Elizabeth Warren

Fox News Hosts Ruthlessly Attack Elizabeth Warren – VIDEO

Fox-Hosts

Fox News Screenshot

Well the good news is that Fox knows Elizabeth Warren is the most viable threat to implementing true corporate reform.  Hence the attacks.  If Elizabeth Warren were to run, I suspect that like Obama in 2008, she may start off slow but once people get to know her agenda and how she is for a revival of the middle class in America, they just might understand her message as opposed to Hillary’s pro corporate stance.

Liberals Unite

Fox News hosts held a hate-fest on Tuesday’s edition of Outnumbered, mercilessly lashing out at Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a segment discussing a possible Warren run for president in 2016.

In the segment, Fox Business host Melissa Francis predicting that Wall Street would do their vest to crush Warren as they believed she was “actually the devil.”

Co-host Kennedy Montgomery elaborated, stating that:

I can tell you from talking to people in the financial industry, in banking, on Wall Street, they think she is actually the devil. I mean, without question, Elizabeth Warren is the devil. So, they’re going to put any money they have behind Hillary Clinton, which should be a help.

After debating back and forth for a few moments about Warren’s populist message, guest host Bernard McGuirk  attacked Warren as a “radical leftist” who “probably has posters” of a Mumai Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop-killer, “plastered all over her bedroom.”

Speaking of Warren, McGuirk stated:

When they shine a light on this lady, you don’t rise to the top at Harvard by being some moderate wallflower. She’s a radical leftist and you’re going to find out stuff about her that’s not palatable for her to run. So, I hope she runs.

She probably has posters of Mumai Abu-Jamal plastered all over her bedroom. I mean, she’s academia, Harvard, radical left.

It’s Elizabeth Warren’s party now! How to remake it in the liberal heroine’s image

Elizabeth Warren, Barack Obama | (Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/Yuri Gripas/photo montage by Salon)

I’ll just say, I hope she runs in 2016…

Salon

If they’re smart, liberals could use Warren’s new power to make the changes to the party that are so badly needed

Despite being so notoriously difficult to get right, predictions are part of the pundit’s stock-in-trade. So once you’ve got some grains of salt ready to toss into the mix, please indulge me for a moment as I make one of my own.

Here it goes: Twenty years from now, assuming climate change has not yet ended the world as we know it, most American liberals won’t think of this fall as the time when Republicans finally retook control of the U.S. Senate. And they won’t think of it as the brief pause that separated the era of Barack Obama from that of Hillary Clinton. Instead, when the liberals of our near future look back on the current moment, they’ll remember it as the hour when the Democratic Party began to move decisively to the left, thanks in no small part to the continued ascendance of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Pessimist that I am, I’ll readily grant that this is very optimistic. In fits and starts, the party’s been moving leftward for a number of years now, and I’ve little doubt that the midterm blowout will be cited by some as proof that Democrats must become even more centrist. Yet unlike the talk surrounding a historically ignored election, which will dissipate quickly (especially if I’m right about the return of government-by-crisis), the opportunity raised by the Democratic Party’s recent decision to make Warren part of its Senate leadership has the potential to be far more enduring. But only if liberal activists know what to do with it.

At this point, it’s not entirely clear what the folks nominally in charge of this infamously disorganized party are trying to do by elevating Warren. Because the former Harvard Law professor has been prominent in liberal circles since the launch of her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it can be easy to forget that she’s only been in Congress for a couple of years. And coming as it does after a truly disastrous midterm showing, this seeming vote of confidence from Democratic bigwigs has the risk of being a “glass cliff” situation. My former colleague Brian Beutler, for example, has guessed that Senate Dem leadership may have opted to bring Warren into the fold because they’ll need a popular spokeswoman to deliver the next two years’ worth of bad news to the “professional left.”

Still, even if Warren’s promotion isn’t motivated entirely or primarily by idealism and generosity, it could nevertheless be a major turning point for activists looking to push the Democratic Party in a more left-wing direction. After many years of kvetching about their paltry influence — and following decade after decade of enviously watching the conservative movement refashion the GOP in its own image — lefty ideologues and organizers now have the chance to turn Warren into a kind of trojan horse for a resurgent politics of economic populism (or, as it used to be called, liberalism). And if they adapt and adhere to the script used many years ago by visionary right-wingers, who famously responded to an electoral drubbing in 1964 by staying the course and propelling a true believer to the White House less than 20 years later, it just might work.

It’s not a perfect analogy, I admit. There are fundamental, irresolvable differences between liberals and conservatives, and they extend well beyond ideology and into the realms of psychology and sociology. (Liberals are less hierarchically minded, more demographically diverse.) Further, in spite of all the mythology about conservative movement turning the GOP into the “party of ideas,” the fact is that the men (and women, but mostly men) who transformed the party of Lincoln into the chief vehicle of the Reagan Revolution spent much more time talking about and organizing around what they were against — taxes, the welfare state, the civil rights movement, feminism, LGBT equality, the separation of church and state, etc. — than what they were for. And while there are certainly some recent Supreme Court decisions they’d like to see reversed, a politics centered around a return to the glorious past is, for liberals, not really an option.

But notwithstanding all of that, I still think the conservative example offers activist liberals unhappy with the Obama record –which is most of them — some valuable lessons.

For one, if left-wing troublemakers want to make Sen. Warren a Goldwater of their own, they’ll have to ignore the 2016 presidential race as much as possible. That doesn’t simply mean giving up on the lost cause of forcing Wall Street favorite Hillary Clinton to reinvent herself as a true progressive. And it certainly doesn’t mean wasting resources on a quixotic primary challenge, which in the present circumstances will do little more than help Clinton get back in the swing of triangulation. Instead, it means building institutional support from the bottom up by creating funding networks and community spaces outside of the Democratic Party’s reach, so lefties can feel personally invested in their cause without having D.C. grandees step in and tell them to be “serious.” That’s what right-wing activists did through churches, think tanks and mailing lists; and the often successful Internet-based organizing from people at Daily Kos and the Blue America PAC has already offered a hint of how those on the left can do it again.

For another, the conservative precedent suggests that even if policy is overrated when it comes to deciding the outcome of elections, it’s extremely important to be in control of the policymaking apparatus for the time that comes next. Our political culture may pay an inordinate amount of lip service to the idea that policy is a translated version of the people’s will, but the reality is that most partisans and politicians choose their policy views by following where their party leads them, not the other way around. Conservative dominance over the grants, scholarships and think tanks that comprised the GOP’s policymaking infrastructure was integral to the dramatic lurch to the right the party platform experienced between 1960 and 1976 (before Reagan’s coronation, you’ll note). And as the Tea Party’s recent takeover of influential right-wing policy shops like Cato and Heritage shows, the value of this approach has not over time been diminished. As Grover Norquist, one of the leading right-wing activists of his generation, noted in 2012, controlling the GOP policymaking machine made it so all conservatives needed in a Republican president was the ability to use a pen.

Last but not least, the success of right-wing activists from the past and present indicates that there can be long-term benefits in a short-term stint as the minority. To be clear, it’d be taking things too far to say that it’s a good thing Democrats now only control the White House. As the last four years have taught us, the powers of the imperial presidency don’t seem to extend very far into the realm of the domestic (at least not yet). So having a majority in Congress is vital, still. At the same time, there’s value, to a degree, in having a party with ideological coherence — increasingly so, I’d argue, in an era of institutional failure and partisan polarization. Most of the Democrats dissolved in the red tides of ’10 and ’14 were “blue dog” conservatives, and while their absence has stripped Democrats of control over Congress, it’s offered lefties within their ranks the chance to redecorate, as it were, now that the majority times have ended.

Perhaps more than anything else, though, what lefty activists should learn from their right-wing counterparts is this: In a dysfunctional two-party system such as ours, in which voters are perpetually unhappy and ready for any excuse to throw the bums out and start all over, it’s only a matter of time until the losers of yesterday are once again ascendant. And as the GOP has shown in the years since its back-to-back wipeouts in ’06 and ’08, responding to electoral defeat by moderating is no longer necessary, while moving further away from the center is no longer a death sentence. Now that they have a political superstar and ideological true believer as their behind-the-scenes agent, lefty activists with an eye on the long term have a chance to, in the words of Warren, “frame the issues for the next few elections” and ultimately make the Democratic Party truly progressive.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the teacher, reminds Democrats that ‘rally’ is a verb

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) delivers a fiery speech on income inequality and financial deregulation to a crowd of Iowans on Oct. 19 in support of Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Bruce Braley. (Robin Stone via YouTube) Screencap

I truly hope Senator Warren runs in 2016…

The Washington Post

Elizabeth Warren usually opens with a joke. It is not that funny. Funny is not the point.

“Can y’all hear me in the back row?” she said here on Saturday morning, looking out from the lectern at a rally for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). “You can always tell a schoolteacher. I will be keeping an eye on those of you in the back row. You may be called on at some point during this. Iknow why you’re in the back row.”

At this rally, the joke didn’t even make a lot of sense. It is a gag written for big rooms — for the college lecture halls that Warren has been filling as a guest speaker for Democratic candidates this year. But on this day in New Hampshire, the crowd was small. The “back row” was only about 20 feet away. They could definitely hear her.

Warren used the joke anyway. The point is not the joke — the point is the word “schoolteacher.”

Every bit of Warren’s 17-minute stump speech is designed to do a job, and the job of this section is — in speechwriter lingo — to “establish bio.” It reminds people that once (actually, about 43 years ago), Warren worked with children at an elementary school. With that word, she locates herself inside the middle-class audience she intends to persuade.

Warren — a second-year senator from Massachusetts who is not up for reelection — might be one of the few Democrats in the nation who are enjoying 2014. She has been invited to rallies for candidates in six states, even in conservative places such as Kentucky, where on Tuesday night she campaigned with Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

One secret of Warren’s success has been her mastery of an old political art: the stump speech. Other Senate Democrats, after years on the defensive, have been trained to give mumbly attack speeches focusing mainly on what their opponents get wrong. Warren, by contrast, uses old rhetorical tricks to sweep her audience into a celebration of what she says Democrats get right.

Warren’s speech might not win any elections this year, but it certainly seems more fun for people in the back row.

“So, this is a rally? Let’s rally for a minute. Let’s remind ourselves what we get out there and fight for,” she told the small crowd in New Hampshire. And she started in with a kind of credo, reciting the things they all believed together. “We believe we need more restraints on Wall Street.”

“Woo!” said the crowd.

“Yeah!” said the senator from Massachusetts. “Woo!”

Warren, 65, grew up in small-town Oklahoma, and became a Harvard law professor studying bankruptcy and why so many Americans fall into it. That work drove her to become an activist, trying to protect people from predatory practices at big banks. That activism eventually made her famous, as a tough-talking founder of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

See video here…

Continue reading here…

Obama’s 2008 Backers: We’re Ready for Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren | Chip Somodevilla/Getty

I am so on board with the idea of Elizabeth Warren as the Progressive/Democratic candidate for 2016…

The Daily Beast

The Massachusetts Senator says she’ll sit out 2016. But some Democratic diehards won’t take no for an answer, and are already building a campaign for her.

She is, she insists, not interested, telling The Boston Globe, “There is no wiggle room. I am not running for president. No means no.”

But for the organizers behind Ready for Warren, the SuperPAC trying to draft the Massachusetts senator into the 2016 presidential race, the door remains open for a potential run. So the group is staffing up in key early primary states and raising money in what they say will be an all-out blitz after the midterm elections designed to show Warren that there is a groundswell of support behind her.

And if many of the organizers and early supporters of the Warren for President seemed unfazed by the notion that Hillary Clinton is an all-but inevitable Democratic nominee, perhaps that is because many of them have seen this process play out before—when they backed a previously unknown freshman senator from Illinois named Barack Obama who went on to topple the Clinton machine.

“I was in the Obama world,” said Erica Sagrans, who is helping lead the draft Warren effort and who served as northeast digital director of the Obama re-election campaign in 2012 after working for the pro-Obama outfit Organizing for America in 2009. “There are a lot of people in that world who are Warren fans, who really like Warren. But this is still a moment when people aren’t entirely comfortable coming forward.”

A number of veterans of Obama-world, however, are now out and proud Warren-ites. There is Kate Albright-Hanna, most recently a spokesperson for Zephyr Teachout’s upstart New York gubernatorial primary against Andrew Cuomo, and who joined the Obama effort way back in 2007 as the director of online video. Now she is preparing to take an as of yet undefined role with Ready for Warren.

“I am interested in building the progressive movement,” she said, citing a campaign continuum that stretched from Howard Dean in 2004, through Obama in 2008 and Teachout in 2014. “Getting involved in Elizabeth Warren is just continuing along that same branch. “

She said that the excitement around Warren now was similar to that around Obama in 2007.

“Before ‘change’ became such a cliché and everybody became disillusioned, there was a moment where people got excited and thought that we can actually change the way politics is conducted. We don’t have to be beholden to entrenched interests. All of that was epitomized in the early days of the Obama campaign, and there is the same sense now, that we don’t have to settle for what we have been given.”

As for Clinton, Albright-Hanna said, “We can’t go back to the 1990’s.”

Deborah Sagner raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Obama’s campaign. Now, she calls herself one of the “first funders” of the Warren effort, having donated $20,000 to Ready for Warren already.

“I have a history of not supporting Hillary Clinton that goes back to 2007,” Sagner said. “I have never been particularly inspired by her. And I was very inspired by Barack Obama.”

Sagner said that she was concerned that Clinton was too hawkish and close to Wall Street, but added a point repeated by many Warren supporters: that robust debate, and a spirited primary, is good for the Democratic Party.

“I think it is good for the Democratic Party to have a progressive wing that challenges business as usual.”

And if Warren seems like an unlikely upstart now, so did Obama at this time eight years ago.

“[That campaign] made me think that it’s possible that this could happen. There are some parallels. And these things can just catch on and get going.”

There are also, of course, several non-parallels. Clinton, for one thing, is in a far stronger position than she was in 2000, back when voters still remembered her husband’s administration for its scandals rather than for its economic record, and back when Hillary was still paying for her Iraq War vote. Early polling shows her with a commanding—if not outright prohibitive—lead among Democratic voters. Additionally, Ready for Hillary, the SuperPAC supporting her effort, has already raised $8 million, and the bulk of the Democratic establishment has signed on, including some of the party’s most well-known political operatives.

Ready for Warren, meanwhile, has raised between $50,-100,000 according to organizers, and although it’s still preparing to open offices in New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina, it has so far signed up a few hundred volunteers. But there are as of yet no prominent political supporters, and perhaps its most well-known advisor is Billy Wimsatt, a longtime progressive political activist and the author of the cult classic Bomb The Suburbs.

“This is an inside/outside effort,” said Sagrans “There are people that have connections and roots in the DC political world, and there are people that are grassroots activists around the country.”

The group, however, recently bombarded the Harkin Steak Fry in Iowa, where Hillary made what many observers saw as her triumphant return to the national political stage. They are in discussions with several polling firms, and are planning a nationwide night of phone-banking later this month on behalf of Senate candidates that Warren has endorsed. They know that 2016 activity is on hold until November, but are aware that once the midterms are over, the presidential primary process begins in earnest. And if Warren is to feel that there is support out there for her, than the Ready for Warren team has a very short window to show it.

This means kicking up their fundraising in a major way. The group has already hired Bulldog Finance Group, a fundraising outfit founded by Scott Dworkin, who served on Obama’s inaugural committee in 2009, and which is staffed by another vet of the Obama 2008 campaign.

“We are helping Ready for Warren with two main goals,” said Jerald Lentini, vice-president of the firm and a former staffer with the AFL-CIO. “The first is encouraging Elizabeth Warren to run for president, because she is absolutely the best progressive out there. And the second is to build an organization that can help Senator Warren win when she decides to run.”

But the early Warren supporters are not just pulled from the ranks of people who helped derail Clinton’s ambitions in 2008. Audrey Blondin served on Hillary’s campaign in Connecticut in 2008, and as the elected state Democratic committeewoman, also worked on the campaigns of such establishment figures as Al Gore and John Kerry.

“That was then. This is now,” she said. Blondin is a bankruptcy lawyer, like Warren, and has known her for decades. She held a house party for Ready for Warren over the summer, and said she was unswayed by the senator’s denials.

“I understand that she says she is not interested in running. I have been in politics 35 years. I know what happens. You think she is not watching what we are doing? Of course she is. And that is going to make a difference. It’s all about timing and she is in the right place at the right time with the right message. In a few months it is going to take off. She won’t be willing to buck the tide that is carrying her forward.”

And if she does buck that tide, it does not necessarily mean that it is end of the Warren for President boomlet. According to Daniel Buk, a political consultant who raised $40,000 for Obama in 2012 but has given $20,000 to Ready for Warren this year, there is already talk of keeping the group together through the 2020 election cycle.

“There is real excitement here,” Buk said. “And there is a real potential, should Senator Warren reveal her plans.”

GOP’s ’16 consolation vanishes: Suddenly, Democrats have the deep bench!

GOP's '16 consolation vanishes: Suddenly, Democrats have the deep bench!

Elizabeth Warren, Ted Cruz (Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts/AP)

Salon

After Romney’s 2012 loss, pundits raved about the GOP’s new leaders. But two years later, Democrats have the edge

In the wake of President Obama’s re-election in 2012, reporters found one soothing source of solace for the GOP. “One race the Republicans appear to be winning is the one for the deepest bench of rising stars,” wrote the Washington Post, and plenty of folks followed up. Democrats, meanwhile, had nobody on the bench but Hillary Clinton – a formidable candidate if she were to run, but that wasn’t even certain.

Beyond Clinton, there seemed to be a wasteland populated by ambitious governors no one had ever heard of (Martin O’Malley), some who were well known but not widely liked (Andrew Cuomo). Oh, and Brian Schweitzer.

The Republican list, meanwhile, seemed almost infinite: blue and purple state governors like New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Ohio’s John Kasich and Virginia’s Bob McConnell, and Tea Party senators like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Romney’s ambitious, “wonky” running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, had his fans, as did former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Even Texas Gov. Rick Perry, recovered from back surgery and sporting hot new glasses, could have another life in 2016.

But in two years, the situation has almost reversed itself. Promising GOP governors – McDonnell, Christie, Walker – find themselves dogged by scandal. The Tea Party trio of Paul, Cruz and Rubio still vies for media attention and right wing adoration, but Rubio’s immigration reform work doomed him on the right. Unbelievably, Paul is widely labeled the frontrunner (but don’t tell that to Cruz), while the party establishment and neocon hawks search for an alternative. Despite all that impressive talent, Mitt Romney leads the pack in New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, in what’s widely being reported as trouble for Hillary Clinton, because that’s the narrative the media know best, it turns out there are a bunch of popular and maybe even formidable Democrats. Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren wowed the crowd at Netroots Nation. (Check out this great New Yorker Biden profile if you want to know how the VP is keeping his options open). The Netroots buzz inspired the Washington Post’s Phillip Rucker and Robert Costa to survey the landscape of Democrats who’ve put a toe or more in the water for 2016.

We learned that Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is visiting Iowa (it is only one state away), while New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has a book coming out. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is said to be huddling with donors, believing the party could use a dose of red state common sense.

This is all framed as mildly ominous news for Hillary Clinton – the headline is “With liberals pining for a Clinton challenger, ambitious Democrats get in position” — but Klobuchar, Gillibrand and Nixon have all endorsed Clinton, and Warren has encouraged Clinton to run while insisting she won’t do so herself. The only Democrats listed who may still run even if Clinton does too are O’Malley and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.

Regardless of the intent of the framing, the Rucker-Costa story actually pointed up the vitality in the Democratic Party, where lively debates over income inequality and foreign policy have so far fallen short of creating bitter divisions and factions, at least so far. Again, contrast that with the GOP, where Ted Cruz seems to be staking his 2016 hopes on his ability to humiliate every party leader and make sure Republicans will never make inroads with the Latino population. He’s blocking bipartisan emergency legislation to deal with the border crisis, and pushing to reverse President Obama’s deferred action on deportation for young people brought here by their parents.

Meanwhile Warren, the progressive elected the same time as Cruz, is touring the country campaigning for Democratic Senate candidates, even some who are more centrist than she is, like Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes and West Virginia’s Natalie Tennant.  She’s focused on growing the Democratic Party, not cutting down colleagues who are less progressive.

So: the GOP’s right wing firebrand is a loose cannon who is completely out for himself, while the Democrats’ left wing firebrand is working amiably with party leaders and deflecting talk of a primary challenge to Clinton. In the end, the rising number of possible alternatives to Hillary Clinton is a sign of Democratic strength, even if the media tends to bill it as weakness.

Does Ted Cruz Have What It Takes To Run Against A Woman In 2016?

aarom9

Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX)

This is hilarious…

H/t: Ted Webb

Liberals Unite

Women in politics are often asked inappropriate questions that have nothing to do with their ability to govern. In an effort to achieve gender parity, I have a few questions for the Republican Senator from Texas who may be considering a run in 2016.

Mr. Cruz:

So you want to be President? You have hinted heavily at the idea. As a voter and as an American, I have a few questions for you before I can make up my mind as to whether or not you are fit to run this country.

You will probably be running against Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren. If you are up against either one of these very capable, sane women, you have your work cut out for you. These women know what they are doing. They are savvy, intelligent and know a thing or two about what Americans want and how to cut through the BS.

You, on the other hand, have not sufficiently proven yourself, and you have not undergone the same kind of scrutiny and questioning as these two badass women have.

Let’s begin:

Has your wife Heidi given you permission to run for president? If so, how do you imagine being the president will affect your marriage? Are you confident you will be able to meet all of Heidi’s needs AND run the country?

Will you be getting a nose job before the primaries?

Were you a virgin before you were married? Don’t lie. We’ll know.

Who picks your suits? Who designs your suits? What is your inseam?

Do you plan on slimming down before you launch your official campaign?

Do you dye your hair? You are 44 years-old and your hair is pretty dark. That isn’t very realistic. Who do you think you’re fooling? If you can’t be honest about your hair color, how can you expect the American people to believe a word you say?

Another hair question: It appears you use some sort of grease to style your hair. It looks a bit creepy. Do you believe you will switch hair products in an effort to appear more humanlike? Ever?

The public has noticed you have a high-pitched voice. Americans want their male president to “sound” masculine – even if he isn’t. Will you be taking voice lessons to give us the illusion you are more virile?

Along those lines, have you ever dressed in women’s clothing? If yes, did you like the way it made you feel? And if yes, what, specifically did you wear? Please be detailed in your answer regarding fabrics, colors, etc.

You bear a striking resemblance to lunatic Senator Joe McCarthy. Are you his love child?

If someone were given full access to your personal computer, can you honestly tell us there will be no gay porn in your search history?

Will you be able to keep calm and contain your emotions when a woman polls higher than you?

Do you believe the old rumor that your penis is half the size of your foot? If so, what is your shoe size?

I look forward to your responses. As you may or may not realize, the woman who would be your challenger – if you make it out of the primaries, and that is highly doubtful considering your facial structure and high-pitched voice – has already dealt with this type of curiosity and questioning from conservative outlets and it’s about time male politicians are held to the same standards.

Fair is fair.

Why Elizabeth Warren Left The GOP

Warren Emerging

Sen. Elizabeth Warren – (D) |Credit: AP

Think Progress

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told George Stephanopoulos Sunday that she left the Republican Party in the mid-90s because it was tilting the playing field in favor of Wall Street.

Warren has quickly become a populist hero to liberals. Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s The Week, noted something in her background that “might surprise” her supporters: the fact that she has voted Republican in the past, and was a registered Republican in Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1996. Warren said she left the party after that because she felt it was siding more and more with Wall Street:

I was an independent. I was with the GOP for a while because I really thought that it was a party that was principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets. And I feel like the GOP party just left that. They moved to a party that said, “No, it’s not about a level playing field. It’s now about a field that’s gotten tilted.” And they really stood up for the big financial institutions when the big financial institutions are just hammering middle class American families. I just feel like that’s a party that moved way, way away.

Warren’s instincts on the GOP’s sympathy for the big financial institutions proved prescient. Former Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) spent the 1990s spearheading legislation that made the 2008 financial crisis possible: the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which broke down the firewall between commercial banks and the far riskier investment banks, as well as the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which deregulated the over-the-counter derivatives that played a key role in the 2008 financial collapse. Both bills passed with majority Republican support, though they were also supported by a good deal of Democrats and the Clinton White House.

“Starting in the 80s, the cops were taken off the beat in financial services,” Warren explained. “These guys [the big financial institutions] were allowed to just paint a bullseye on the backs of american families. They loaded up on risk, the crashed the economy, they got bailed out. And what bothers me now is they still strut around Washington, they block regulations that they don’t want, they roll over agencies whenever they can, and they break the law. And they still don’t end up being held accountable for it and going to jail.”

Warren also dinged the Obama White House, saying, “I make no secret of my differences with the administration in how they’ve treated the large financial institutions.” But she noted the Consumer Financial Protection bureau (CFPB) — which was largely Warren’s brainchild — would not exist without Obama’s support. The agency has already begun cracking down on payday lenders and debt collectors, while cataloging and reporting on mortgage service abuses.

Warren credited the agency with already forcing the largest financial institutions to return more than $3 billion they’ve cheated from customer, and she herself has gone afterRepublicans for filibustering the CFPB’s nominated director unless the agency is restructuredto weaken its political independence.

Since 2008, the Democrats and the Obama Administration have made some efforts — albeit limited — to repair some of the damage, particularly by passing the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and the CFPB. But prominent Republican senators like David Vitter (LA) former Sen. Jim DeMint have tried to roll back the Dodd-Frank financial regulation laws, or repeal them wholesale. And as Mike Konczal has detailed, both establishment and Tea Party republicans have spent the time since the crisis opposing nearly every new regulation to rein in Wall Street’s risk-taking and every attempt to reinstate the rules lost during the 1990s.

“What’s happening is we’ve got a washington for those he can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers. Their voices get heard in Washington and rules get tilted in their favor,” Warren said.

“Working families, not so much.”

Elizabeth Warren Smacks Down ABC’s Attempt To Split The Democratic Party

Elizabeth Warren on ABC’s: “This Week”

 

PoliticusUSA

Instead of talking about how the big banks and Wall St. blew up the economy, the middle class, or income inequality, ABC’s This Week tried to use Elizabeth Warren to divide the Democratic Party, but Sen. Warren wouldn’t play along.

Video:

 

Transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve been pretty clear, and we showed it in Jeff Zeleny’s piece, that you say you’re not running for president in 2016. It seems like you’ve just affirmed it again. You also signed a letter — several senators signed a letter earlier this year encouraging Hillary Clinton to run.

So is she your candidate in 2016?

******

WARREN: You know, all of the women — Democratic women, I should say, of the Senate urged Hillary Clinton to run. And I hope she does.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You hope she does. And if she does, she is your candidate, you’re going to endorse her?

WARREN: If Hillary — Hillary is terrific.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you’ve said she is terrific very many times. You say that again in this book, “A Fighting Chance.” But this book leaves out something of a pointed criticism from your earlier book, “The Two Income Trap.”

There you praised first lady Hillary Clinton for her opposition to this bankruptcy bill pushed by the big banks, but go on to talk about how she, as New York senator, seemed she could not afford that principled position.

Senator Clinton received 140,000 in campaign contributions from banking industry executives in a single year. Big banks were now part of Senator Clinton’s constituency. She wanted their support, and they wanted hers, including a vote in favor of that awful bill.

So do you think that — are you worried that somehow she will bow to big business, those were your words in that book, if she becomes president?

WARREN: Look, I’ve made it clear all the way through this book and really what I’ve been working on for the last 25 years, that I’m worried a lot about power in the financial services industry.

And I’m worried about the fact that basically starting in the ’80s, you know, the cops were taken off the beat in financial services, these guys were allowed to just paint a bull’s eye on the backsides of American families.

They loaded up on risk. They crashed the economy. They got bailed out. And what bothers me now is they still strut around Washington. They block regulations that they don’t want. They roll over agencies whenever they can. And they break…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did they rollover Hillary Clinton?

WARREN: Well, that’s — they break the law, and still don’t end up being held accountable for it, and going to jail.

One of the things that I focus on really hard throughout this book is that that is one of the prime examples of how the playing field is tilted and how we’ve got to push back against it.

It’s a central issue for me. It’s something I’m going to keep talking about. And I’m going to keep talking about it with everyone.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Right. But — I understand. Do you think Hillary Clinton will push back on that as well?

WARREN: Well, I’m going to keep talking about this issue. And I’m going to keep pushing on this issue.

Sen. Warren kept trying to steer the discussion towards the middle class and fighting the big banks, but mostly George Stephanopoulos wanted to talk about the 2016 horse race and stir up disagreement between Warren and Hillary Clinton. ABC had a chance to discuss income inequality, the big banks, and the decline of the middle class with one of the nation’s top experts, but all they wanted to do was try to create some controversy ahead of 2016.

The media desperately wants to divide the Democratic Party. They want big ratings, and the ratings come when there is a contest that captures the imagination of the nation. Hillary Clinton running away with the 2016 Democratic nomination is boring TV. The Republican field will likely be as weak and unpopular as ever. The mainstream media is begging for a storyline for 2016. If the storyline helps to destroy Democratic Party unity, all the better.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren made it clear that she isn’t going to give the media what they want.

If Hillary Clinton doesn’t run, Sen. Warren might run, but that wasn’t supposed to be the point of this interview. When a journalist has the opportunity to sit down with Elizabeth Warren, who before doing media for her book tour gave very few national interviews, she shouldn’t be treated like another ambitious political hack with her eyes on the White House.

What this interview demonstrated was that the corporately owned media doesn’t care about income inequality or the middle class. The issues that Sen. Warren discusses have an impact on the lives of a majority of Americans every single day, but the media would rather amuse themselves with speculation about the next presidential race.

Sen. Warren wouldn’t play the media’s game, and the result was that real issues that impact millions of lives got a rare mention on the Republican dominated Sunday morning shows.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Rips Tea Party ‘Magical Thinking’

ELIZABETH WARREN

The upcoming book from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) rips the tea party’s “magical thinking.” | Win McNamee via Getty Images

The Huffington Post

Elizabeth Warren’s new book isn’t just a memoir — it’s a full-throated endorsement of modern, populist liberalism and a scathing indictment of anti-government “magical thinking” by the tea party.

While the Democratic Massachusetts senator structures her new volume, A Fighting Chance, as a chronological tale of her life, she also uses her experiences to make strategic points and arguments about her political philosophy, which embraces government and the labor movement as forces for good.

“We can’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend that if ‘big government’ disappears, so will society’s toughest problems. That’s just magical thinking — and it’s also dangerous thinking,” Warren writes. “Our problems are getting bigger by the day and we need to develop some hardheaded, realistic responses. Instead of trying to starve the government or drown it in the bathtub, we need to tackle our problems head-on, and that will require better government.”

She recounts in the book, which is due out next week, that she believed she was doing that as she put together the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help protect regular people from the sorts of financial chicanery the banking industry was guilty of before the mortgage market meltdown.

And sometimes she ran headlong into those very people she feels are guilty of magical thinking, such as Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who won election in 2010 as a tea party candidate from Staten Island.

Warren met Grimm early in his first term. She figured that as an ex-Marine, former FBI man who investigated Wall Street crime and graduate of a public university, he’d be someone on the GOP side who would understand her focus on making government work better and holding giant financial institutions accountable for breaking the rules.

He didn’t.

“When I launched into an enthusiastic description of what we were trying to get done at the agency, the congressman looked surprised,” Warren writes. “After a bit, he cut me off so he could make one thing clear: He didn’t believe in government.”

A stunned Warren asked him if that included the FBI. He allowed that he believed in the Bureau, “but not other forms of ‘big government’ and certainly not a consumer protection agency.”

Warren found that more than a little ironic for a guy who had spent most of his adult life working for or benefiting from government institutions. And he still was.

“Heck, he had even been quoted as saying that he wanted the government-paid health insurance when he joined Congress, because ‘God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation. That could happen to anyone,'” Warren writes, citing a New York Daily News interview Grimm gave.

The “could happen to anyone” remark actually is one of the larger themes in Warren’s book, whether its about health problems or financial ruin.

And she thinks it’s government’s job — as her book title suggests — to help give a theoretically injured Michael Grimm or anyone else a fighting chance.

If Hillary Rodham Clinton passes in 2016, which Democrats run? The Fix ranks the tiers.

Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post – Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, right, introduces Hillary Rodham Clinton rally on Oct. 19 in Falls Church.

The Fix – Chris Cillizza

Every conversation we have with any Democratic operative about the 2016 presidential race starts this way: “Well, I mean if Hillary runs . . .” Which, of course, is to be expected. If Hillary Rodham Clinton — the former secretary of state, former New York senator and 2008 presidential candidate — runs, then the Democratic race (and the general election, too) revolves around her.

But, of late, those conversations have an interesting addendum that goes like this: “Of course, if Elizabeth Warren wanted to do it, she’d have a case to make.” Yes, she would.We’ve long believed that the freshman senator’s hero status among liberals nationally and massive fundraising capacity would make her very formidable if she ran.

Warren (D-Mass.) has been adamant about her lack of interest in the race. But things change in politics. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois was similarly adamant about his lack of interest in running for president in 2008 — and we know how that turned out.

The simple fact is that Warren’s beloved status among rank-and-file Democrats — and an elite group of very wealthy and very liberal major donors — means that if Clinton doesn’t run, Warren will come under a significant amount of pressure to reconsider. And Warren would have a built-in excuse to explain her past comments: “Well, I never thought about it seriously, because I expected Hillary to run. But now that she’s not . . . ”

Because of that upside — with apologies to NBA draft experts — we are moving Warren into our second tier of potential Democratic presidential candidates. Clinton remains as the lone candidate in the first tier — a space she will occupy until she announces whether she is running. Our breakdown of the field is below. The candidates within each tier are listed alphabetically.

Tier 1 (If she runs, the other tiers don’t matter)

Hillary Clinton: Everything we hear privately and everything we see publicly suggests that Clinton is running — or at least allowing those around her to put the pieces in place to be ready if/when she flips the switch. Does that mean she is definitely in? No. But it means that with every passing month, we become more and more convinced that the surprise announcement would be that she’s not running.

Tier 2 (If not Hillary, then . . .)

Joe Biden : Last week, the vice president called state Rep.-elect Brian Meyer (D) to congratulate him on his special-election victory a few days earlier. Why would the VP call a not-even-sworn-in-yet state legislator? Because Meyer is from Iowa. And that tells you everything you need to know about whether Biden is thinking about running for president in 2016.

Andrew Cuomo: Unlike some of the other people on this list — Martin O’Malley, we are looking at you — the New York governor is doing the do-as-little-as-possible-to-stoke-2016-speculation thing. (That may or may not be a thing.) Cuomo, the scion of a famous political family, knows that in a field without Clinton, he is a heavyweight given his name, fundraising abilities and résumé as governor of one of the most Democratic states in the country.

Martin O’Malley : The governor of Maryland is, without question, the candidate most open about his interest in running for president. “By the end of this year, I think we’re on course to have a body of work that lays the framework for a candidacy in 2016,” O’Malley told reporters in August. His travel schedule is heavy on trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and O’Malley used his time as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association to build out his national fundraising network.

Elizabeth Warren: See above. There’s no one not named Clinton on this list who combines the star power and fundraising potential that Warren boasts. And, Warren has one thing that even Clinton doesn’t: a rabid following within the liberal base of the party.

Tier 3 (There’s a will and a way — sort of)

Kirsten Gillibrand: Gillibrand is a sneaky-good politician. Without all that much fanfare, the senator from New York has turned herself into a liberal champion. She’s also someone who has proved that she knows how to raise money; she took in $30 million between her 2010 and 2012 Senate campaigns.

Tier 4 (There’s a will but — probably — not a way)

Howard Dean: The former Vermont governor clearly looks back on his one-time front-running 2004 presidential campaign wistfully and wonders whether he could catch lightning in a bottle again. The answer is almost certainly no, but Dean, never someone who cared much about the party establishment’s opinion of him, might be the sort of person who would be willing to wage a campaign against Clinton from the ideological left.

Amy Klobuchar: The field above her is too crowded for the senator from Minnesota to take a flier on a presidential bid. But she has the résumé and the ambition to surprise people if things were to break just right.