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Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, despite her celebrity, paints herself as an incrementalist

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) listens to witness Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration, during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Hearing about new legislation regarding pharmaceutical compounding on Capitol Hill on Thursday. (Pete Marovich for The Boston Globe)
Warren wondered how many had been harmed or killed by tained pharmaceuticals since 1997. “Why don’t you know?” she asked. “You’re the federal drug administration.” (Photo: Pete Marovich for The Boston Globe)The Boston Globe

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WASHINGTON — Nearly five months into her tenure, after one of the most closely watched elections in the country, Elizabeth Warren has begun to demonstrate her approach in the Senate: a calibrated strategy that involves keeping quiet on many issues while using her popularity with liberal activists for bursts of attention on select causes.

The Democrat from Massachusetts has avoided using her megaphone on many of the hot topics in Washington — immigration, the IRS scandal, the war on terror — instead focusing on financial regulation, middle class debt burden, and home-state issues such as the fishing industry.

She is certainly fanning her celebrity in the liberal activist community to further her agenda. But she is using her voice for pinpoint strikes, rather than declarations of war.

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