War­ren of­fers ad­van­tages as a run­ning mate

The Daily Herald - - OPINION - Kath­leen Parker’s email ad­dress is kath­leen­parker@wash­post.com.

Watch­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton beam­ing side­wise on stage as El­iz­a­beth War­ren taunted Don­ald Trump brought the Wrigley twins ditty to mind: Dou­ble your plea­sure, dou­ble your fun, with dou­ble good, dou­ble good, Dou­blemint gum.

In­stead of two happy twins rid­ing a tan­dem bi­cy­cle, the Clin­ton-War­ren sis­ter-clones — wear­ing blond bobs and shades of blue — rode Trump with a gob­s­mack­ing dou­ble-punch.

Railed the pe­tite se­na­tor from Mas­sachusetts: “Now, Don­ald Trump says he’ll make Amer­ica great again. … It’s stamped on the front of his goofy hat. You want to see goofy? Look at him in that hat.”

This was her way of top­ping Trump’s re­peated use of “goofy” to in­sult her.

And: “When Don­ald Trump says ‘great,’ I ask: ‘great for who, ex­actly?’” she said. “When Don­ald says he’ll make Amer­ica great, he means make it even greater for rich guys just like Don­ald Trump. … That’s who Don­ald Trump is. … And watch out, be­cause he will crush you into the dirt.”

And so the Twit­ter wars be­tween a non-can­di­date and the pre­sump­tive Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee will likely con­tinue. Doesn’t Trump re­al­ize that he’s the one run­ning for pres­i­dent?

Clin­ton’s rally, the first to fea­ture War­ren, was fol­lowed by a sis­ter­hood hug that only women can ex­change. That sim­ple em­brace sig­ni­fied a new bench­mark in women’s and Amer­i­can his­tory and changed the po­lit­i­cal nar­ra­tive for all time. Not only can a woman win a ma­jor party’s nom­i­na­tion but also it’s pos­si­ble that two women can team up as run­ning mates.

The idea that War­ren might be­come Clin­ton’s vice-pres­i­den­tial pick is ap­peal­ing if only for the prospect that two women could fill an en­tire pres­i­den­tial ticket.

War­ren cer­tainly is as qual­i­fied as many men who have filled the role. She ob­vi­ously doesn’t mind serv­ing as the at­tack dog for Clin­ton. And War­ren may be the one grind­ing Trump into the dirt, in­vec­tive for in­vec­tive. In a word, she’s fear­less to his care­less.

War­ren and Clin­ton haven’t al­ways been so cozy but, for the eter­nal record, women dif­fer from one an­other in as many ways as men do. War­ren is fur­ther to the left than Clin­ton ever meant to be. And she comes far more nat­u­rally to a pop­ulist mes­sage. While Clin­ton was be­ing forced left­ward by Bernie San­ders, War­ren was con­tin­u­ing her years-long, pro­gres­sive cru­sade.

Her en­dorse­ment of Clin­ton and her new role as a rowdy, crowd-warm­ing act con­sti­tute a bridge be­tween San­ders sup­port­ers and the pre­sump­tive nom­i­nee they never wanted. War­ren cap­tures the anger and anti-1 per­cent angst of the lib­eral left and lays it like a wreath at the feet of the woman who would be­come the first fe­male pres­i­dent.

War­ren is a peace of­fer­ing who aims to wage war on Trump. And she’s on to his great­est weak­ness. He can’t take a rib­bing and he can’t stand be­ing chal­lenged by a woman. It gets un­der his skin like noth­ing else. So, when War­ren says he looks goofy in a hat, he calls her Pocahontas (for her hav­ing said she has Amer­i­can In­dian blood.)

Speak­ing strictly as an ob­server, it seems that Trump may be los­ing his rank­ing as top draw in the po­lit­i­cal cir­cus. If War­ren stays on the stage, it’s nearly as­sured that all eyes will be on her — which might cause Clin­tonites some con­cern.

Like Trump, War­ren has that cer­tain some­thing that fills are­nas and draws peo­ple to their feet. That’s where the sim­i­lar­i­ties end. A Har­vard law pro­fes­sor be­fore she ran for the U.S. Se­nate, War­ren is smart, elo­quent on con­sumer pro­tec­tion is­sues and pas­sion­ately com­mit­ted to well-de­fined prin­ci­ples. One needn’t agree with her to ap­pre­ci­ate her vigor, as well as a steely-eyed soft­ness that comes across in per­son.

Un­like Trump, she’s in pos­ses­sion of an agree­able per­son­al­ity. Even when yelling across a surg­ing crowd, she man­ages to avoid sound­ing stri­dent. Close up, she’s warm, en­gag­ing and non­threat­en­ing.

Most im­por­tant, she al­lows Clin­ton to step back from the fray and gives every­one a chance to imag­ine what a two-woman ticket could look like. Too much the same? Too soon for two? For whom?

It may be true, as some­one wrote me, that Clin­ton’s great­est virtue is her op­po­nent. But it’s also plain that War­ren is her great­est as­set.

Talk about a twofer.


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