Johnny Gimble, a virtuoso Texas fiddler who played with a roster of country superstars including Bob Wills, Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and George Strait, died on Saturday in Marble Falls, Tex., northwest of Austin. He was 88. His wife, Barbara, said the cause was a stroke.
Mr. Gimble’s musical life began before he was a teenager, when he started playing with his brothers in East Texas in a group that came to be called the Rose City Swingsters. It lasted well into the contemporary era of country music, when he recorded with Vince Gill and shared a stage with Carrie Underwood at the Grammy Awards. He was a gifted mandolin picker and was known to strum a banjo, but it was on fiddle that he became a celebrated sideman.
Early on, his repertoire was a conventional one for country dances — waltzes and reels, jug-band music, a touch of mountain rag. But by his teenage years the swing era had arrived and the jazz-tinged style known as Western swing had evolved, bringing improvisation and invention to the standard hillbilly band.
Mr. Gimble became known as the style’s foremost purveyor on the fiddle, someone who could whip off a melody worthy of a line dance and follow it with 32 bars of vividly twangy variations on a theme. It was the swing fiddler Cliff Bruner, Mr. Gimble recalled, who gave him memorable advice about playing jazz, or what was then called “hokum” by Texas old-timers who didn’t like it: Translate what you’re already hearing in your head.
“He said, ‘Can you hum it?’” Mr. Gimble said in a television interview in 2011.
“I said, ‘It goes around in my head all the time, I hum it all day long.’ He said, ‘Practice your instrument until you can play what you hum, play what you think, and you’ll start branching out and playing some licks.’”
Mr. Gimble’s career had two distinct halves. In the 1950s, he played with Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, the most popular Western swing band of the day, sometimes adding a fifth string to his fiddle to achieve a lower, rounder and louder sound. (Wills also played fiddle.) For a time he was part of the house band at a club Wills had opened in Dallas. He was featured on recordings by Marty Robbins, Lefty Frizzell and Ray Price, among others, and he was the host of a musical television show in Waco, Tex., “Johnny Gimble and the Homefolks” (for which he hired Willie Nelson to play bass in the band).
But toward the end of the decade, with the rise of rock ‘n’ roll, the music he liked began to fade out of vogue, and Mr. Gimble, never thrilled by the life of a touring country band, mostly withdrew from full-time playing and earned a living for several years as a barber.
Then, in the late 1960s, he moved to Nashville, where he became one of country music’s most sought-after session players. He recorded with Chet Atkins, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty and Dolly Parton, among others, and was a member of the Million Dollar Band, an all-star ensemble including Atkins, Roy Clark and Floyd Cramer that was featured on the television show “Hee Haw.”
After returning to Texas, he played regularly in Mr. Nelson’s band. He can be heard on George Strait’s 1983 album “Right or Wrong,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s country chart. He portrayed Bob Wills in the 1982 film “Honkytonk Man,” directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.
John Paul Gimble was born in or around Tyler, Tex., on May 30, 1926. His father was a telegraph operator for a railroad. The Rose City Swingsters, the family band, played on local radio and on the back of a flatbed truck that parked on streets around East Texas.
He was drafted at 18 and spent World War II in Austria, working behind a desk in the special services division and at night, following Cliff Bruner’s advice, playing along in his room with the big bands on Armed Forces Radio. After the war he played with a number of dance bands and radio bands in Texas; he was in Corpus Christi with a group called the Rhythmaires when he was asked to join Wills’s Playboys. He married Barbara Kemp, who was related to members of the Rhythmaires, in 1949. They divorced twice and remarried twice.
“It was a rough life being married to a musician on the road,” she said in an interview. “But a happy one.”
Mr. Gimble’s other survivors include a brother, Gene; a sister, Josephine Parker; two daughters, Cyndy Gimble and Paula Gay Bullock; a son, Dick; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Among Mr. Gimble’s many awards are two Grammys for his work with the band Asleep at the Wheel. He was also named instrumentalist of the year by the Country Music Association five times in all. In 1994 he received a National Heritage Fellowship, an award that honors lifelong contributions to traditional American arts, from the National Endowment for the Arts.
“We got home and my wife said she never had slept with a national relic before,” Mr. Gimble recalled on Garrison Keillor’s radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” where he was an occasional guest.
“One of our favorite people,” Mr. Keillor said about him, and then proceeded to sing a song he’d written as a tribute to his guest. It went, in part, like this:
His name’s Johnny Gimble, and now he’s a symbol for his fabulous fiddling skills,
He can play ‘Darling Nelly’ like Stéphane Grappelli, and tunes that are old as the hills,
He can play that ‘Orange Blossom’ so the people would toss ‘em dimes, quarters and some dollar bills,
He played shows and
dances from Texas to Kansas with a fiddler by the name of Bob Wills.
Kim Jong-un (Li’l Kim)
김정일Supreme leader of North Korea.
Shot taken at the new ski area the Supreme Leader ordered built in
N Korea. He’s reportedly voiced interest in the purchase of the Sun Valley Company.
Li’l Kim said ” The way the management operates now, if I bought it, I just wouldn’t have to change much. ” . . . ” other than install a few well placed antiaircraft guns and put the Mountain Department on notice. ”
Sun Valley long time resident, Matt Well is rumored to broker the potential deal –
$179.4 million (2015)
“Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’),” Pablo Picasso, 1955
The price at Monday’s sale was the highest on record for a work of art sold at auction, Christie’s said, and was well over its estimate of $140 million.
$119.9 million (2012)
“The Scream,” Edvard Munch, 1895
Munch made four versions of “The Scream.” Three are now in Norwegian museums; this was the only one still in private hands. (Adjusted for inflation, the price was about $122.6 million.)
Climate Change Induced Drought and Fire at Critical Stage in Chile — Construction of 12 Desalination Plants Underway
In the National Forests of Chile, it’s been burning since February.
An intense upshot of the stifling of water supplies through month after month of heat and lack of rainfall. A kind of intense onset, persistent drought that has become all too common in a world in which atmosphere, ice and ocean temperatures keep rocketing on to new record highs.
Starting February 17th, massive fires erupted, spreading swiftly through Chile’s forested mountainsides and valleys, threatening protected woods and endangered species. The fires have continued off and on now for more than a month — fueled by hot winds and a record drought that has forced the nation to build 12 desalination plants in a desperate effort to restore the country’s ebbing water supply.
(Frames of same region of Chile on February 17 [top frame] and March 24 [bottom frame]. For reference, bottom edge of frame is approximately 100 miles. Right frame is slightly off-set toward the east. Image source: Lance-Modis.)
Reports from BBC indicated that today’s fires are burning in three protected national parks: China Muerta National Reserve, Nalca Lolco National Reserve and Conguillio National Park. The fires threaten ancient growth forest that is the abode of the majestic Araucaria araucana trees. A kind of pine that can live up to a thousand years. Over 4,500 hectares are now burning and the smoke is plainly visible in the NASA satellite shot (right frame in the image sequence above). Fully fifteen fire brigades are involved in what is currently a massive firefighting effort.
Overall, the fires that have been raging for more than a month throughout Chile have consumed an exceptional 91,000 hectares — nearly double the 59,000 hectare per year average over the last five years. Years that themselves experienced increased heat, drought, and burning.
This extreme burning comes as Chile faces a ramping, multi-decadal water shortage set off by human warming. Climate scientists there have indicated a high risk of drastically increased drying throughout Chile over the next 35 years through to 2050 due to climate change related impacts.
According to President Michele Bachelet the country’s current drought situation is already at critical stages. Bachelet recently announced millions of dollars in funds to drill for underground water and to construct desalination plants to provide drinking water to fight ramping drought conditions with the ugly prospect of more to come.
In a report today from BBC, Bachelet noted that the situation was now endemic and expected to worsen:
“Faced with this critical situation, there is no choice but to assume that the lack of water resources is a reality that is here to stay and that puts at risk the development of important regions of our country.”
Though climate change is expected to continue to ratchet down on drought impacts to Chile — increasing heat, melting critical glacial ice, and drying out forestlands — this year, at least, there appears to be some hope for an end to the stifling heat and the ongoing fires. Hints of the first rains of autumn have now begun to show up in Central and Northern Chile.
But by 2050 with the world expected to be between 1.5 and 2.5 degrees Celsius hotter than 1880s averages, the autumn rains will have been brutally beaten back — retreating further and further into fall. In that time, the heat and dryness of spring and summer will come early and the great glaciers upon which Chile depends so much for its water will be but wan shadows of former grandeur. If they exist at all.
TOM HORNBEIN, 82 ~ 1963 American Everest Expedition, West Ridge First Ascent
ESTES PARK, Colo. — On the first day of the new year, as on the last day of the old year, I slip outside at dusk and try to run away from my problems. There is no better way to make sense of the daily clutter of inchoate thoughts than bouncing along a trail, immortality in every stride.
Of course, everything hurts — joints, calf muscles, a toe that refuses to warm. When someone with more spring to the step passes by, I feel a pang of loss: I’ll never be that fast again. And then, loathing at having that thought. It’s a bad day when the most creative thing you do is come up with an unoriginal form of self-pity.
It helps to have smarter people musing on the same subject. “There is no escaping the tragedy of life, which is that we are all aging from the day we are born.” So writes Atul Gawande, surgeon, author and courier of common sense, in his book “Being Mortal.” He goes on to show that the real tragedy is not every click of the postpartum clock, but how we have come to see aging as a disease.
I came to Dr. Gawande’s book after meeting a most remarkable man in this alpine town set against the overly ambitious geology of Rocky Mountain National Park — Tom Hornbein. He’s also a doctor, elfin and energetic, bearded and balding, who will defy gravity on many a day by clipping himself into a climber’s bolt on a vertical flank of said Rocky Mountains. He’s 84.
Climbers know Dr. Hornbein for his historic accomplishment in 1963: ascending the West Ridge of Mount Everest, with Willi Unsoeld, and surviving a night at 28,000 feet without tent or sleeping bag. If not the most extraordinary achievement in mountaineering, it is very high on the all-time list. “The night was overpoweringly empty,” he wrote. “Mostly there was nothing. We hung suspended in a timeless void.”
He got lucky, as there was no jet stream wind on that night. But luck, as they say, is the residue of design, and Tom Hornbein is nothing if not methodical. His book, “Everest: The West Ridge,” is widely recognized as a classic. It’s aging well, in part, because so many contemporary books on mountain climbing are all about score settling and product placement.
I was whining, in as diplomatic a way as possible, about reaching an age when the high summits no longer have quite the pull they did for me, when a beer and a brat on the 40-yard line can be just as enticing as looking down at cloud cover from Mount Rainier’s apex. After listening to Hornbein describe a routine that includes regular rock climbing with Jon Krakauer, another Colorado author and mountaineer, I asked him about his secret to aging.
It may be true, as George Orwell said, that “at 50, everyone has the face he deserves.” Orwell died at 46, so his observation was purely speculative. But what about the body we deserve? Hornbein clearly takes care of his, though he doesn’t make any of the annoying claims of the aging-well proselytizer.
He said he experienced very little physical loss in his 50s and 60s. In his 70s, body parts started to creak and pop, and he noticed gradual decline with every year. In his 80s, he’s slower, much more cautious, and cognizant of his limitations. The will is there, if not always the way. But he shows up, proof again of the adage about success.
During a recent warm weather spell, “I got out with a young friend to do some bolt-clipping sport route he’d prepared for me to lead,” he said. “Not difficult, but quite enough.”
Hornbein brought up Gawande’s book. He laughed at himself, noting that he was at an age when death is a regular topic of conversation. Hornbein goes to a lot of funerals. Friends, including some who touched the roof of the world, are dead or dying. He said all of this with a twinkle in his eye. Or at least it seemed that way to me.
Gawande makes the point that we’ve got to get over the idea that aging is a disease. “People live longer and better than any time in history,” Gawande writes. “But scientific advances have turned the process of aging and dying into medical experiences.” And he concludes, “Death of course is not failure. Death is normal.”
Keeping normal at a safe distance, however, requires some deliberation and some risk-taking — both in moderation. The mountaineers who made history a half-century ago, and are alive today, like to cite this admonition: There are old climbers, and bold climbers, but no old, bold climbers.
Hornbein is too modest to add a coda. There may come a time, not so long from now, when the steps to his front porch will seem like Everest. But listening to him talk about plans for the coming days, in and out of the mountains, I drew one conclusion. He stays in motion, whether going up, down or sideways.
Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett is celebrating his 70th birthday with two new releases: the classical exploration Barber/Bartók and the live compilation Creation.
Keith Jarrett hit a milestone this past week: The famed jazz pianist turned 70 years old, and he’s decided to mark the occasion with two new releases. One offers his take on two important classical works; the other, Creation, documents how his creative process plays out in front of a host of live audiences.
For Jarrett, inspiration and execution occur almost simultaneously. He doesn’t know what he’s going to play when; he sits down to play a concert and simply allows the music to come to him. Creation is a collection of live recordings from throughout 2014, reshuffled into what could pass as one long improvised performance.
Jarrett spoke with NPR’s Rachel Martin about the challenge of arranging those disparate moments into something cohesive, and how the experience compares to one of his most famous performances ever. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read an edited version of their conversation.
To wander through the dimly lit streets of Old Havana after dark is to enter a world of shadows and silhouettes. Many, in their homes, are illuminated by the pulsing glow of their televisions, intensely watching the latest telenovela. Others are forced by the cramped environment and heat out onto the streets and sidewalks. Laughing, eating, shouting, arguing, dancing, crying, they live like open books for all to see. Lovers kiss on stoops and embrace under street lamps. Neighbors play dominoes and chess on corners. Rambunctious kids kick soccer balls and swing makeshift baseball bats.
I am a Canadian citizen of British descent, and as a photographer have visited Cuba numerous times over the last 25 years. The country at night has always intrigued me, and when I returned most recently, I decided to try to capture what my eye was seeing. Most important, I wanted to photograph the feeling of mystery that the night offered there.
Facing a technical challenge in such low light, I was drawn to televisions, incandescent bulbs, streetlights — wherever I could find a glow. Sometimes I found my source of light and patiently waited until the right figure drifted by to make a photograph.
These chiaroscuro streets may look a bit foreboding, almost like film noir sets. Yet I always felt welcome, by a wide open door or a complicit nod of the head, sometimes even a warm embrace and a “my friend, where are you from?” Only once did I come upon some danger, when a teenager ran past me and tried to pull my camera strap along with him.
Cuba is about to undergo big changes. My photographs are not seeking to comment on what this future may hold, but instead to capture the present. The passionate and warm inhabitants of Havana, lit by a light that is both poetic and sometimes harsh. Much like Cuba’s history itself.
every thing about him was archival….
a wandering stone carver of the high plateau,
he would appear, solo, in his hides and rags
and carve for the long life of a village newborn
the chinese left him alone. he spoke to no one
and only chanted the phrases he chiseled…
instructing me to Shout the end phrase punctuation
of: om mani padme hum SHI!
there was little separation between his being, the dirt
the stones, the clouds or cold…he was like lichen!
Frida Kahlo around 1950. The Mexican artist, who died in 1954, is the subject of renewed interest in books and exhibitions.
She was a genius before she was a refrigerator magnet, an ace manipulator of society and media nearly a century before social media came into existence. Born in 1907, dead at 47, Frida Kahlo achieved celebrity even in her brief lifetime that extended far beyond Mexico’s borders, although nothing like the cult status that would eventually make her the mother of the selfie, her indelible image recognizable everywhere.
Yet, despite the many biographies, documentaries and biopics, there remains much to learn about this often misunderstood artist, a sexual pragmatist who conducted affairs with both men and women, a proto-feminist who invested her art with an autobiography filled with struggle and pain. She was also an ardent Communist who sometimes fudged her date of birth to align with the start of the Mexican Revolution, and an irresistibly magnetic seducer, especially whenever a camera was around.
In a welcome though unexpected convergence, an array of new books and exhibitions about Kahlo have suddenly appeared this spring, adding insight and depth to our understanding of a woman who would seem among the most overexposed artistic figures of all time.
While it seems clear that artists like Tracey Emin have fallen under the influence of her audacious self-disclosures; that designers — like Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier — have drawn inspiration from her style; and that entertainers like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé shrewdly adapted the lessons pioneered by a publicity-friendly solipsist who anticipated the Instagram era by many decades, Kahlo remains in some ways an enigma.
In “Mirror, Mirror,” a portrait-survey that opens this month at Throckmorton Fine Art in Manhattan, Kahlo is revealed to have been an image wizard as canny as her spiritual descendant, Madonna.
“Frida did not miss an opportunity to be photographed by anyone and everyone,” said Norberto Rivera, the photography director at the gallery. “She created this image to hide the pain,” he added, referring to the lifelong aftereffects of severe injuries Kahlo suffered in a streetcar accident when she was 18. Through self-portraits that unsparingly depict her physical travails and that make frank allusion to a tumultuous emotional life, Kahlo inadvertently vaulted herself into that strange constellation of bright-burning, ill-fated stars, alongside James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.
Andy Warhol’s soup cans in a display similar to one at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1962.
In 1962, at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, Andy Warhol had his first solo painting exhibition. It consisted of 32 canvases, each bearing the image of a Campbell’s soup can rendered as if by a grocery store sign painter. Except for red letters spelling the name of a different variety on each label — Tomato, Minestrone, etc. — they appear nearly identical.
Five of the paintings sold, including one to the actor Dennis Hopper. But then the gallery’s director, Irving Blum, decided he wanted the set for himself. So he bought back the sold pieces and purchased the rest from Warhol for $1,000. He held onto the series until 1996, when he turned it over to the Museum of Modern Art as a combination gift and sale reportedly valued at $15 million.
Since then, the museum has exhibited the paintings in grid formation, unlike in the Ferus exhibition, where they were displayed resting on narrow shelves all at the same level. Now for the first time at MoMA they are presented in a similarly horizontal array as the centerpiece of “Andy Warhol: ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ and Other Works, 1953-1967,” an exhibition that revisits Warhol’s prescient early years with revealing economy.
Andy Warhol’s “Gold Marilyn Monroe.”
Ry Cooder and Ricky Skaggs Plot Joint Tour ~~~ Guitar hero and bluegrass great also enlist Skaggs’ wife Sharon White for the genre-crossing shows
Ricky Skaggs and wife Sharon White will launch a joint tour with guitarist Ry Cooder (right) in June.
Pioneering guitarist and producer Ry Cooder is teaming with one of bluegrass and country music’s most iconic couples, Ricky Skaggs and his wife Sharon White, for a one-of-a-kind concert tour beginning next month. The Cooder-White-Skaggs Tour, launching in Salt Lake City, will kick off on June 16th and is slated to visit more than a dozen cities, running through November.
Skaggs and White have been married almost 34 years, during which they’ve made a number of albums, both together and separately. White has also recorded with her legendary family’s longtime group, the Whites, led by piano-playing patriarch Buck White, and featuring her sister Cheryl. In their respective and collaborative careers Skaggs and White also performed at venues around the world, and are both members of the Grand Ole Opry.
“Getting to work with Ry Cooder has been a dream of mine for a long time. He is a world-class musician,” Skaggs says in a statement. “We met at a Grammy Awards show many years ago and thought it would be a blast to do something together sometime, and now we’re getting to create new sounds around old music.”
For his part in the unique musical trek, Cooder, a six-time Grammy recipient with 17 solo LPs to his credit since 1970, is enthusiastic, to say the least.
“Cooder-White-Skaggs is the legacy express, or I’ll eat a bug,” he quips. “You are going to hear four-part singing from the heart, the finest and best instrumental activity in the land, songs you know and love and, to top it off, the indomitable Buck White on piano, who will turn your money green.”
A virtuoso guitarist steeped in roots music and blues, Cooder is Number 31 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists and has covered vast musical terrain, from Tex-Mex to Cuban bolero, in addition to playing on tracks by Flaco Jiménez, the Chieftains, the Rolling Stones and Randy Newman. In 1997, Cooder traveled to Cuba to produce and play with a group of musicians who had little exposure outside of their homeland, resulting in the 1999 documentary Buena Vista Social Club and a landmark Grammy-winning LP. A sequel to the film was announced earlier this month.
Here are the dates and cities of the Cooder-White-Skaggs Tour:
June 16th – Salt Lake City
June 17th – Aspen, Colorado
June 19th – Boulder
June 21st – Telluride, Colorado
June 22nd – Denver
July 17th – Milwaukee
September 30th – Saratoga, California
October 2nd – San Francisco
October 5th – Arcata, California
October 6th – Portland, Oregon
October 7th – Seattle
November 10th and 11th – Alexandria, Virginia
November 14th – New York City
November 17th – Boston
November 18th – Portland, Maine
On Nov. 1, 1888, Vincent van Gogh set up his easel in an ancient Roman necropolis in Arles, France, and painted an avenue of stone sarcophagi lined by towering poplars aflame with the colors of autumn.
Known as “L’allée Des Alyscamps,” it was the big seller at Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art evening sale on Tuesday, bringing $66.3 million — when it had been expected to fetch $40 million — as five bidders competed for a prize that ultimately went to an Asian private collector.
The Virtual Candidate Elizabeth Warren isn’t running, but she’s Hillary Clinton’s biggest Democratic threat.
The relationship between Senator Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton, the Party’s most likely Presidential nominee, goes back to the second half of the Clinton Administration. Warren told me recently that the most dramatic policy fight of her life was one in which Bill and Hillary Clinton were intimately involved. She recalls it as the “ten-year war.” Between 1995 and 2005, Warren, a professor who had established herself as one of the country’s foremost experts on bankruptcy law, managed to turn an arcane issue of financial regulation into a major political issue.
In the late nineteen-nineties, Congress was trying to pass a bankruptcy bill that Warren felt was written, essentially, by the credit-card industry. For several years, through a growing network of allies in Washington, she helped liberals in Congress fight the bill, but at the end of the Clinton Administration the bill seemed on the verge of passage. Clinton’s economic team was divided, much as Democrats today are split over economic policy. His progressive aides opposed the bill; aides who were more sympathetic to the financial industry supported it. Warren targeted the one person in the White House who she believed could stop the legislation: the First Lady. They met alone for half an hour, and, according to Warren, Hillary stood up and declared, “Well, I’m convinced. It is our job to stop that awful bill. You help me and I’ll help you.” In the Administration’s closing weeks, Hillary persuaded Bill Clinton not to sign the legislation, effectively vetoing it.
But just a few months later, in 2001, Hillary was a senator from New York, the home of the financial industry, and she voted in favor of a version of the same bill. It passed, and George W. Bush signed it into law, ending Warren’s ten-year war with a crushing defeat. “There were a lot of people who voted for that bill who thought that there was going to be no political price to pay,” Warren told me.
Warren is not running for President. But she is mounting a campaign to insure that Clinton and other prominent Democrats adhere to her agenda of reversing income inequality and beating back the influence of corporate power in politics. These are issues that Warren has pursued for three decades, as an academic, a policy adviser to Democrats, an Obama Administration regulator, and, since 2012, a U.S. senator and the anchor of a progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Clinton has taken notice. Last December, she invited Warren to a private meeting at her Washington home, near Embassy Row, to hear Warren’s advice on issues such as income inequality. In recent months, members of Clinton’s policy team have consulted with Dan Geldon, one of Warren’s closest advisers, about economic policy. And a few days after Clinton’s official announcement, on April 12th, that she is running for President, she wrote a paean to Warren in Time, saying that Warren “never hesitates to hold powerful people’s feet to the fire: bankers, lobbyists, senior government officials and, yes, even presidential aspirants.”
Clinton even sounds like Warren these days, evidently hoping to fend off charges that she is a captive of Wall Street money and influence. In the video in which Clinton announced her candidacy, she says, “The deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.” Two days later, during a stop in Iowa, she noted, “Hedge-fund managers pay lower taxes than nurses or the truckers I saw on I-80, when I was driving here over the last two days.” And in a fund-raising e-mail she wrote, “The average CEO makes 300 times what the average worker makes.”
Clinton’s people insist that any similarity to Warren is coincidental. “Hillary was talking about rising inequality and how the deck was stacked against people in 2007 and 2008,” Neera Tanden, the head of the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank, and a policy adviser to Hillary Clinton, said. “I see a lot of overlap. I do not see a causal link from one person to the other.” The Warren camp seems to have a different view. Last week, Warren’s advisers privately circulated a picture showing the two women sitting beside each other, a quote bubble emanating from Clinton: “What she said.” When I asked Warren last week if she believed that Clinton was co-opting her message, she hesitated and replied, “Eh.” She added, “She’s laying out her vision for the country and she deserves an opportunity to do that.” Warren may have decided not to run because she felt she couldn’t win. But Clinton’s populist turn signals another possibility: Warren feels that she can accomplish more from the sidelines.
“I think she’s doing exactly the right thing,” Barney Frank, the former congressman from Massachusetts, told me recently, referring to Warren. “Right now, she’s as powerful a spokesperson on public policy as you could be in the minority.” Frank worked closely with Warren in the House on financial-reform legislation to curb the power of banks. “She has an absolute veto over certain public-policy issues, because Democrats are not going to cross her. And if she were to even hint at being a candidate that would be over.” He added, “Democrats are afraid of Elizabeth Warren. No Democrat wants Elizabeth Warren being critical of him.”