Tim Pierce/FlickrLast fall, when many Democrats still hoped that the Occupy Wall Street movement would become a left-wing Tea Party, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren seemed to be the politician best positioned to benefit from the support they could generate. Like the protesters, the Harvard Law professor was advocating for middle and working class Americans against Wall Street and the powers-that-be. When the movement was at its height, she openly sided with the thousands of people camping out and waving signs in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park and on downtown plazas in other cities across the country. “I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do,” Warren told the Daily Beast in October 2011. Warren continues to sound the same themes on the campaign trail. In late August, during a visit to Ramalho’s West End Gym, a landmark boxing club in working-class Lowell, the slim, 63-year-old Warren said, “I’ve never put on the gloves, but I’ve been fighting all my life… The reason I’m in this race is because working families… have been hammered for a generation now. That game is working for those who’ve got lots of power.”But something has happened to the courtship between the consumer advocate and the populist movement. Since she began campaigning in earnest this past spring, Warren has scrupulously avoided mentioning Occupy Wall Street. And for their part, the remnants of the movement have become estranged from the candidate who embodies their values as much as any mainstream politician can. What happened to this once promising relationship?
Twelve hours a day for several weeks now, supporters of Tim Burns, the GOP's candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's Twelfth district, have staffed a call center in a mostly-vacant office building in downtown Washington, PA. Bundles of phone cables hang from the ceiling, and the walls are decorated with navy “Tim Burns for Congress” signs and an American flag.