Elizabeth Warren has energized Democrats in Massachusetts during her 2012 Senate race against Republican incumbent Scott Brown, but has also faced many difficulties as a first-time candidate. The race remains very close:
Lydon brought up an anecdote he’d heard: Warren, while she served on the bankruptcy panel during Clinton’s presidency, had known the first lady, Hillary Clinton. Clinton had supported Warren’s work and opposed changes to bankruptcy law. But later, when Clinton was in the Senate, she’d turned around and voted for changes Warren opposed. Lydon quoted what Warren had said at the time: ‘If she can’t take the heat, who can?’ Later, Lydon asked Warren if she thought she could withstand the same pressures Hillary had sometimes caved to, or whether she’d just join the old boy’s club of the Senate. ‘Nobody’s fooled about what I stand for,’ she started to answer. He interrupted: ‘No one was fooled by what Hillary stood for.’ He was trying to raise, in a roundabout way, a concern that Warren’s fans had worried about since the race with Brown had begun: Was it possible to enter politics without being compromised? Warren knew what he was getting at. ‘Oh, I think there’s a real question about what people run for,’ she replied. She added that she got into the race to uphold her principles, ‘not because this was a great career move for me.’ The implication was that other politicians, including Clinton, were in it for themselves. It was a pretty harsh dig at a Democrat admired by many in Massachusetts, whether or not Warren meant it to be. Like Obama on occasion, she was trying to sound self-effacing but ended up being self-aggrandizing.