When he spotted Elizabeth Warren’s media consultant at a national convention party for Democratic high-rollers, Phil Johnston could not contain his concerns over the Senate candidate’s television ads.
“Do you think you could run one ad in which she smiles?’’ the former Massachusetts party chairman asked Mandy Grunwald. It didn’t go over well. “She seemed to be quite offended,” he said.
It was an awkward run-in, but one that came at a critical time in the course of Warren’s yearlong and red-hot run for US Senate, as the first-time candidate struggled to learn the craft of politics and campaigning.
The campaign that had been heralded in the world of Democratic politics appeared to be foundering. The candidate was coming across as a lecturing professor, and there were rumblings from party leaders that it was time to shake up her staff.
Warren returned to Boston pumped up over the reception to her speech to convention delegates but discouraged by the hectoring from party leaders. She had been barraged with calls to change her media strategy and change some of her campaign staff.
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