Saw my political idol Sen. Elizabeth Warren in person for the first time this evening, since she was holding a town hall (her thirty-second, she said) at a time and place which made it impossible for me not to succumb to vulgar curiosity. And I’m very glad we went — even the Spousal Unit, who is far less of a political animal than I am, was impressed and heartened by her performance. She must be a wonderful teacher; she kept her audience of 500-600 continually engaged, responded to every question asked with relevant information, and never lost sight of the larger arc. Pretty good turnout for a Wednesday evening in August, too!
First Sen. Warren spoke for about 40 minutes; then there were half a dozen questioners, chosen by lottery ticket. The questions covered a fair sample of the current Big Topics; student debt (she’s *very* invested in taking the profit sector out of student loans, of course), the rapidly increasing cost of prescription drugs (she explicitly used the word corruption several times in that response).
Another older lady asked how she could ‘not despair about Roe v. Wade’; Sen. Warren led us through the fight to save the ACA right after Trump’s inauguration (‘I have that image seared on the back of my eyeballs — whenever I think about giving up, I remember seeing him there, and that re-energizes me’), pointing out how collective action by individuals made *just* enough of a difference to peal away three Repubs and save “our” healthcare, and stressing that the only way to keep Brent Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court is to commit the same level of sustained effort before the GOP can gavel him through.
Then came the inevitable True Progressive (I was kinda surprised we only got the one TP, but this is not a chic hipster town, yet). He spent rather more time than any of the previous questioners took in total to explain his impeccable credentials (‘Early supporter — wrote you so many checks!’) before sharing his laundry list of complaints. She congratulated Scott Brown when he was appointed ambassador to New Zealand! She called Mitch McConnell ‘my colleague’! Worst of all, she wasn’t On The Front Lines, calling for IMPEACHMENT NOW!…. How could “we” ever trust her again, after such behavior!?!
And Warren handled him impeccably. She said she was happier to have Scotty in New Zealand than in New England, and then she led us through the steps necessary for impeachment: It’s the House that has to take a vote in favor; only then can the Senate proceed. But, she stressed, the first step is to allow Robert Mueller to complete a full, thorough, and fair investigation; calling for impeachment before investigation is not a wise path for either Democrats *or* Republicans just yet!
(That got the second-biggest round of applause for the evening.)
The final question was from a middle-school teacher, who said that ‘even her students’ wanted to know what they could do, right now. Senator Warren handled this wisely, too — she reiterated that we all need to be registering voters, holding signs, knocking on doors, sharing information & listening ‘even with people who might not agree with us on everything.’ That mini-speech drew a standing ovation.
Afterwards, it had been arranged for anyone who wanted to take a selfie with the Senator… but I’d estimate there were almost a hundred people lining up for their chance by the time we left the auditorium, and I’m actually quite shy in person, so you’ll have to take my word.