* Warren presents choice: populist Obama or plutocrat
* U.S. Senate candidate trails Scott Brown in Massachusetts
* Warren held fundraiser earlier in the day
By Samuel P. Jacobs
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept 6 Locked in one of the
costliest and most consequential statewide contests in the
country, Elizabeth Warren largely ignored her own campaign
Wednesday night to paint President Barack Obama as a populist up
against a Republican who has sided with plutocrats.
A candidate for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Warren was
chosen by the Democratic Party to appear on national television
at the party's convention to describe what she said were Obama's
efforts to level the playing field for the American middle
Warren criticized Republican challenger Mitt Romney's often
ridiculed statement that "corporations are people."
"No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people," Warren
said. "People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they
get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they
die. And that matters."
A victory over Sen. Scott Brown on Nov. 6 would aid a
Democratic Party that risks losing its majority in the Senate.
It would also provide a symbolic lift for Democrats, returning
to them the seat that was held by liberal stalwart Edward
Kennedy for five decades.
Throughout her campaign, Warren has tried to use Romney's
record as a roadblock to Brown's re-election, hoping to link the
freshman senator, who boasts of his moderate views, to the more
conservative positions of Romney and the Republican Party.
Warren has given voice to a populist economic vision, firing
up Democrats with her attacks on the banking sector. In turn,
Warren, the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau, has been attacked as an uncompromising ideologue.
Obama channeled Warren's words this summer when he made the
case for government's role in helping the private sector. The
Romney campaign made Obama's speech and his declaration, "You
didn't built that," into a mantra of its convention in Tampa,
Florida, last week.
Warren said that Romney would undo what she said were the
signature accomplishments of Obama's first term.
"Mitt Romney wants to give billions in breaks to big
corporations - but he and Paul Ryan would pulverize financial
reform, voucher-ize Medicare, and vaporize Obamacare," Warren
A political novice, Warren was welcomed by an excited crowd
chanting her name and received several standing ovations.
Warren's speech gave the Harvard Law School professor a
chance to join her own fate with that of a national campaign as
Massachusetts Democrats encourage her to make her race about the
consequences of a Republican-controlled Senate and less about
Brown, who remains popular in the state.
"She's got to make sure people understand what the
difference is," said former Massachusetts Governor Michael
FUNDRAISING CONTINUES IN COSTLY RACE
The convention didn't just afford Warren the benefit of a
national television audience. Competing in the year's most
expensive Senate race, Warren also took time for a little buck
raking. Around 200 people attended a fundraiser for Warren
Wednesday morning, raising a maximum of $15,000 a plate, across
the street from the convention hall.
The audience heard Warren recount a meeting with Kennedy,
which brought her on the verge of tears, said former party chair
The race has already become the most expensive in
Massachusetts history. Through June 2012, the two candidates had
spent a combined $46.7 million.
While proving a prodigious fundraiser, and a lodestar for
progressives nationwide, Warren struggled this summer against
charges that she falsely claimed Native American heritage in
Brown launched a website this week attacking Warren for what
the campaign calls a record of misleading people about her
Warren has said she was told by her mother that she is part
Cherokee, but her campaign's flatfooted response to Brown's
attacks left political observers scratching their heads.
Neck and neck in polling throughout the summer, a recent
survey of likely voters by Democratic Public Policy Polling
found Warren trailing Brown by 5 percentage points. The pair
will meet in four televised debates this fall, the first on