Elizabeth Warren announced her Presidential exploratory committee yesterday. Ignore her at your peril.
Elizabeth Warren embraces what I would describe as hard left policies. Much of her support stems from the intemperate wing of the Democrat base. Because of that, Republicans have become used to seeing her as a punching bag, an easy joke line about Native American heritage. They are wrong.
Warren has radical support, certainly; but she was a rumored contender in the 2016 election. By not declaring against Hillary, she demonstrated to the Democrat establishment and donor class that she can and will fall in line with the party as required. This has boosted her stock in Washington, D.C.. It also provided her more time to set in place a national network of volunteers who are ready to begin campaign operations and fundraising efforts.
Much of the potential Democrat field against Trump is comparatively young – Joaquin Castro, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Kirsten Gillibrand – or lacks name recognition. Because of this, they are not ideal targets for Trump’s attacks. He wishes to avoid direct comparisons against youth, and he wants to attack people whom his fan base immediately recognizes. For this reason, Warren is likely to earn more attention from Trump than any other candidate, at least until Biden and Sanders enter the race… and it is far from certain either of them will. More attention from Trump means more press coverage and greater name recognition.
The 2016 election demonstrated the value of press coverage and name recognition.
She’s playing to the fact that her brothers were in the military – something that Trump does not have – and she’s concentrating her attacks on the financial industry at a time when a bear market is on the horizon.
Warren’s issues with her heritage have earned her more contempt than support from the Native American tribes which were initially assumed to be her built in “minority base”, back when she first grew to prominence on the American political scene. That group is no longer necessary for Warren. Instead she has taken the mantle left behind by Hillary, that of “the woman”. This is a far greater base, and a far more dangerous one considering the mass exodus of suburban white women from the Republican party which was demonstrated in the midterm elections.
If anyone truly believes that her misrepresentation of herself as a minority is poisonous to her future, I remind them of two things: the fact that she was re-elected after the discrepancies were exposed; and the many, much more damaging baggage carried by both Hillary and Trump into the 2016 election (from lying about being under fire and covering for Bill’s abuse of women to bragging about abusing women on video and being in the middle of a fraud lawsuit for a fake university.)
She’s giving what appears to be a positive message and co-opting prior messages… look at the end of her video and the obvious plays to Hillary supporters “…if we persist together” and reminders of Obama, by stressing the “we CAN win.”
More than that, she has the ability to remain on message and to appear sane. These are valuable political tools, particularly when running against a President who is prone to acting on whim.
As a former Republican, it should be no surprise to anyone that I am greatly displeased by the notion of President Warren; I feel the policies she has promoted would be destructive to the nation. But I believe the policies of Trump are also destructive, and a plurality of the American voter agrees with me. If Warren manages to get the Democrat nomination, she can beat Trump if the field is again defined as “binary”, and both the Republicans and Democrats will attempt to do so, to ensure their continued survival despite repeated exposures of corruption and malfeasance.
Republicans will point out that she does not beat Trump in some head-to-head matchups right now. This is true; but she does beat him on some, and this is while Trump has all of the attention and name recognition. It is foolish to assume that any Democrat’s numbers will not increase as the casual voter learns their name.
If we want other options, the time to begin hunting them and promoting them is now. Otherwise, President Warren may be a likelihood in our near future.