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Did Warren’s DNC Speech Live Up to the Hype?

Thursday, September 06, 2012


 Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and 30 Democratic supporters gathered around the bar at Beatnik's on Park Ave. last night to watch Elizabeth Warren deliver her primetime address from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

The campaign-organized event, located just across the street from Warren's Worcester office, marked the candidate's first appearance at the national convention.

The Speech

Warren made the "hardworking people" of the middle class the main subject of her speech, giving a shout-out to the college students of Worcester who are drowning in student debt.

"We know the economy doesn't grow from the top down," Warren said, adding that the members of the middle class are the ones who create jobs and reduce the national debt.

While the Democratic hopeful made nary a mention of her opponent, Republican Senator Scott Brown, she did take several shots at presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

"We don't run this country for corporations," she said. "We run it for people."

Warren's speech began with a brief family history, outlining her modest roots, before diving into the policy agenda that filled most of her airtime.

Toward the end of her address, Warren returned to her upbringing in the Methodist Church and her time as a Sunday School teacher to quote from the Gospel of Matthew.

"We are bound to each other and we are called to act," she said.

"Are you ready to answer this call?"

The Reaction

Following her speech, the answer from those in attendance seemed to be a resounding yes. 

"I thought it was great," said Alida Cantor, a Clark University student.

"It was good to hear somebody telling it like it is and telling the truth and saying some things that really need to be said that we just don't hear very much."

Asked about the importance of a female Democrat from his home state appearing on the national stage, McGovern called the speech "a huge deal" and said he was very proud of Warren's candidacy.

"This is a great opportunity for her to speak not only to the voters of Massachusetts, but to the voters of the nation."

Wike Agunwamba, an engineer and Worcester resident, was undecided before hearing Warren's speech tonight, but, he said, she will have his vote this fall.

"After this I understand her more," he said. 

Experts Weigh In

UMass-Lowell Political Science professor Morgan Marietta said Warren's speech was designed to introduce her personality to a national audience while drawing in women voters to the Democratic party.

Warren focused on females and fairness, referring multiple times to the game being rigged against the middle class and in favor of big business. She also did not pass on the chance to bring up "equal pay for equal work."

"This was designed to counteract the Republican emphasis on women suffering more under the sluggish economy than men, asking women to vote their pocketbooks rather than their gender," Marietta said.

Like former President Bill Clinton who followed her on Wednesday night's bill, emphasized compassion and community as the keys to economic growth.


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