It might be time for voters to give Sen. Elizabeth Warren another look.
“I’m not ready to go away.” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Another Democratic debate took place in Las Vegas this week. Being the real barn-burner it was, it is still top of mind as the Democratic field looks into next week and what this coming Tuesday’s debate might bring.
Mike Bloomberg, having strangely and rather suddenly moved solidly into Joe Biden’s center lane upon the many stumbles of the latter, did not exactly have a good night.
Or did he?
True, Bloomberg’s performance left a great deal to be desired. More than a few Democrats are still bitterly disappointed, as Bloomberg was starting to look like the Democratic establishment’s only way of keeping the nomination from falling to Sen. Bernie Sanders.
But Bloomberg also drew the fire of everyone onstage, which makes him look more like a front-runner than he was looking previously. The other candidates, naturally, weren’t taking to kindly to this view.
“We shouldn’t have to choose between one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another candidate who wants to buy this party out. We can do better.” — Pete Buttigieg
Hope for Bloomberg’s campaign have been rising at pace with fears about Bernie Sanders becoming the nominee and doing to the U.S. Democratic Party what Jeremy Corbyn did to Britain’s liberal Labour Party.
That is to say; gut it, drive working-class voters to vote Republican and so deliver the most crushing defeat in a century from which the Democratic Party may never recover.
Sanders is assumed by most members of party leadership to be too-socialist to have any real chance in the general election against Donald Trump. With the understanding, of course, that Trump’s campaign machine will come at Bernie with everything he has ever said in praise of the U.S.S.R. he visited on his honeymoon.
This includes Sanders’ comments about how bread-lines really aren’t all that bad and that Soviet medicine was- during the Cold War- a mere ten years behind that of the U.S. At the best hospital in Moscow- maybe. In the rest of the Soviet Union at that time, it was more like 100-years behind.
Questions about Sanders’ electability have dogged his campaign since long before a heart attack last year almost sidelined him. Now, questions about Sanders’ health remain as the Senator has refused to release his medical records or provide anything beyond a note from his doctor.
Democrat Party leaders do not want Sanders, but party leaders, after having staked much on the electability of first Hillary Clinton, then Joe Biden, then Michael Bloomberg- only to have each candidate fall flat- are looking less and less sure of themselves as the weeks crawl by.
And Democratic voters, even the ones who don’t identify as liberal progressives, seem to trust party leadership less and less as each of their promises comes to nothing.
Former vice president Joe Biden has run a notoriously poor campaign- and that’s “No Malarky”, as Biden ill-advisedly opted to name his voter outreach efforts recently. Biden has stumbled and fumbled his way through debate after debate and was almost a nonentity during the latest Democratic nominee dustup.
Michael Bloomberg’s terrible debate performance, coupled with Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s expert take-down and plenty of fireworks between Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, sucked all the air out of the room.
So, if the Democratic nominee isn’t likely to be Joe Biden at this point, and it isn’t likely to be Michael Bloomberg either, who?
Former South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg would very much like to be considered “moderate” enough for the establishment nod, but no such nod has been forthcoming.
Buttigieg’s youth is against him. As is his continued failure to secure any measure of support from the African-American and Latino communities. Latino community leaders have singled Buttigieg out in particular as the candidate who has made the least efforts to partner with them.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar remains steady in the race and may yet make an excellent choice for running mate unless, by some miracle, she manages to pick up some steam soon.
It is clear that there are powerful forces within the Democratic Party working very hard against Bernie Sanders. It is no secret that most establishment and moderate Democrats consider Sanders too dangerous to run in the general election against Donald Trump.
Bernie Sanders is a self-avowed socialist and makes no secret of it. And of all the descriptors polled- unlike youth, race, sexual orientation- socialism is the most heartily and firmly rejected by the electorate.
“We’re not going to throw out capitalism. We tried that. Other countries tried that. It’s called communism, and it just doesn’t work.” — Michael Bloomberg
The fact that Sanders openly calls himself a socialist doesn’t help Democrats much in some immigrant-heavy populations either; many first-generation U.S. immigrants who identify as Latino fled countries destroyed by socialist and communist policies. Their children learned of the horrors of these collapsed systems- the starvation, deprivation and violence- from their parents.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, espouses most of the principles and policies that makes Sanders’ so attractive to younger voters. Yet she bears very little baggage in comparison. She may indeed be a Democratic Socialist, like her good friend Bernie Sanders, but she won’t be as easily painted as one by Donald Trump.
Warren has a vision for this country that includes equality, justice and liberty for all- not just the wealthiest. It is also well past time for the U.S. to boast its first female commander-in-chief. She is a fighter and is in this race to win, as she proved onstage this week in her brutal takedown of Michael Bloomberg that had the audience cheering.
It might be time for Democrats to reconsider Warren as an alternative to Sanders. She might just be the best of both worlds.
And the best candidate Democrats currently have in this race.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)