By Ken Stone
If Elizabeth Warren becomes president, Nora Katherine “Kate” Keefe deserves a footnote credit.
A quick-fingered millennial, Keefe punched the big red photo button of smart phones and tablets thousands of times Thursday night — taking “selfies” of Warren fans.
With 2,500 shot in San Diego, according to a campaign spokeswoman, the total taken since March 2017 exceeds 70,000. (Halfway through Thursday night’s line, a Warren staffer announced 70,000 had been reached.)“It’s true,” a Warren volunteer said before the rally. “Anyone who wants a selfie with Elizabeth Warren can have one.”
Wearing a long flower-print dress and a short denim jacket, Keefe, 29, captured photos of individuals and families, old and young, over 3 1/2 hours at Waterfront Park at the County Administration Center (minus 15 minutes for a press scrum).
The long line was split into three phases — disabled and elderly first, then children and finally the rest of a patient portion of a crowd estimated at 8,500.
Keefe, called Warren’s “body woman” by press reports and “Official @ewarren travel buddy” on Twitter, took at least two or three photos of everyone and as many as 10.
Multiply those by social media shares and you have a massive promotion of the Massachusetts senator, who also performed her beloved “pinky promise” with children.“We’re in this together,” Warren reportedly tells the kids.
The selfie line is organized by a half-dozen Warren volunteers or staffers with military precision. The New York Times even broke down the process in an interactive web report.
Warren told Barack Obama aide David Axelrod that the selfie line is a “core element of democracy. … You can tell me what matters most to you.”
Emily Parcell, a Warren campaign adviser, told Axelrod that she opposed the photo chore at first.
“We probably could do twice as many events in a day if we didn’t do these selfie lines,” Parcell said. “But [Warren] said: ‘These are important to me. … It’s like a running one-on-one focus group.'”
The key player is Keefe, who is no stranger to retail politics.
A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Keefe ran the Democratic State Convention in 2014, noted one report. She’s been with Warren nearly five years.
She told The New York Times: “I took on the clicks, as you’d say…. It really starts with line prep. Then there’s the bag push,” where someone takes bags, backpacks and coats off the hands of selfie-seekers.
Another volunteer prepped the photo app, and on Thursday a man in striped shirt — who declined to give his name — guided smiling fans into the night.
Nora is the daughter of Democratic state Rep. Mary Keefe, elected in 2012, who sounds like Warren in her official biography.
“Mary’s vision for a more equitable Massachusetts is evident in her progressive policy priorities encompassing criminal justice reform, education, affordable housing, fair labor and wage practices, arts and culture, and environmental justice,” her site says.
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