War­ren: A dis­tinc­tive mes­sage

The Week (US) - - News -

Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren (D-Mass.), the first ma­jor Demo­crat to en­ter the 2020 pres­i­den­tial race, is “fram­ing her en­tire agenda around a sin­gle is­sue,” said Matt Ford in NewRepub­lic.com. In her an­nounce­ment and on a trip to pri­mary state Iowa this week, War­ren po­si­tioned her­self as a cham­pion of the mid­dle class de­ter­mined to fight cor­rup­tion—in govern­ment and in an econ­omy “rigged” to ben­e­fit cor­po­ra­tions and the wealthy. “Bil­lion­aires and big cor­po­ra­tions de­cided they wanted more of the pie,” War­ren said, “and they en­listed politi­cians to cut them a fat­ter slice.” War­ren of­fers a de­tailed pol­icy agenda to achieve “fair­ness” and what she calls accountable cap­i­tal­ism: break­ing up mo­nop­o­lies, pros­e­cut­ing white-col­lar crime, en­abling work­ers to elect 40 per­cent of cor­po­rate board mem­bers. That’s what “a se­ri­ous pol­icy in­tel­lec­tual looks and sounds like in 2019,” said Paul Krugman in The New York Times. In a race with 30 pos­si­ble con­tenders, it’s en­cour­ag­ing to start with the fo­cus on ideas—rather than on whether War­ren is “lik­able” enough, as con­ser­va­tives are al­ready ques­tion­ing.

It sure didn’t take long for Democrats to play “the sex­ism card,” said Karol Markow­icz in the New York Post. Fact is, War­ren comes off as “stern, abra­sive, and un­friendly,” and her cringe­wor­thy at­tempts at seem­ing re­lat­able—like drink­ing a beer on In­sta­gram last week—won’t help. “We can’t point out the ob­vi­ous, be­cause she’s a woman,” yet it’s per­fectly OK to pub­lish “hun­dreds of ar­ti­cles” ex­plain­ing why Sen. Ted

Cruz (R-Texas) has such a “punch­able” face. The 2020 nom­i­nee must be able “to with­stand Trump’s abuse,” said Jonathan Tobin in TheFed­er­al­ist.com, and War­ren’s ill-fated de­ci­sion to get a DNA test in re­sponse to Trump’s “Poc­a­hon­tas” jibes only sug­gests she is vulnerable to be­ing trolled by him. War­ren is not the “dragon slayer” Democrats seek.

War­ren is ac­tu­ally quite tough, said John Cas­sidy in NewYorker.com. In Se­nate hear­ings, she told the CEO of scan­dal-plagued Wells Fargo he should re­sign and “give back the money you took while the scam was go­ing on.” She has called Trump “a small, in­se­cure money-grub­ber” and “a loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud.” And don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of her pop­ulism, and her real ex­pe­ri­ence fight­ing banks, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, and Wall Street—which will help her stand out in a com­i­cally crowded field. In the con­test to come, War­ren “will be a for­mi­da­ble pres­ence.”

War­ren in Iowa: A call for ‘fair­ness’

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