Sitting inside the cavernous Brooklyn auditorium where Senator Elizabeth Warren rallied before 3,000 cheering fans last night, you’d never have known that an Iranian retaliatory strike had brought the United States one step closer to another war in the Middle East. Nor would you have guessed that the candidate these people had waited, in some cases, more than four hours to see had recently lost her lead in the Democratic-primary polls and had found herself suddenly on the outer edge of the top tier less than a month before the primary season kicks off in Iowa.
For a while at least, Kings Theatre seemed to be an oasis from all that. A capacity crowd danced to Whitney Houston and tried, haphazardly but energetically, to start the wave while they waited for the late-arriving Warren. The jubilant vibe was no different from the last time the senator from Massachusetts held a major event in New York, in mid-September, when 20,000 people filled Washington Square Park to hear from the Democrat who was then surging to the front-runner’s perch.
Only when Warren opened her remarks by detailing the reports of Iran’s attack did the enthusiasm, briefly, go out of the room. “We have to start on a very sober note,” she said. Warren offered prayers for U.S. service members stationed around the world, noting that her three older brothers had all served in the military. “This is a reminder of why we need to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East,” she said. “The American people do not want a war with Iran.” That last line drew a big cheer, as Warren moved on to acknowledging the earthquake in Puerto Rico.