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?
There are plenty of establishment-sanctioned Super PACs at work in this year’s Senate and Congressional races—the Democratic Majority PAC, the Republican Club for Growth Action and American Crossroads.
BRISTOL, Pa.—It was just four years ago that the Democratic Party began its comeback in what now seems like another country. The economic collapse was not in anyone's imagination, but the nation's political mood was sour. A substantial majority was fed up with George W. Bush, weary of the Iraq War and ready to vote for Democratic congressional candidates who pledged themselves to "a new direction," a nebulous but useful slogan. Democratic constituencies were united as never before.
IT WAS A cold night in December, and Patrick Murphy was standing in the back room of a downtown Philadelphia bar. As usual, he was telling war stories. It had been nearly two years since Murphy returned from Iraq, where he served as a JAG officer in the 82nd Airborne, but the memories of his time there were still fresh, and, as he mingled about the room, he shared them with many of those he met. He told of leading convoys through a section of Baghdad called “Ambush Alley” and of prosecuting cases before Iraq’s Central Criminal Court. “When I was in Iraq,” Murphy would almost invariably say at