Elizabeth Warren has been on the receiving end of an onslaught of jabs, swipes, missives, think-pieces and general bashing from opponents this past week, the likes of which she hasn’t experienced since she jumped into the presidential race.
But more surprising than the attacks — Warren, having risen to frontrunner status, had those coming — has been her response.
In two words: No comment.
Her surrogates and campaign aides aren’t going on cable TV to defend her — even as her rivals and their aides are constantly on shows bashing her. Warren advisers haven’t taken to Twitter to shape “the conversation.” There’ve been no statements from Warren HQ calling out rivals by name. Even when former Vice President Joe Biden portrayed Warren as an out-of-touch elitist — while he was attending a fundraiser with real estate moguls, offering the corruption-focused Warren a freebie rebuttal — the campaign kept quiet.
The only response of note to the elitist charge was a subtweet the Warren campaign posted Wednesday with a video about her humble upbringing and challenges as a young mother.
The campaign’s refusal to engage this week has baffled rival campaigns and some Democratic strategists. But it’s not an outlier. Internally, communications director Kristen Orthman refers to the approach as “blinders and bulletin board” — as in, put your blinders on to the horserace drama and stick your retorts on a bulletin board rather than tweeting them out. (Orthman has an actual bulletin board on which she also posts critical stories about Warren as a motivation tool.)
“Fighting on Twitter most of the time does not advance our goals,” said one campaign official in explaining Warren’s refusal to follow “The War Room” ethos that political campaigns have hewed to for decades. In short: All attacks must be publicly returned, and then some. [Continue reading…]