How Elizabeth Warren Is Courting the Democratic Establishment

How Elizabeth Warren Is Courting the Democratic Establishment

Ms. Warren’s campaign events often begin out of public view, when she meets with a small groups of Democratic officials in gatherings, called “clutches,” for pictures and a few minutes of conversation. While the size of her crowd last week in St. Paul — roughly 12,000, her campaign said — drew headlines and attention on social media, her meeting beforehand with a few state lawmakers may have been even more memorable for them.

That was the case for Lisa DeMio, the chairwoman of the Democratic town committee in Hampstead, N.H., who met with Ms. Warren before the senator’s town-hall-style meeting in Derry last month.

“It was a little more intimate,” said Ms. DeMio, adding that, while she cannot officially endorse in her capacity as chairwoman, Ms. Warren is her first choice personally.

There are other Democrats like Ms. DeMio who can’t, or probably won’t, endorse Ms. Warren but who nevertheless have been on the receiving end of her personal touch.

The senator has emailed with Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor and agriculture secretary who has a longstanding relationship with Mr. Biden, to ask about agricultural policy, according to Democrats familiar with their exchanges.

Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a state representative in South Carolina, said even though she had made clear that she would not endorse in the primary race, Ms. Warren had reached out to her several times. “She’s persistent but not pushy — she doesn’t do the real hard sell,” Ms. Cobb-Hunter said. “Her staff does the soft follow up.”

That is sure to happen again this week, when Ms. Warren heads to South Carolina State University on Tuesday for a town-hall-style meeting as a guest of one of the university’s most famous graduates, Representative James E. Clyburn, to discuss a bill they have jointly introduced related to student loan debt. Mr. Clyburn has long been an ally of Mr. Biden.

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