PortraitThis 70-year-old jurist, a candidate for the Democratic primaries for the 2020 US presidential election, is gradually gaining ground on the national political scene, but arouses sharp criticism even in her own camp.
Elizabeth Warren has just finished answering questions from high school students at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, October 21, and is already starting a ballet carefully regulated. Students wanting to be immortalized at the side of the Massachusetts senator line up in a long queue at the foot of the stage in the gym. In turn, they entrust their mobile phone to an assistant of the Democratic candidate, who transmits them to the photographer.
Thanks to the senator, smiles, burst, the camera then flies into the hands of a third sympathizer, responsible for handing it to his or her owner. School bags follow a path parallel to the bottom of the podium.
"She would make a super-president"
The Democratic primaries will not start until February 3 in this Midwestern state, but Elizabeth Warren already has in her photo album thousands of smiling faces, of all ages, from all social backgrounds.
That Monday, she spent thirty-five minutes on the exercise, almost as much as her speech. During the big rally held on September 16 in New York, she had lent herself for more than four hours to this ritual of portraits which she made one of her campaign signatures. An investment, even when it comes to posing with students too young to vote in 2020. "I did it for my mother, who loves her," explains Diana, 14 years old. "What she says I like, she would make a super-president, I'm going to put pressure on my parents," Mady adds.
These encounters also help to humanize this woman who has long been preceded by a reputation for inveterate pecking. Securely anchored to the left of the Democratic Party, she put her skills in areas as austere as the rights of consumers, especially against banks.
First to declare herself in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, she had a start of a calamitous campaign, marked by the controversy over her partly Indian origins, which earned her, from Donald Trump, the cruel sobriquet of "Pocahontas", the daughter of a Native American leader popularized by Disney.
Humor and emotion sequence
After this event, the senator, elected for the first time in Congress in 2012 in a Democratic stronghold, retreated on her skills, her campaign program and a strong organization.