The Danger of Deifying Elizabeth Warren

What Women Really Think
Nov. 21 2011 1:18 PM

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Our Savior

Elizabeth Warren on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

The headline for last week's New York Magazine profile of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren calls her "A Saint with Sharp Elbows." The headline for this week's New York Times Magazine profile of Warren goes even further with the deification: "Heaven Is a Place Called Elizabeth Warren." Steve Kornacki at Salon (admitting this thought exercise is absurd) goes so far as to wonder whether or not Warren will run for President in 2016. This is only six months after Kornacki said that he wasn't sure if Warren could even win the Massachussets primary, let alone the senate seat (in fact, Kornacki urged her not to run).

Though the beatification of Warren isn't necessarily gendered—remember the halos around Obama back in 2008?—it's definitely over the top when you consider the fact that Warren has never held an elected office before. Rebecca Traister acknowledges this at the end of the Times Magazine piece:


Now, with labor protests, campaigns to block voter suppression and personhood measures and the occupations of cities around the nation, there seem to be some small signs that liberals are remembering that politics requires more of them, that they need movements, not just messiahs.

Elizabeth Warren is an exciting presence in the Democratic party. But she won't save our souls.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.



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