By Othor Cain,
Editor,Warren addresses audience at JSU while CNN’s Jake Tapper looks on. PHOTO COURTESY OF CNN
Looking for that perfect comeback?
That’s what Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been doing since her botched handling of claims of Native American heritage. She has watched other senators that are 2020 presidential hopefuls zoom past her in their quest to take on President Donald Trump next November.
Warren might have found her mojo.
At a CNN-sponsored town hall event held on the campus of Jackson State University, Monday, Warren delivered a very strong performance. Her strength in the policy arena was on full display as she told heart wrenching stories of her childhood struggles.
Jake Tapper, Chief Washington Correspondent for CNN, host of The Lead with Jake Tapper and host of CNNs Sunday morning public/political affairs program State of the Union, served as the moderator for the town hall. During one exchange with Tapper, Warren became very emotional as she shared her early childhood struggles.
Tapper: You talk about how your family stood at the brink of financial disaster through a good part of your childhood. How has that shaped your life in the Senate?
Warren: I’ll tell you about that. I have three older brothers. They all went off and joined the military. That was their ticket to America’s middle class. I was the late-in-life baby. My mother used to call me the “surprise” and about the time I was in middle school, my daddy had a heart attack and it was serious. Thought he was going to die. The church neighbors brought covered dishes. It was a scary time. He survived but he couldn’t go back to work. We lost our family station wagon and at night I would hear my parents talk and that’s where I learned words like mortgage and foreclosure and I remember the day that I walked into my parents’ bedroom and laying out on the bed is the dress. And some people here will know the dress. It’s the one that only comes out for weddings, funerals and graduations and my mother is in her slip and in her stocking feet and she’s pacing back and forth and she’s crying. She is saying “we will not lose this house. We will not lose this house.” She was 50 years old. She had never worked outside the home. She was truly terrified. And I watched her while she finally just pulled it together, put that dress on, put on her high heels and blew her nose and walked to the Sears and got a minimum wage job, and that minimum wage job saved our house, but more importantly, it saved our family.
This exchange with Tapper gave America a clearer perspective of who Warren is as a person and not just a candidate. It offered a glimpse into her heart.
For more than an hour, Warren hit on issues ranging from the future of health care in America to her plan to break up tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and reparations.
Warren launched her presidential campaign early but has struggled to break through in the initial round of primary polling. She used the national stage to show off the energetic stage presence and affecting personal story that have become a hallmark of her presence on the stump.
Warren said Monday she believes Mississippi should adopt a new state flag without the Confederate battle emblem.
“Mississippi’s the only state in the country that still has the confederate battle emblem on the state flag – do you think Mississippi should adopt a new flag?” Tapper asked.
Warren replied with one word – “Yes” – and was met with loud applause from the crowd.
A question from an audience member went deeper.
“As a presidential hopeful, do you have any plans on addressing the removal, or lack there of, of the reminders of this nation’s dark past, or have any plans on preserving the nation’s history in a way that explains it in a more educational sense versus showing praise to the losing side?”
Warren said she would “support removing Confederate celebrations from federal land and putting them in museums, where they belong.”
Warren found her momentum.
See related story page 16.