Sen. Elizabeth "Fauxahontas" Warren has joined the ranks of us deplorables now. She did a livestream from her kitchen. In it, she grabs a beer from the fridge and takes a slug straight from the bottle.
Well, we have to expect this because it comes straight from the How To Run For President Manual. Chapter Two. You want to be a contender? You gotta show the humble folk you are one of them. You drink beer. Used to be you sucked it from a beer mug. Not a glass, wimpy. A mug. These days you drink it from the bottle.
One problem for her: She looked as natural doing this as she would handling a cobra. She succeeded in igniting a mass groan of "Give us a break!" across our fruited plain and throughout the watering holes of America.
She reminded me of countless politicians whose campaigns scripted beer-quaffing in saloons. "2 p.m.: Loosen tie. Arrive at Barney’s saloon. 2:05 p.m.: Hoist beer mug. Drink from it. Say nice things about Italians and Irish. Say you love beer and drink it every night. 2:06 p..m.: Exit through back door. Stop at rest room to wash out mouth, take slug of mouthwash."
Remember the godawful beer drinking confab in the White House garden? President Obama and VP Biden were desperate to look like regular guys. Their staff set up a fake beer session with a cop who had been unfairly accused of racism.
The cop showed up in a suit. He knew the meeting was fake and for the cameras. Obama and Biden arrived in rolled-up shirtsleeves. SCRIPT: Before stepping from White House, roll up sleeves. Pull shirt-tails slightly out of trousers.
This reminds me of a video of Dan Rather when he hosted CBS Evening News. He was about to do his show from the top of a building in Seattle. No good reason for this. Except to look like genuine news from the hinterland. (For us deplorable hinters.) It was a fake setup.
The video has Dan (later fired for running fake news) prepping for the show. He spends 20 minutes obsessing about a prop, his overcoat. Collar up? Looks better down. Should I wear it? We want to look authentic here. Should we go with the scarf? I like the collar up. I dunno. Maybe half-down. Whaddya think?
Twenty minutes! Trying to look genuine.
Dan the Genuine Man. Full of cornpone wisdom. "Why, if frogs had side-pockets, they’d carry hand guns."
He was as genuine as Joe Biden giving a shout-out to a Wilmington diner during a TV debate. Regular guy, ol’ Joe. Knows his diners, where us deplorables eat. Right. The diner had been closed for fifteen years.
Why do the pols pull this inane stuff? Well, the truth is, they know we cannot take the truth. The truth is that by the time politicians hit the big stage they live far more like royalty than like real folks.
The big time pols don’t shop. Or eat Big Macs. Or wash dishes. Or run the laundry. Or iron. They don’t change tires, handle cash, drive cars or hunt for parking. They don’t rent cars, make bookings, travel tourist, stand in line at the DMV or sit in doctors’ waiting rooms. They don’t run vacuums, rake leaves or shovel snow. And they sure as hell don’t hang around saloons. Or diners.
Truth is, their lifestyles are as much like yours as those of Saudi princes. The reason they pretend to be beer quaffers is that you are. Or you know people who genuinely, authentically are. And you vote.
You are not as likely to see members of British royalty in such fake activities. They like to be popular. But they don’t have to win votes. Our royalty does.
This all reminds me of an old remark for which comedian George Burns took credit. (It was actually older than him.) "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
Now for the wrap: Both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald were credited with this comment about Sen. Warren’s booze-up. It applies to many pols beyond the teepee kitchen of Sen. Warren.
"The most authentic thing about the video, in fact, was its bogusness: Warren once again trying to pretend she is something she is not."
I’ll drink to that.
Tom Morgan writes weekly for the Observer-Dispatch. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.