It’s Super Tuesday, and in the last 48 hours, the Democratic presidential race has turned sideways. Joe Biden pulled out a huge win in South Carolina that shook the rest of the field. In short order, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar not only withdrew, but promptly joined Biden to endorse him. Tom Steyer also dropped out after spending a ridiculous amount of money in that state alone and garnering third place. Bernie Sanders, who has been the front runner in the early states, still leads in most polls.
And then there’s Elizabeth Warren, who finished fifth in South Carolina, third in Iowa, and fourth in both Nevada and New Hampshire. Looking just at the horse race, the media has already written her off, which I think is a mistake. We’ll see what happens by the end of Super Tuesday, but I think Warren has a unique opportunity due to the way the race has shifted.
As you can guess, Warren is my preferred candidate, and the best person to defeat Donald Trump in November, for several reasons:
- She’s smart as hell. Spend some time listening to her, whether that’s in interviews or on the debate stage. She thinks on her feet, doesn’t take crap from anyone, and can go deep on almost any topic facing the country right now.
- She gets results. She created the Consumer Protection Agency amid lots of opposition, and it garnered significant results for everyday Americans (despite Trump’s efforts to gut it).
- Yes, she has plans. Real plans that look at pressing problems and offer solutions, not just political promises. As a Senator, last week she introduced legislation to provide emergency funding to fight the spread of COVID-19, and released a plan that takes into account the people who need assistance as well as the financial disruption to the country it will create. Biden and Bernie have name recognition. Sanders’s plans have so far sounded vague and hand-wavey: we don’t know what it will cost, but we’ll find out.
- She has an authentic, compelling story. For me, this is important. Since 2016, I believe people don’t want focus groups and consultant tests, which is one reason Buttigieg has faltered lately.
- Her plans and goals are rooted in helping real Americans. Wall Street and the richest people are afraid of her not because of what she threatens to do (taxing them a small amount to provide much-needed assistance elsewhere), but because they know she knows how to make it happen.
With the race narrowed to Warren, Sanders, and Biden (and Bloomberg, whose checkbook can’t be underestimated, and Gabbard, who is still there because she can continue to fundraise and plot an independent spoiler run, I believe), Warren can now get the attention she’s deserved for a while. And in that lineup, she comes out way ahead:
- She’s ideologically well positioned between Sanders and Biden. Her positions are very similar to Sanders’s, without the baggage a Sanders nomination brings (more on that in a second). And although she’s not a centrist like Biden, she has a record of pragmatic work that shows she can build coalitions, marshall forces, and get things done.
- For people who want Bernie’s ideals without his baggage, Warren is the perfect alternative. Sanders has gotten flak lately for things he did and said in the 1970s that were complimentary to communist regimes and dictators, which do need to be taken into context. It’s 40 years later, and he’s not a socialist Commie, no matter what the GOP says (and believe me, if he’s the nominee, it will be a constant drumbeat for the rest of the year). But there are still lots of unanswered questions. Why does Sanders keep voting against, or abstaining, from imposing sanctions on Russia? Why was he one of just four Senators to vote against the Magninsky Act? These questions will need answers, and if Sanders doesn’t have them, or won’t offer them, then the Trump campaign will fill in the blanks with their own. From reports I’ve read, the opposition research against Sanders is so ripe that the Trump people can’t wait to have him as the nominee. I keep hearing that when you put those things into context, they’re justified, and I believe that—but context and nuance will be ignored luxuries in this election.
- She’s much more articulate and fast on her feet than Biden or Bernie. We can’t forget that a campaign is a job interview, and she’s the one I picture actually doing the hard work of being President of the United States. (It’s not all golf and watching TV and committing crimes.) Biden’s experience and charisma are laudable, but we can’t ignore his age and the fact that he’s making lots of flubs and goofs that suggest he’s just not as sharp as he used to be. Warren, amazingly, is the youngest of the top three contenders. And Bernie’s recent heart attack, the one for which he won’t release important medical records, is a serious concern.
- I honestly believe that having a smart woman as an opponent will drive Trump crazy and, crucially, force him to make errors because he just won’t be able to help himself. He knows how to bully other men, but he can’t handle smart women.
- Sanders rails against the establishment and the media for how they treat him as much as he rails against Trump. Perhaps that’s an overstatement, but it’s a very real perception. Warren fights to be heard, doesn’t complain, and presses forward.
Warren is, in short, a woman who gets things done, who fights for what she believes is right for other people, and represents a great middle ground between Bernie and Biden.
Despite the primary and caucus placements I mentioned earlier, Warren, Bernie, and Biden go into Super Tuesday with a similar number of delegates needed to win. A strong showing by Warren is just the momentum she needs. I encourage you to vote for her today and in upcoming primaries.