Elizabeth Warren just held her largest rally so far — and there are 20,000 selfies to prove it

Elizabeth Warren just held her largest rally so far — and there are 20,000 selfies to prove it
Elizabeth Warren image via YouTube Screengrab

Once upon a time I worked with a down-and-out college football team with a historically bad record. The university hired an assistant coach from a more successful program, and this newly minted head coach set about to turn the ship around. Each day he talked about how important it was to “do the work,” telling fans and his players to keep their heads down, put aside the distractions, do the work, and “keep sawing wood.” In a few short seasons, that coach and those players sawed so much wood that they won the Orange Bowl.

Over the past year Elizabeth Warren has overcome a somewhat sluggish start to her campaign, and man, has she been sawing wood. She’s kept her head down, putting in the work, doing her homework, building a large, qualified staff, releasing one progressive plan after another, making the connections, building the alliances, and meeting voters where they are, one by one. Literally personally meeting damn near every voter along the way in her now-famous selfie lines. And that work is paying off in a big way. Last night in New York City, she drew an estimated 20,000 to her largest campaign rally to date.

Warren used the event to highlight her anti-corruption plan, calling Donald Trump “corruption in the flesh,” before pivoting to labor rights. Warren cited the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, in which 145 workers died in what was the largest industrial disaster in New York City’s history. The workers were mostly immigrant women working in sweatshop conditions. Warren cited the work of social activist Frances Perkins, who witnessed the fire and organized labor movements in the wake of the tragedy, eventually becoming President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secretary of labor and one of the architects of the New Deal legislation. Warren focused on the similarity between the corruption of today and the factory owners in 1911 buying off their elected officials, who then turned a blind eye to the squalid, unsafe conditions for workers while the owners turned massive profits.

Speaking of Frances Perkins, Warren said, "What did one woman—one very persistent woman—backed up by millions of people across this country get done? Big structural change. Social Security. Unemployment insurance. Abolition of child labor. Minimum wage. The right to join a union. And even the very existence of the weekend! That’s big, structural change! One woman, and millions of people to back her up."

The speech touched on a variety of progressive themes, and, frankly, it was her best speech yet. You can see her full comments at the rally in the video below. But, as high-energy as that speech was, Warren took that momentum and did something extraordinary, sticking around for selfie photos with rally-goers for hours afterward. New York Times national politics reporter Astead Herndon put it in perspective.

In fact, Warren stuck around for four hours. And if you think she reached the end of the line and simply walked off exhausted from the long day, you don’t know Elizabeth Warren. Her staff and remaining supporters capped off the last selfie with a rousing “Dream big, fight hard!” chant.

Asked where she finds her stamina, Warren said, “The energy of our grassroots supporters keeps me going.”

Folks, that’s what “sawing wood” looks like. Doing the work one big idea, one plan, and one voter at a time. Needless to say, Twitter and other social media networks were flooded with happy Warren supporters and their photos with the candidate.

Warren was introduced by Prism fellow Maurice Mitchell, who has recently published numerous articles cross-posted here at Daily Kos. Mitchell was also a featured speaker at the Daily Kos caucus at this year’s Netroots Nation. Here’s Warren doing a pre-speech hug and dance with staff as her introductory music, Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” began playing to the large crowd. Mitchell comes offstage to a warm Warren embrace before she jogs out to center stage.

As promised, here’s the video of her full speech. Enjoy!

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