Fake Indian, fake crowds: Elizabeth Warren artificially crowds her campaign room

Elizabeth Warren has always been about faking it till you make it.  She's a fake Indian, with a fake sob story about not being able to afford to apply to college, a fake janitor for a dad, fake public schools for the kids, a fake pregnancy firing, and all that

So, no surprise, a day before the Iowa caucus, she's trying to goose press coverage to suggest she's got a bigger crowd in a room supporting her than she really does...and blundering with that, since she actually did have a group of people outside trying to get in.

Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner was on the scene and gave us just the kind of coverage that's interesting — not about Warren's speech, but about what her staff were up to:

INDIANOLA, Iowa — It's not a great sign of confidence when a campaign books a modest room for a rally the day before the caucuses. It's even starker when the campaign intentionally shrinks the room's capacity by putting the camera riser in the middle of the room.

That's exactly what Elizabeth Warren's campaign has done, unnecessarily, here at Simpson College for a morning rally. Her campaign chose a conference room with a capacity of slightly over 600 for the rally. Then they put the press riser with all the cameras in the middle of the room and filled the back half of the room with press tables (more than are being used) and a couple of hundred square feet of empty space.

Carney notes that the room arrangements were manipulated to make it look as though the room was more crowded than it was.  He also checked out the crowd — the 300 or so people crowded inside who were there to attend.  Quite a few of them weren't actual voters — they were high school kids from civics classes and touring political consultants.  The actual supporters, maybe 600 of them, were stuck outside waiting to get in. 

Carney points out that this was likely a sign of a campaign that's losing confidence in its ability to draw a crowd.

Since I've been to a Warren rally myself, going to see her in San Diego late last year, I suspect she knew there was a crowd out to see her and...wanted to keep them out.

It probably wasn't just a haughty leftist's desire to be rid of the hoi polloi and go with the micro-sized ersatz crowd instead.  It probably wasn't even a preference for fake over real, snark snark.  Now that the Iowa caucus is heading toward its finish line, it's possible she didn't have the energy left to line up with all of them at the end and do what she does with each and all — which is pose for selfies.  It's the end of the first big race, after all.  She's also learned that the selfie line is a source of political risk: there was that Joe the Plumber moment she had with an angry voter who got her in the selfie line.  It's possible her staff didn't want any more of those before the countdown.

But nervousness about Warren's prospects in Iowa is probably quite a bit of it.  Warren has been cratering in the polls there, and her nearest rival ideologically, Bernie Sanders, is on the rise.  Fake Indians never stack up well with real socialists.  And if Iowa is a bust for Warren, her bid to beef up the room is probably a bid to preserve her viability in other places if she can.

Image credit: Monica Showalter.

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