Elizabeth Warren, populist leader


Senate candidate from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

After a comparatively slow evening of speeches at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday evening, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren took to the stage in advance of the evening’s marquis name, former president Bill Clinton.

Her speech was powerful, hard hitting and well delivered, winning thunderous applause and big cheers from the Democratic delegates in the audience. There was little question when she left the stage that, if she were to win her Senate race, she’d be a likely leader of the populist wing of the Democratic party come 2016.

But this was also a big moment on a national stage for her, one in which Massachusetts independents or less liberal Democrats may have been watching cautiously. Warren faces a tough battle with Scott Brown for his seat, and she did little to sound a moderate message for the fence-sitters watching at home. Perhaps Warren is just so tied to her principles that she doesn’t feel the need to play that political game.

We won’t know until after the election whether that will help her win. In the meantime, take a read through her speech below and let us know what you think of the leadership skills it did or didn’t show:

More from On Leadership:

Inside Bill Clinton’s speech

Michelle Obama’s covention address

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Jena McGregor writes a daily column analyzing leadership in the news for the Washington Post’s On Leadership section.

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