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Elizabeth Warren's early career

I'll be watching the debate tonight, as the candidate I support (including financially) has become the party's front-runner. Today's Washington Post takes a long look at how she got started in her career:

Warren loved her job [as an associate law professor at the Houston Law Center]. To keep it, she realized she would have to maintain a good relationship with [Professor Eugene Smith], while also deflecting what she described as increasingly inappropriate behavior from him.

He regularly sat in on her classes, evaluating her talent as a professor. He wrote memos to the law school dean and others as part of the process to determine whether she would be promoted from associate professor to tenured faculty member. He was, in many ways, the gatekeeper to her future.

But, according to Warren, he was also increasingly a harasser: He commented on her clothes and appearance in ways that made her feel uncomfortable. He told dirty jokes and invited her out for drinks, which she declined. She had to get home to her family, she reminded him, hoping he would get the hint.

Warren thought she was managing him until that day in early 1979 when she said he lunged for her in his office.

“If Gene wanted to sink me, he could,” she said. “If he had said, ‘She’s not very good. Let’s push her out the door,’ I would have been gone. And so, when he chased me around his office, I wasn’t afraid of him physically so much as I was afraid of what I knew he could take away from me.”

He didn't. And right now, Warren is ahead in the polls for both the Democratic Party nomination and for winning the general election next year.

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