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NESTOR RAMOS

A field guide to politicians’ Instagram adventures

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, stepped outside her Cambridge home with her husband Bruce Mann and their retriever Bailey on Monday.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, stepped outside her Cambridge home with her husband Bruce Mann and their retriever Bailey on Monday.(Bill Sikes/Associated Press)

Since Homo sapien life expectancy surpassed 30 years, older politicians have been awkwardly attempting to appeal to younger generations.

Long before Ted Cruz was making “Simpsons” references and Rick Perry’s campaign released a rap anthem, Gorlak the Hairy was probably misusing caveman slang during his campaign for mayor of his rock village a million years ago instead of talking about mastodon preservation policy.

Against this historical backdrop, Elizabeth Warren’s foray into drinking beer on Instagram is pretty mild.

And yet, because she is Elizabeth Warren — and because she’s a woman — every mundane thing she does for the next two years will be held up to examination by people who look at Twitter through a jeweler’s loupe. The actual president was wandering around on the set of softcore porn videos 20 years ago, but this woman drinking something that barely qualifies as beer shall not pass.

Was it a little awkward? Sure. It would have seemed exactly as natural if she’d bitten the neck off of her Michelob Ultra and swallowed it. But we live in a world where politicians spend their lives extremely online, doing laundry and making sandwiches. Frankly, Beto O’Rourke’s kitchen videos are kind of weird, too.

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I wish Warren didn’t have to do this kind of thing. It kind of seems as if she wishes she didn’t have to either: On Thursday, she went live again, this time with tea. “I hope that’s OK with everybody,” she said.

She talks openly about priorities that progressive young voters care about, from the broadstrokes of income inequality to specific actions like refusing to take money from corporate political action committees. And wouldn’t it be nice if candidates counted on their platforms — policy, not social media — to win or lose young voters?

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But because that’s not going to happen, here are seven free ideas for 2020 hopefuls trying to sneak a few policy proposals into their very cool, relatable, and not-at-all awkward social media exploits.

7. On The Couch In Front Of Your Second-Largest Television

“Sometimes my wife Hilda and I like to ‘Netflix and Chill’ — but you know what’s not chilling? Global temperatures. That’s why my carbon cap-and-trade proposal sets real limits on big corporate polluters, ensuring that our children lead much happier lives than those kids in ‘Bird Box.’ ”

6. In The Locker Room At The Gym After A Spin Class

Your campaign manager better be Johnny-on-the-spot with the big blue dots for all the butts in the background, but what better time to talk about curbing childhood obesity than while toweling off after a sweaty hourlong workout?

5. Waiting To Order At One of Those Dunks That’s In A Gas Station

There are two people in front of you. Nobody in their right mind orders anything but coffee and maybe a doughnut at these places, right? How long could this possibly take? Somehow, long enough to deliver your entire stump speech.

4. The Endless Line At One Of Those Lunch Bowl Places That Are Now Everywhere For Some Reason

“You know what else is sweet and green? A green new deal! . . . Yeah I’ll have the quinoa bowl with extra alfalfa sprouts, pumpkin seeds on the side please.”

3. Mashed Up Against The Doors Of A Red Line Car

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THE FOOL WHO HAS NOT SENSE TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT IS BAD IS WELL-NIGH AS DANGEROUS AS THE MAN WHO DOES DISCRIMINATE AND YET *excuse me, can I just . . . yeah, no, your bag is hitting my . . . thanks* CHOOSES THE BAD. THERE IS NOTHING MORE DISTRESSING TO EVERY GOOD PATRIOT, TO EVERY GOOD AMERICAN

2. In Your Bathroom

*flush* “ . . . and that’s why my infrastructure plan prioritizes American ingenuity, renewable energy, and environmental sustainability.” The final frontier of internet oversharing is, of course, the can. Don’t forget to wash your hands.

1. In The Oval Office

Dress for the job you want. And you’ll get through a very long treatise on streamlining the tax code before the guy at the desk even notices.


Nestor Ramos can be reached at nestor.ramos@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NestorARamos.