Friday, March 6, 2020

Inspite of her under-appreciated 'overwhelming competence', Warren exits the presidential race.

Mark Sumner (Daily Kos Staff) admits that Elizabeth Warren has been my candidate since before day one, and now I’m waiting for her next step. Ditto for Scriber. I have great respect for her intelligence and her message. I was sad to see her go. One consolation, I guess, is that she still has a future in Democratic politics. Read on for more about Warren, her candidacy, and what role she will play in the remainder of 2020.

Elizabeth Warren has been my candidate. She was not just the person I wanted to see win the primaries and the White House; she was also the person I was cheering for even before she entered the race. The reason for that was not her stance on health care, or her position on a wealth tax, or even her firm support for the Green New Deal.

The reason was, and is, that Warren has the single quality that I always look for in a presidential candidate. It has nothing to do with beer drinking, stars twinkling, or even the eloquence required to make a moving inspirational speech. It’s not how she stirs a crowd. It’s not even that she agrees with my positions up and down the chart. The quality that I endorse above all others and that Elizabeth Warren has in spades is simply this: overwhelming competence.

I believed she would do what is needed to be done more than I believed this about anyone else.

I still believe this, but then … this is … an ode to the campaign for that person who would have sat up all night going over the numbers one more time. Someone who would always find a way to fund the thing that was necessary and not act out of anger, retaliation, or simple self-aggrandizement.

Competence doesn’t mean just doing well what’s always been done. It means looking for new opportunities, a willingness to overturn outdated ideas, and a recognition that what was good enough then is not necessarily good enough now. Competence is hard work, collecting good information, making sound decisions. It’s being just and fair and innovative.

Competence is always progressive. Because conservative ideas are not supported by the evidence. Any evidence.

Warren is far from alone in being a good public servant. There are still such things, in Washington, and in state capitals, and in towns small and large everywhere. But when it comes to being competent, Warren shines. She’s the exemplar of someone who knows what she is talking about because she has put in the work to learn what she is talking about, and is willing to put in the work to make the best things happen.

There is no other quality more appealing to me, not in this election or any other. I honestly thought that quality would be appealing to most Americans, or at least to most Democratic voters. I was wrong about that. But I’m not wrong about Elizabeth Warren.

She hasn’t made the decision about what comes next after Tuesday night brought her campaign none of the victories she needed to remain a viable candidate. But I’m sure that whatever she does decide, there will be good reasons, and reasoning, behind it.

Disclosure: I was a Warren guy well before she ran for president. Her economic message resonated as did her competence.

UPDATE: The NY Time reports that Elizabeth Warren, Once a Front-Runner, Drops Out of Presidential Race. Ms. Warren, a senator and former law professor, staked her campaign on fighting corruption and changing the rules of the economy.

Senator Elizabeth Warren entered the 2020 race with expansive plans to use the federal government to remake American society, pressing to strip power and wealth from a moneyed class that she saw as fundamentally corrupting the country’s economic and political order.

She exited the race on Thursday after her avalanche of progressive policy proposals, which briefly elevated her to front-runner status last fall, failed to attract a broader political coalition in a Democratic Party increasingly, if not singularly, focused on defeating President Trump.

Her departure means that a Democratic field that began as the most diverse in American history — and included six women — is now essentially down to two white men: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Ms. Warren said that from the start, she had been told there were only two true lanes in the 2020 contest: a liberal one dominated by Mr. Sanders, 78, and a moderate one led by Mr. Biden, 77.

“I thought that wasn’t right,” Ms. Warren said in front of her house in Cambridge as she suspended her campaign, “But evidently I was wrong.”

Though her vision energized many progressives — the unlikely chant of “big, structural change” rang out at her rallies — it did not find a wide enough audience among the party’s working-class and diverse base. Now her potential endorsement is highly sought, and both Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden have spoken with her in the days since Super Tuesday losses sealed her political fate, though she revealed precious little of her intentions on Thursday.

“I need some space around this,” she said.

Ms. Warren’s impact on the race was far greater than just the outcome for her own candidacy. Her policy plans drove the agenda. She effectively pushed former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, a centrist billionaire, out of the race with a dominant debate performance last month.

And her ability to raise well over $100 million and fully fund a top-flight presidential campaign without holding high-dollar fund-raisers demonstrated that other candidates, beyond Mr. Sanders and his intensely loyal small-dollar donors, could do so in the future.

Though the campaign failed to generate the widespread backing necessary to win the nomination, Ms. Warren retained a core of fierce loyalists dedicated to the project of delivering on her promise of wholesale change.

Her selfie lines were filled with well-wishers — young girls seeking her trademark pinkie promise (“I’m running for president because that’s what girls do”), cutouts of Ms. Warren’s likeness, and tattoos of her adopted slogan: “Nevertheless, she persisted.” When her staff gathered Thursday, many were clad in liberty green, the color her campaign adopted to symbolize its togetherness.

The party’s left lane is now clearer for Mr. Sanders, who is aiming to attract enough of Ms. Warren’s supporters to put him over the top in a closely contested primary.

Supporters of Mr. Sanders and other progressives have spent the last two days gingerly reaching out to Ms. Warren’s orbit and plotting in private conversations about how to keep the two liberal standard-bearers aligned.

In January, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren clashed in a deeply personal way after she confirmed a report that in a private meeting before the campaign began, he told her he believed that a woman could not win the White House in 2020. During a debate, Mr. Sanders strongly denied having made the remark, and Ms. Warren confronted him onstage afterward, accusing him of calling her a “liar.” Relations have been chilly since.

In her call with Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren revealed so little of her endorsement plans that a person familiar with the call remarked on her “great poker face.”

Aimee Allison, the founder and president of She The People, a political advocacy organization for women of color, praised Ms. Warren for her campaign’s intentional inclusivity. “She really comes up as the first white candidate for president who had an intersectional politics,” she said.

But Ms. Allison acknowledged that pitch did not find favor in the broader minority electorate, even as it won plaudits from academics and activists.

“Black voters really were looking for a return to normalcy,” she said. “It was a rejection from what was perceived as riskier politics and a broader and more courageous political vision.”

Ms. Warren’s supporters were devoted to making the party more progressive to the end. In Illinois, where Ms. Warren’s campaign was scheduled to hold a post-Super Tuesday phone banking session, staff and supporters refused to cancel. They used their time to support Marie Newman, the local challenger running against an incumbent Democrat opposed to abortion rights.

“Our work continues,” Ms. Warren told her staff in the call informing them she was quitting the race. “The fight goes on, and big dreams never die.”

For Warren, What Next?

Also in the NY Times the question of what next is [Will Elizabeth Warren Endorse a Candidate? She Has a Few Options] Ms. Warren’s support is being sought by both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, and her political future is of great interest to Democrats.

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s departure from the presidential race on Thursday instantly made her endorsement one of the most coveted in the Democratic Party. She said she would not back anyone right away, but both Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. want her blessing as she and her supporters assess their options.

While Ms. Warren, 70, is more ideologically aligned with Mr. Sanders than she is with Mr. Biden, that doesn’t apply to all of her supporters. Many are college-educated women who were drawn to Ms. Warren for her energetic, intellectual style and long list of credentials. While her supporters generally embraced her leftward message, some may be uncomfortable with Mr. Sanders’s calls for political revolution.

Warren has sparred with both Biden and Sanders so her endorsement of either - if any - is not a given. Plus pulling her from the Senate has its own problems.

[In spite of all that] … both of the leading candidates have expressed openness to including her as part of their administration should they win (though in a tweet on Thursday, Mr. Biden said, “we need her continued work in the Senate”). Does she have vice-presidential or cabinet potential in the meantime?

"Progressives are going to want her to back the progressive,” said Rebecca Kirszner Katz, a veteran Democratic strategist. “This is a movement she has always been part of. They will want her to continue to be a leader in that movement.”

Yet a central part of Mr. Biden’s pitch is that he could defeat President Trump and help Democrats running in tough down-ballot races, with an eye on reclaiming the Senate. That plan faces many hurdles — but if it worked, an endorsement of Mr. Biden now could make Ms. Warren an enormously influential figure in Washington down the road, with real political capital on hand.

“Elizabeth Warren is a very logical progressive,” Ms. Katz said. “She’s always wanted to get her policies enacted. My guess is, she’s looking at all the numbers right now and seeing the best way to get her goals accomplished.”

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