New Orleans Political autobiographies, like dental visits, are absolutely something to be avoided, and when written by still active politicians, such works have to define egotistical self-serving.
In the case of A Fighting Chance a new book by Elizabeth Warren, now United States Senator from Massachusetts, but still to her core a debate champion from small town Oklahoma, it’s too bad that’s the rule, because there’s virtually no way to read her book without wanting to vote for her and to literally dream of her running for President.
How would anyone not sign up to support a woman so attached to the real world where we all live that she called her father, Daddy, to the day he died; that she can’t believe that in her lifetime she got to be a Senator and, as significantly, got to be blonde; and that she didn’t hesitate to tell Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to “buckle his seatbelt” even while being sped in a heavily armored car from lunch in DC? Reading her book, the only regret in reading her personal story is that her Aunt Bee isn’t still alive, because that woman was a saint who would have been a fantastic Secretary of HHS if we were ever fortunate enough to have Warren leading the way.
Even discounting that her story is designed to appeal, it is refreshing to read about a fighter, not a calculator. Warren is someone who has some issues deeply embedded in her craw and isn’t afraid of anyone, no matter how high and mighty, in saying so and speaking up about it.
I’m biased of course. I have relatives with deep Oklahoma roots, and I worked one summer in the oil fields in the Duncan-Velma area a bit more than an hour south of Oklahoma City. I respect the values, even if I sometimes disagree with the conservative politics. With Warren, we get the values and we get an empathy with the real issues of hard times for lower and middle income families that comes from having lived it herself whether seeing her dad’s car repossessed when he had health issues or deciding to specialize in bankruptcy law because she knew financial trouble hit good people on the wrong side of the citizen wealth line, not scammers trying to game the system. I’ve read several of her earlier books, written with her daughter, which argued dramatically many of the same themes and campaigns ACORN waged and that I wrote about in Citizen Wealth.
If anyone had any doubt that she was a fighter, her book certainly dispels it. She may be part of an exclusive club in the Senate now, but she’s always going to be an outsider, willing to continue to speak truth to power and let the chips fall where they may. She’s clear the game is rigged. Amen. She’s clear that banks are too often cheats and bums, and that’s gospel, too. So, certainly she’s ambitious or she might still be somewhere in Oklahoma or Texas, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone in the White House who was willing to fight for us? Win, lose, or draw?
After reading the book, I dreamed that she asked my son to do her some favors and collect some debts for her here and there. Ridiculous, huh? Dreams are crazy aren’t they? And, given the way Democrats seem to be rolling over for Hilary Clinton to run this time around, it’s probably a dream to wish Warren would stand for the nomination, win, lose, or draw, in order to change the game from simply politics to really people, but, crazy or not, that would give all of us a “fighting chance” for the future.