NPR logo Elizabeth Warren-Heckler Video Shows Candidate's Well-Rehearsed Calm

Elizabeth Warren-Heckler Video Shows Candidate's Well-Rehearsed Calm

The video of Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts being called a "socialist whore" by a man at a meeting this week for campaign volunteers, has gotten much attention.

Huffington Post's Ryan Grim wrote about the incident and posted video of it.

What's so striking about her exchange with the man was how calm Warren remained throughout.

The man, who said he was jobless for more than a year and who was clearly hostile to her. After the Tucson, Ariz., shootings of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others, it takes good nerves to for a politician to stay steady in this kind of situation.

Of course Warren, a Harvard University law professor, got plenty of experience dealing with hostility during her time in Washington, first as the chair of the TARP oversight panel, later as the Obama administration official charged with setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In that latter job, she usually received fairly rough treatment from congressional Republicans who saw her as too fond of regulation. She showed a patience with those lawmakers similar to what she demonstrated in the video.

Many of her liberal supporters believe she wasn't all that well treated by the President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner either, by the way.

So she has had plenty of practice at remaining unflappable.

Political candidates are going to have to work on maintaining such zen-like calm since if they rise to take the bait at such moments, like when they're being heckled or find something else annoying, an ugly response is sure to be captured on video and go viral.

That was the big lesson, after all, from George Allen's famous "macaca" moment.