Tag: Elizabeth Warren

The Incredible Shrinking Warren

After a Presidential campaign that was largely done in by her prevarications on Medicare for All, Elizabeth Warren is walking back her support for Medicare for All even more in an attempt to convince Biden to select her as his VP pick.

I’ve never been a fan of the snake posters on Twitter, but it’s increasingly obvious that Warren has decided that her own integrity is a reasonable sacrifice to the altar of her Presidential ambitions, even while the snake posting was dumb politically, it was accurate:

In the thick of primary season, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden brawled over “Medicare for All”: He called her approach “angry,” “elitist,” “condescending”; she shot back, anyone who defends the health care status quo with industry talking points is “running in the wrong presidential primary.”

Six months later, with Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee and Warren in the running for VP, she is striking a more harmonious chord.


The shift is the latest public signal Warren has sent Biden’s way in recent weeks that she wants the job of vice president — and wants Biden to see her as a loyal governing partner despite their past clashes, which go back decades.

Warren’s policy-centered, team-player pitch is counting on Biden caring more about Jan. 20 than Nov. 3, when he makes his vice presidential pick. In other words, that the current crisis has elevated governing concerns above political ones — and that the times call for someone with her policy chops and, yes, plans.


Warren is trying to demonstrate her value to a future Biden administration and interest in the job without too explicitly campaigning for it, which could backfire. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a top Warren booster, has been muted on the idea of her being chosen as vice president, instead trying to draw attention to her legislative and policy work surrounding the coronavirus.


Still, Warren’s governing-partner pitch is complicated by her differences on policy with Biden over the years, particularly on domestic economic issues. Her willingness to bash fellow Democrats made some Obama administration officials feel that she was self-servingly sanctimonious.

Some context clear here, when some administration officials said that Warren was, “self-servingly sanctimonious,” they really mean that the don’t like women who are insufficiently deferential to men.

There is a reason that Christine Romer was quoted as saying, “I remember once I told Valerie [Jarrett] that, I said if it weren’t for the President,* this place would be in court for a hostile workplace.”

Warren’s answer on Medicare for All this week, however, is a possible sign of her willingness to align herself with Biden’s positions. Biden has shown a similar flexibility by embracing Warren’s bankruptcy reforms, the subject of many of their clashes in the early 2000s. Biden and his campaign have also shown a new openness to big, progressive proposals to revive the economy.


People close to Biden say that politics and governing will both be factors in his VP decision but that the media coverage overanalyzes how a pick might affect the outcome in one swing state or another, as opposed to his own priorities.


“While people are always gaming out all the angles on who they think can best help the candidate win, I find they tend to underestimate the degree that someone who has been in the White House for eight years and held the job [himself] is going to be thinking about” the decision, he said in an interview.


Taking no chances, Warren has been trying to showcase her potential political upside. She deployed her robust email list to raise money for Biden after she formally endorsed him. “I never had as many [contributors] until she endorsed me,” Biden said in a joint donor call with Warren that the campaign posted online Sunday.

She is not going to get the nod, and she will have sold her soul for some not particularly magical beans.

* As the old saying goes, “A fish rots from the head.”

Elizabeth Has Left the Building

She has not yet made an endorsement, and she may not make one.

I cannot see her endorsing Biden, she started her activism opposing 2005 bankruptcy bill, and endorsing him before the convention would repudiate her entire political career.

I place her likelihood of endorsing Sanders at less than 25% though.

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 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.


Though her vision energized many liberals — 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.

F%$#ed Up Headline of the Day

At The Hill, they have a rather interesting headline, “Poll: Trump beats Warren, Biden in Iowa match-ups.”

It’s interesting for a number of reasons:

  • First, it’s a 51%-49% poll for both Biden and Warren trailing trump, with a 3.2% margin of error, so it’s a non story.
  • Second, and more importantly, is what we see in the 3rd paragraph:

    The reverse was the case for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Fifty-one percent of voters said they would pick him over Trump, who garnered 49 percent support.

This is a hacktacularly bad piece of reporting, and once again, as always, it cuts against Bernie Sanders.

CNN, and Jake Tapper, Suck

That’s my take on the debate.

Right wing framing, a phobia of substantive answers, and general wankertude.

Bernie was good, if you like him combative, and I do, but Elizabeth Warren had the quote or the evening, directed at the hapless John Delaney:

I Don’t Understand Why Anybody Goes to All the Trouble of Running for President of the United States Just to Talk about What We Really Can’t Do and Shouldn’t Fight For

She just won the internet.

Interesting Data Point

Elizabeth Warren seems to have a detailed plan for everything, with one exception she has no plan on healthcare, not even an explicit endorsement of a vague form of “Medicare for All”.

This is clearly an intentional omission, since her whole brand is about having a plan for EVERYTHING.

Considering that she has staked out a position just to the right of Bernie Sanders, I consider this to be an important tell: She will not fight for a truly universal healthcare system:

In a recent MSNBC town hall, Elizabeth Warren put her policy platform on full display. Through emotional, personal anecdotes and with a depth of understanding, Warren gave the impression of a candidate well-aware of the problems faced by working Americans and armed with the policies needed to solve them. She detailed her plans to achieve universal childcare, cancel the bulk of existing student debt, and create over a million green jobs by progressively taxing the richest Americans. She boldly criticized Joe Biden’s conservative record and decried the greed of large corporations.

The performance supported Warren’s reputation as a candidate with a “plan for everything” — a reputation emphasized repeatedly by MSNBC moderator Chris Hayes throughout the event. Taken as a whole, however, the town hall revealed an alarming gap in Warren’s policy repertoire, one that has gone mostly ignored to this point in the campaign: she has no plan for fixing the broken US health care system.

Warren had several opportunities in the town hall to address the health care crisis. Instead, she avoided the topic almost entirely. Even when discussing issues directly related to health care like repealing the Hyde Amendment and improving access to hearing aides, she neglected to propose a comprehensive policy solution.

Unfortunately, this was not a simple case of forgetfulness. In fact, it continues a disturbing trend with the Warren campaign. Check her website: in a long and thorough issues page full of bold plans to alleviate Americans’ suffering, Warren makes no mention of health care. View her campaign materials: Warren has yard signs dedicated to several of her major policy proposals, but not a single one about health care. Follow her campaign appearances: you’ll hear the usual platitudes (“health care is a human right;” “everyone deserves access to care”), but you won’t hear her endorse a specific policy.


Take for instance Warren’s March town hall on CNN. When asked directly whether she supports Medicare for All, Warren suggested that Medicare for All is merely a slogan for expanded public coverage, rather than a specific piece of single-payer legislation.

“When we talk about Medicare for All, there are a lot of different pathways,” she said, before listing a slew of incremental proposals without explicitly endorsing any of them, from lowering the age for Medicare eligibility to allowing employers to buy in to Medicare. “For me, what’s key is we get everyone to the table on this.”

Taking this answer at face value, it seems Warren sees herself pursuing an incremental approach that expands public coverage while preserving the private insurance industry should she be elected president. This would likely surprise many of her supporters, who might view her cosponsorship of Sanders’s Medicare for All bill as an endorsement of single-payer health care.

It’s fair to ask why Warren, who supports bold, progressive policies on a number of major issues, is avoiding the most important issue to voters. It could be a reluctance to attach herself to a rival candidate’s signature policy, or it could be a way to avoid conflict with the powerful health care corporations in her home state of Massachusetts.

Either way, it meshes well with a years-long effort by Democrats to blur the meaning of Medicare for All by gesturing goodwill toward single-payer advocates while attempting to redefine the phrase and apply it to public option proposals that preserve the private insurance industry. By following this playbook, Warren is actively supporting the corporate effort to kill the growing Medicare for All movement.

I wouldn’t go quite that far, but her reticence is unsettling.