We’re all enjoying Elizabeth Warren’s new book, A Fighting Chance and hope you’re either reading it too or will soon. It makes it so clear why we’re progressives and not garden variety partisans on either side of the aisle. We thought we’d share a couple of paragraphs from the book today. We pick it up just at the time we first met her, when she was deciding whether or not to run for the Massachusetts Senate seat then occupied by Wall Street’s favorite– and best funded– senator, Scott Brown. She describes a scene on a Boston subway platform late one night:
A thin young man– really just a kid– in a loose-fitting suit, with a backpack slung over his shoulder, looked at me and smiled. A minute later, he came over. “Are you Elizabeth Warren?”
He was from central Massachusetts, the first in his family to go to college. He was attending school in Boston and he loved it, but he said he worried about money all the time. He worked a full-time job during the school year and took two jobs during the summer to try to cover as much as he could. As we waited for the subway, we talked about student loans, declining government investment in universities, and rising tuition. Finally, he asked me if he could take a picture. Bruce [her husband] snapped the shot on the young man’s phone. The kid smiled and started to walk away, then turned around.
“I give you money every month, and I’m taking on hours so I can give you more.”
I felt as if he’d hit me with a spear right between the ribs. Good Lord– this kind was working until nearly eleven o’clock on a Saturday night and he was sending me money? I smiled weakly and said something along the lines of, “Uh, I’m doing okay in the campaign. Maybe you should keep your money. I’ll be fine. Really.”
He looked back at me. “No, I’m part of this campaign. This is my fight, too.”
And that really was the answer. It wasn’t just my campaign. My name was on the ticket, but these folks weren’t volunteering and donating for me. They were supporting something a lot bigger. When I said that we were better off if we invested in the future together, they already knew it was true– and they lived it. They thought America could do better, and they wanted it every bit as much as I did. And they would do everything possible to try to make that better future a reality.
This is my fight, too It gives me goose bumps.
Last cycle right-wing special interests, particularly Wall Street, made it possible for Scott Brown to spend $35,058,354 on his campaign. Blue America was one of the first groups outside of Massachusetts to endorse and start raising small contributions for Elizabeth Warren. She kept up with Brown and she beat him and in the end she won 56% of the votes. She’s a beacon of inspiration for us today. And she very much reminds me of another woman from New England, Maine’s Shenna Bellows, taking on a popular Republican incumbent.
I wanted to cry when I read Elizabeth’s story about the young man on the subway platform. I want to cry tears of joy in November when Shenna beats Susan Collins and goes to Washington to work with Elizabeth for our people and our values.