Illustration by Ricardo Santos; photographs by T.J. Kirkpatrick, Jordan Gale, Demetrius Freeman, and Allison Farrand for The New York Times.
Want some political meat to chew on, as you decide what Democratic candidate is most palatable and digestible in November?
Here are three articles that address why one Democratic candidate remains in the lead pack, but needs more spotlighting of her quality and viability as a winning candidate, and as a the best president for America, right now. Yes, I’m talking about Elizabeth Warren, who has really taken fewer arrows than any other candidate in the current Democratic infighting. Partly that’s because she’s not the targeted front-runner. But it’s also because few have much of substance to complain about her as a flawed candidate. She’s clearly the best equipped, almost comparable to Hillary Clinton in terms of serious credentials and leadership chops. But she’s a better candidate than Clinton to ride out the long test. Warren is behind Bernie but still capable of catching the same big wave he rides without the baggage, real or perceived, that sank Clinton in the final inside maneuvering of the Electoral College.
One of The New York Times’ most prominent liberal opinion columnists, Michelle Goldberg, makes a sterling new case for Warren as the best can-do president to fix what ails America and its economic system, here:https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/opinion/sunday/elizabeth-warren-2020.html
Note that Goldberg addresses how Warren has the most compelling personal success story of any presidential candidate, one which should speak to ordinary Americans struggling to get by. People need to pay attention to her, to realize what an inspiring candidate she could be in the general election..
This leads me to the other two articles, by political scientist Melanye Price. The first, from January, address the perceived “electability” factor which has assumed out-sized focus in this crucial election. The first article shows how Warren foiled Bernie Sanders on the alleged “woman can’t be elected president” trope. Sadly there’s substance to the reality of American sexism, especially in presidential politics. But If Warren can continue to fend off that notion smartly, as she did in the January debate, she can alter perceptions in the various corners of the worrying electorate who are afraid to support her. Here’s that piece: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/15/opinion/warren-sanders-debate.htmlhttp://
The other article by Price, from November, 2019, took a larger view of the current electorate, and still seems to still hold up as an analysis of the dominant dynamic in this race, and a projection of how things could play out. Her big-picture argument about the youth vote clearly buoys Bernie Sanders at this point. But is he really more electable than Warren in a general election? Wait till Trump starts piling on the easy “socialist radical” albatross which may be signified, in effect, by Bernie’s shoulder hunch. Ram-rod erect Warren has much of the same vision, but less ideologically and more pragmatically, with her cleansing-and-reinventing capitalism depth of planning and credibility. And she’s long been a superb debater, who recently demonstrated how she can deliver combination punches and body blows in debate, while having a natural affinity for the high road, and thus coming out looking good.
Is this enough to break the stubborn-but-clearly-aging “glass ceiling” of American misogyny?
Price makes it quite plausible. And here’s where both her recent “electability” article and her bigger-picture take can read as one whole scenario. Warren has plenty of work to do to become the nominee, but she still holds strong potential. Price’s combined arguments help explain why Warren remains the relatively unscathed Dem candidate “waiting in the wings.”
To my pleasant surprise, her persuasive analysis from last November ends up seizing on the two presidential candidates at the time, whom I think would be the best Democratic ticket for coalescing a strong, broad, diverse coalition: Warren (as president in my book) and Julian Castro (my choice for her running mate). That team is already in the cards as Castro, since dropping out of the presidential race, has become a primary surrogate for Warren and an obvious bridge builder to the growing Latinx and minority electorate. These Seven Million Young People Can Beat Trump
Because Warren clearly needs help these are also reasons why now’s the time for those who do and can believe in all she brings to the table need to step up as citizens in the election and actively supporting her. That’s what I’m doing.
The primary race might feel like Bernie’s to lose right now, but could he lose? I mean really lose? I think he’s a much more viable November candidate than a similar lefty — and doomed — darling, George McGovern, was in 1972. Times have changed in plenty of ways since then, but history always holds echoes for us to perk an ear to, and reconsider in the light of the present.
These are reasons why my mantra, left over from the 2016 campaign, now takes on new meaning: “Run, Liz, run!”
Read up these pieces and see what you think.