Elizabeth Warren, queen of the trolls

Was there ever any thought Sen. Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t endorse the Democratic party’s nominee? She apparently was just waiting to see who it was.

One thing is certain, though, and that is Massachusetts’s senior senator is all-in on the fight against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, no matter who leads the Democratic ticket. Warren’s heightened stature on the national stage gives an indication that she is sliding into the vacant liberal lion role once occupied by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. It’s a role she seems to take pride in and one that may indicate that even if she’s offered the vice president slot with her new BFF, Hillary Clintonshe may opt to stay put in what has returned to being “Ted Kennedy’s seat.”

Just hours after President Obama released a video Thursday with a full-throated endorsement of Clinton, Warren went on MSNBC to declare she, too, would be in the former secretary of state’s corner because “she is a fighter.” Which is different from saying, “we believe exactly the same things.”

Warren’s heart is clearly with Sen. Bernie Sanders, and the legion of followers he has look to Warren as a general in their battle to bring progressive ideals to the table in Washington.

Polls show that while Warren is well-known and well-liked in Massachusetts, her national profile is still low, with 42 percent of voters unaware of who she is. But of those who do know her, many are the young, rabid supporters who got behind Sanders. Though there was little chance they’d cast their lot with Trump, there is a question of whether they will let their bitterness over Sanders treatment keep them on the sideline. They are a bloc of voters who can swing the election – either by going or not going to the polls. They need something and someone to keep them engaged and excited.

To that end, Warren is picking up the fight, taking The Donald on in his world and in his style – social media, sound bites, and schoolyard taunts. She admitted to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, with a big smile she was unable to conceal, that, yes, she does like talking about Trump. That was very evident about two hours before her TV appearance when she spoke to a group of progressive lawyers and laid into Trump with relish – and plenty of mustard.

“Donald Trump is a loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud who has never risked anything for anyone and serves nobody but himself,”she told the American Constitutional Society in Washington, pointing to his criticism of a judge in a civil suit involving Trump University.

Warren repeatedly called Trump a “fraud,” a “bully,” a “racist,” and any number of taunts designed to bring out the notoriously reactionary side of Trump. Trump, who has been advised by more experienced Republicans to tone down his rants, had one response on Twitter, repeating his name of “Goofy Elizabeth Warren” and saying she has a “nasty mouth.” Trump reiterated his labeling of her as one of the least productive senators, but given the inertia in that chamber the last four years, that pretty much applies to everyone.

But Warren is broadening her attack on Trump to rope in his congressional backers, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Warren says Trump is merely the manifestation of what the GOP has been aiming for; they just want him to do it quietly.

“Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell want Donald Trump to appoint the next generation of judges,” Warren told the lawyers. “They want those judges to tilt the law to favor big business and billionaires like Trump. They just want Donald to quit being so vulgar and obvious about it.”

Warren is slated to meet with Clinton today amid fevered speculation that the Democratic nominee is eyeing her for the vice president slot. Gender and geographic concerns aside, the bigger question is what will it do for Warren? She can easily be the attack dog in her current role as the bluest of state’s senior senator, much like Kennedy had been throughout his political life after he gave up visions of the White House, without risking much of her political capital.

This state is traditionally hard on losers on the national stage. Warren, a first-term senator, would be hard-pressed to recover from that in a reelection fight that, at this point, is a breeze. But one never knows with Warren, except one thing: She loves a donnybrook.




The Massachusetts Senate passes a zoning overhaul. (Masslive)

The House is not keen on taking up a campaign finance bill passed by the Senate that aims to close loopholes Gov. Charlie Baker has been exploiting to rake in thousands of dollars to support his campaign committee and the state Republican Party. (Boston Globe)


The Dudley Zoning Board of Appeals rejects an application for a Muslim cemetery on technical grounds. (Telegram & Gazette)

Adrian Walker says it looks like the fix was in — with help from local City Councilor Mark Ciommo — for one of two outfits vying for a medical marijuana license in Allston. (Boston Globe)

The promoter of the Boston Calling music festival, together with a former campaign aide for Mayor Marty Walsh pushed indicted Boston tourism chief Ken Brissette to kill a proposal for a rival music event. (Boston Herald)

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, struggling with rivals and/or critics on the City Council, sees his budget proposal fall one vote short of passage. (Eagle-Tribune)

Salem, which is investing in better WiFi for its schools, is adding to the network to offer free WiFi throughout the downtown area. (Salem News)

Hull officials have revived a proposal with the state to swap waterfront lots along Nantasket Beach to consolidate town-owned parking lots. (Patriot Ledger)


The House passes a rescue package to ease Puerto Rico’s debt. (Time)


State Rep. Brian Mannal of Barnstable, who was giving up his seat to run for state Senate, abruptly dropped out at a Democratic debate Thursday night and said he was done with public life, citing the “personal and familial” toll of the toxic atmosphere of the political landscape. (Cape Cod Times)

Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, now the LIbertarian Party’s nominee vice president, says his views on criminal justice policy are “developing” (Weld-speak for evolving) and he no longer subscribes to his famous edict that we should reintroduce prisoners to the “joys of busting rocks.” (CommonWealth)

Local political observers are not observing much activity in the Donald Trump campaign operation in New Hampshire, a small but potentially important swing state in the November election. (Boston Globe) State Rep. Geoffrey Diehl of Whitman, one of Trump’s original supporters in Massachusetts, stands by the presumptive nominee and says the intra-party condemnation of the billionaire is coming from people who “reluctantly” backed him and not true believers. (State House News Service)

Yes, Senate President Mitch McConnell did say on the record and out loud that Trump, who he endorses, “doesn’t know a lot about the issues.” (Bloomberg)

Columnist Timothy Egan calls Trump “Lord of the lies.” (New York Times)


The state plans to buy two buildings in the Fort Point Channel area of Boston that will then be leased — at less than market rents — to General Electric for its new corporate headquarters, reports the Herald. General Electric plans to open a high-tech office in Rhode Island that could employ hundreds of people. (Associated Press)

Boston’s failed IndyCar race says it’s out of money to pay back ticket buyers who are now owed full refunds. (Boston Globe)


Bill Schechter, a retired Lincoln-Sudbury High School teacher, argues that education doesn’t need a “third way” solution and should instead replicate the practices of his former school. (CommonWealth)

UMass Lowell had a “secret” deal with the city about in-lieu-of-tax payments. (The Sun)

A Lowell middle school basketball coach denies charges that he threw a Rubik’s Cube at a player and accused him of losing a game. (The Sun)

Keri Rodrigues Lorenzo, a member of the Democratic State Committee and state director of the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools, takes to the liberal blog Blue Mass Group to argue for why Democrats should support charter schools.

The Ashland School Committee held off on approving the high school’s athletic handbook because it lacked a policy on transgender athletes. (MetroWest Daily News)

The federal Department of Education releases figures that show chronic absenteeism among students is rampant across the nation, with a national average of 13 percent missing classes on a regular basis and leading to more dropouts. (Associated Press)


Retired health care attorney Susan Regan says the expansion of Boston Children’s Hospital won’t lead to lower costs. (CommonWealth)


The Boston Carmen’s Union grieves the MBTA’s new attendance policy, saying the changes should have been negotiated. The T fires back that the policy is reducing absenteeism and saving money. (CommonWealth)

Gov. Charlie Baker tells a business group that his focus is on improving the MBTA’s core system and not expanding it. That’s not good for the North-South Rail Link, and presumably other initiatives such as South Coast Rail. (Boston Globe)


Energy and environmental groups slam the House energy bill. (Masslive)


Family and friends mourn the death of 17-year-old Raekwon Brown, the Jeremiah Burke High School junior gunned down outside the school on Wednesday afternoon. (Boston Globe) City Councilor Tito Jackson lashes out at Police Commissioner William Evans, who chided witnesses for not coming forward with information about the daylight murder that took place in front of scores of people. (Boston Globe)  A Herald editorial says Evans is right.

A federal raid on alleged gang members around the state resulted in the arrests of 60 people and the confiscation of at least 70 illegal guns. (The Enterprise) WBUR puts the number of arrests at 66 and quotes US Attorney Carmen Ortiz as saying the crackdown should break up a “gun and drug pipeline” across eastern Massachusetts.

Attorney General Maura Healey says the insurance lawyers working on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute rape case should be fired. (Masslive)

The remains of Steven DiSarro, a Boston nightclub owner last seen in 1993, are found in Providence. Many suspect he was killed by Boston mobsters. (Associated Press)

A federal Appeals Court in California ruled the right to carry concealed weapons in public places is not absolute and states can require justification and limits. (U.S. News & World Report)


Macy’s is cutting its newspaper advertising in half, a reduction of about $100 million (Politico)

The Boston Globe signs its lease for two floors at 53 State Street in downtown Boston, where the paper’s newsroom will be based starting in January. (Boston Globe)

The widow of a Taunton man hailed as a hero after he was killed in a knife rampage last month is fighting Facebook for memorializing her husband’s page and locking her out because she was not listed as a “legacy contact.” (WPRI)


“Mr. Hockey,” Gordie Howe, has died at the age of 88