I've known Elizabeth Warren (the newly minted Massachusetts senate candidate) on a slightly-more-than-casual basis for 30-odd years now. We've had our differences--still do, strictly speaking--but basically, I like her: I think she is smart, funny, well informed and mostly on the side of the angels. If I were registered in Massachusetts, I'm sure I'd vote for her in a heartbeat, even against the not-nearly-awful-as-some-of-them Scott Brown. The moreso as I see the kind of silliness (though highly predictable) that she is encountering in her campaign. Start with the assertion that she is (as the Fiscal Times puts it, perhaps reporting) "a liberal academic from Cambridge whose Harvard ties put her out of touch with working families..." Ha! I suspect you can't find anybody on the Harvard faculty whose middle-class, even populist, bona fides are better than Elizabeth's. Indeed ironically, that's the real beef with her: she idealizes, romanticizes this hypothetical "middle class" of honest, hard-working Americans, in no way the authors of their own misfortune: there's a streak in Elizabeth (sometimes well-obscured) that is positively Teapartian.
You can see all this in her personal story as well. Elizabeth wasn't born with a big "H" tattooed on her forehead: she has scratched her way up the whole distance (Wiki has particulars). She went to law school at (gasp!) Rutgers (from whence the great Alan Axelrod, now deceased, spoke proudly of her as one of his best students). The path from Newark to Cambridge was a long slog.
If being a Friend of the People is suspect, Fiscal Times lobs another one past her: "she isn't anti-bank." Or worse, that she has allies in the banking cabal: the quote comes in an E-mail from Rich Levin, who heads the restructuring practice at Cravath, Swain & Moore. She's going to have to live with the curse of a Levin endorsement, I suppose--but the irony here is that I can't think of any big-firm bankruptcy bigfoot (and I know a few) who is more detached, more you-should-pardon-the-expression professorial than Rich. Back when he was a tad, he was one of the scrivener-drafters of our present Bankruptcy Code and he's always approached the subject with a spirit of detached inquiry that approaches the unseemly in a practicing lawyer. If Rich thinks that she "isn't anti-bank," it's not just that he's ring-fencing his clients, Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised to find that Rich's clients would wish that he'd ring-fence them a little more.
The final item worth noting at the moment is a video "ricocheting around the Internet," (so says the FT ) in which Elizabeth declares that “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.” Boyoboy. Like I've said too often, I have my differences with Elizabeth but I can't think of any sentence (two sentences) that I'd sign on to so unreservedly. Short tall, rich poor, freckled plain, we are the sum of a gazillion choices and accidents, the tip of a pyramid over which we have almost no control. One of the great human vices is to forget where you came from. One of the great virtues is to dance with the one who brung you. If this were an exam, then on both these issues, Elizabeth would get an A plus.