Daniel Doherty
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Contrary to rumors circulating that U.S. Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren might deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention this year, she will instead accept a less prestigious, but still critically important primetime speaking assignment.

Elizabeth Warren will not deliver the keynote speech at this year’s Democratic National Convention, but instead will speak immediately before former President Bill Clinton on what party officials hope will be an energetic penultimate night.

Warren and Clinton will speak in primetime on Wednesday, Sept. 5, and form a one-two punch aimed at crystallizing the choice between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney in the general election, the Obama campaign said.

The Massachusetts Senate candidate will contrast the president’s economic plan with Romney’s, and outline the impact it will have on middle-class families across the country.

“At the president’s side, Elizabeth Warren helped level the playing field for all Americans and put in place safeguards to ensure that everyone, from Wall Street to Main Street, play by the same set of rules,” said Stephanie Cutter, a deputy Obama campaign manager.

Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles, added in a statement that Warren “is a leader committed to rebuilding the economy from the middle class out, instead of focusing on the top-down economics of the past.”

Perhaps one reason Team Obama ultimately decided not to offer her the top speaking slot is because she has a singular tendency to draw unadulterated criticism to herself. In fact, Professor Warren recently asserted -- believe it or not -- that Wall Street executives are lining up to support her senatorial campaign simply because they trust she can, ahem, “save capitalism,” or something.

Elizabeth Warren’s new claim that Wall Street execs are behind her because they believe she’ll “save capitalism” had conservatives rolling in the aisles yesterday, saying the outlandish line is as bad as President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” gaffe.

The Democratic Senate challenger, already under fire for her own remark that “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” made her claim that she is a business champion in an interview with the National Journal published Sunday.

“Every now and again, I meet with someone who’s been very successful on Wall Street, who says, ‘I want to support your campaign because I believe you will save capitalism. I believe in capitalism, and I understand there have to be rules. And they have to be consistently enforced,’?” Warren told the National Journal.

“She certainly has a high opinion of herself,” chortled Republican strategist Rob Gray, adding, “It’s not one that most people who started their business from the ground up would agree with.”

In fairness, she later walked back her comments, conceding they were “over the top” and “silly.” But her latest miscue comes only a few months after (a) accusations surfaced that she had lied about her ethnic heritage in order to advance her academic career and (b) President Obama channeled her now-famous “nobody got rich on his own” tirade into an ostensible attack on free enterprise. In any case, Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) has benefitted enormously from the Warren/Obama controversy, in part by releasing a damning campaign spot which subsequently became the most-watched political advertisement on the web last weekend:

Was this latest kerfuffle by Professor Warren a factor in the decision about who would deliver the keynote address? There’s no way to be sure. Still, there’s no question that Professor Warren’s role at the convention will boost her profile and burnish her progressive credentials. But whether it will give her enough momentum to unseat a moderate, well-liked incumbent Senator from a state overwhelming comprised of independent voters is a question we’ll not be able to answer for at least another four months.

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Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography