and our politics. Nor can anyone credibly say that Scott Brown doesn't understand Massachusetts. But I can certainly say that about Warren, who has had no involvement in any state or local politics, so it matters to me when she doesn't know basic facts about the Sox.

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