Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren demolishes the myth of “trickle-down” economics: “That is going to destroy our country, unless we take our country back”

Elizabeth Warren demolishes the myth of "trickle-down" economics: "That is going to destroy our country, unless we take our country back"

CBS screenshot


In an interview on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Warren explaines why Republican economics don’t work

Stephen Colbert once described Elizabeth Warren as the “school librarian you had a crush on” but on last night’s Late Show, she was the Sheriff of Wall Street.

Like every interview with the senior senator of Massachusetts, there was a question about whether or not she’d be running for President in 2016. “You are a household name in American politics,” Colbert said. “And yet, you are one of the few household names that is not running for President of the United States. Are you sure you’re not running for President of the United States? Have you checked the newspapers lately, because a lot of people have jumped in, you might have done it in your sleep…. These days politicians have to check the ‘opt-out’ button. It’s like unsubscribing from an email.”

“I’m sure I’m not,” Warren said.

Warren may not be running for president, but she said, that doesn’t mean she’s not in a fight for the future of our country. “Here we are, the richest country on Earth,” she said. “We have so much going for us, and yet we have a federal government that works great for millionaires. It works great for billionaires. It works great for giant corporations, for anybody who can hire an army of lobbyists, an army of lawyers, give lots of campaign money… For the rest of America, it’s just not working and it’s time to take that government back and make it work for us.”

Warren went on to talk about inequalities caused by trickle-down economics which she says hasn’t trickled down to anyone. “What happened starting in 1980?” Warren asked. “Remember trickle-down economics?” she asked.

“I do remember trickle-down economics!” Colbert said. “Rich guys like me, you cut my taxes, and then I spend more and eventually it trickles down to the people who don’t make the kind of money I do.”

Then Warren burst Colbert’s bubble:

“Except the last part never worked. So, what trickle-down economics was all about was saying to the rich and powerful, the government will help you get richer and more powerful… So starting in 1980 when it was all about ‘fire the cops,’ it was called deregulation, cut taxes for those at the top, which means there was less to invest on education, on infrastructure, on basic research. So, what’s happened from 1980 to 2012 … the answer is the 90 percent, everybody not the top ten percent, how much of the growth did they get? That GDP kept going up. How much of the income growth did they get? And the answer is zero! None. Not a bit.”

At this point, the audience was dead silent. Warren continued:

“One hundred percent of income growth in this country since the 1980s has gone to the top ten percent and that’s not only wrong, that is going to destroy our country unless we take our country back!”

At this point, the audience went wild.

This is the same kind of populist rhetoric we’ve come to expect from Warren, but with Senator Bernie Sanders overfilling auditoriums on a message of income inequality, the fight for fairness increases in intensity. Some day, they could even ask a question about it at a republican presidential debate!

Watch Senator Warren below:

CLOSER – Joe Biden Meets With Elizabeth Warren Ahead Of Possible Presidential Campaign: Report

Joe Biden | AP


Biden is reportedly reaching out to potential people who could support his White House bid.

Vice President Joe Biden privately met with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in Washington on Saturday amid speculation that he is preparing to launch a campaign for the White House, CNN reported.

The purpose of the meeting is not known, but The New York Times reported on Friday that Biden was reaching out to potential campaign donors. Biden has said that he will make a decision on a run at the end of the summer.

Warren is seen as an influential Democrat. Clinton also met with Warren in December before launching her presidential campaign, and sought policy suggestions on several issues, including income inequality, according to The New York Times.

While Warren had publicly urged Clinton to run for president, the Massachusetts senator has stopped short of endorsing Clinton’s progressive credentials.

Watch and learn, progressives: Donna Edwards and Elizabeth Warren show how to talk about Black Lives Matter

Watch and learn, progressives: Donna Edwards and Elizabeth Warren show how to talk about Black Lives Matter

Donna Edwards, Elizabeth Warren (Credit: AP/Lauren Victoria Burke/Reuters/Yuri Gripas)


Donna Edwards thrilled Netroots with a speech Sanders could love, while Elizabeth Warren improved her pitch on race

All week long Sen. Bernie Sanders has shown that he’s learned from his tough Netroots Nation experience. He’s beginning to incorporate the concerns and the passions of the Black Lives Matter movement, and even its language, into his populist campaign. He’s said the name of Sandra Bland more than once. He more regularly talks about unjust police practices and mass incarceration in his speeches.

We know Sanders’ class-before-race approach has derived from his belief that economic justice would go a long way toward making life better for black America. And yet many of us feel emphasizing class over race misses the way that racial attitudes, and the assumption of white superiority, is embedded in society in ways that aren’t necessarily economic. It’s even a factor in this debate, as white progressives – and I’ve done it myself – try to tell black activists what they should care about, rather than listening to what they do care about.

That’s why I was struck by the stellar way Rep. Donna Edwards, a Maryland Democrat, approached these issues at that same Netroots Nation event. Edwards is a Netroots sensation, whose election was an early success of the online progressive advocacy that began to develop in the middle of the last decade. She remembers her roots, and has always worked closely with white progressives.

But Edwards’ speech was a clinic in the way a progressive politician can seamlessly integrate the concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement into an economic populist appeal. I’ll quote it at length below.

I also want to note that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Netroots speech was likewise well received and strong on the issues that African American progressives care about. I’ve written about Warren’s occasional tin-ear on race; her recent speeches show she’s learned how to correct it. When I saw her speak at the Roosevelt Institute in June, I noted she never mentioned Black Lives Matter or police abuse. Last week in Phoenix, she’d added a new bullet to her trademark declaration of what progressives believe:

I want to make one more very important point: Progressives believe that it shouldn’t take a revolution on YouTube to drive a revolution in law enforcement. It shouldn’t take a hurricane in New Orleans or a massacre in Charleston for Americans to wake up to what is happening – what is still happening – to people of color in this country. And it sure as heck shouldn’t take poll numbers to unite us in our determination to build a future for ALL our children. House Republicans may still want to fly the Confederate flag and Republican leaders may cower in the shadow of Donald Trump, but the American people understand that Black Lives Matter and America is not a country that stands for racism, bigotry or hatred. To build an economy that creates real opportunity, that doesn’t lock up millions of our fellow human beings and that uses the talents of all our people, Americans must prove that on equality and justice, the American people are Progressives.

It was still mainly a speech about Washington-Wall Street cronyism, the need for better financial sector regulation and a program that hikes the minimum wage, strengthens unions and reduces or eliminates student debt. But weaving Black Lives Matter into her core concerns, early, made a difference to her audience.

But Donna Edwards didn’t just weave it in. You might say she gave a Black Lives Matters speech that integrated economic populism throughout. And yet she also emphasized the things we have in common – black and white, rural and urban, old and young.

In fact, Edwards has long made the case that the multiracial left has to be more welcoming to skeptical white downscale voters – the voters Bernie Sanders is said to be targeting – and not assuming they’re just Tea Party sympathizers.  “We make a mistake in lumping all these people who are on the edge with that extremist element,” she told Netroots Nation 2011.  She even critiqued the language progressives use as a forbidding “code,” suggesting the term “white privilege” can drive away potential allies, rather than “draw[ing] them in.” She added, “I want to make sure we’re using language to draw people in who share the same concerns about declining jobs and opportunity.”

Progressives of every race have something to learn from Edwards, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Senate to fill the seat long held by Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski. So I’m printing her speech in full, here, with her permission. She makes a pitch for her own Senate candidacy at the end, and I’m leaving that in, too, because I see the Black Lives Matter movement transitioning from demands around language to demands around representation. Edwards would be the only black woman in the U.S. Senate, and her election could become a test case about whether white Democrats are merely trying to win the votes of African Americans, or are prepared to support black Democrats with their votes as well.

Continue reading here…

The Boston Globe Calls Upon Elizabeth Warren To Run For President

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R). GETTY IMAGES

She’s definitely my preference but the reality is…she doesn’t have the political power that Hillary wields.

Hillary can win, Ms. Warren can’t…at least not in 2016.

Addicting Info

Elizabeth Warren has said that she isn’t running for president in 2016, but the Boston Globe is calling upon the Massachusetts Senator to do so for the good of the people and Democratic Party.

The Editorial Board of the Globe penned a piece outlining their desire to see Warren run and why she should do so.

Right out of the gate, the Globe explains that allowing Hillary Clinton to capture the Democratic primary unopposed would be a mistake because there are some serious splits among Democrats on certain issues that need to be debated. Of particular importance is how Warren has championed the fight against income inequality while Clinton has been more cautious on economic issues because she has Wall Street backing.

DEMOCRATS WOULD be making a big mistake if they let Hillary Clinton coast to the presidential nomination without real opposition, and, as a national leader, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren can make sure that doesn’t happen. While Warren has repeatedly vowed that she won’t run for president herself, she ought to reconsider. And if Warren sticks to her refusal, she should make it her responsibility to help recruit candidates to provide voters with a vigorous debate on her signature cause, reducing income inequality, over the next year.

Even in areas where the candidates agree, there are bound to be different priorities: It’s hard to imagine a President Clinton defending and enforcing the Dodd-Frank legislation with as much vigor as a President Warren, for instance.

Indeed, the big-picture debate on financial regulation and income inequality is what’s most at peril if the Democratic primaries come and go without top-notch opponents for Clinton. While she has a great many strengths, Clinton seems far more likely to hew to a cautious approach on economics. Her financial backing from Wall Street, her vote in the Senate to reduce bankruptcy protections, and her past reluctance to raise capital-gains taxes are no secret. Nothing about her record suggests much gumption for financial reform or tackling the deeply entrenched economic problems that increasingly threaten the American dream.

The Globe is 100 percent correct. The Democratic Party is prepared to crown Clinton as their nominee without much of a fight if any at all. Sure, there are other Democrats who are considering throwing their own hats in the ring, but Warren is a grassroots superstar who has mass appeal among the middle class and the poor. Her dedication to ending income inequality and the economic unfairness that has plagued the nation for over 30 years now is exactly what America desperately needs. And if Warren runs, her signature cause would take center stage.

As the Globe points out,

Seven years after the financial collapse, those challenges remain serious. To name just a few of the financial problems facing Americans: stagnant wages; ballooning student loan debt; exploitative payday lenders; shady subprime car loans; the proliferation of dubious for-profit colleges; inadequate retirement savings.

Unlike Clinton, or any of the prospective Republican candidates, Warren has made closing the economic gaps in America her main political priority, in a career that has included standing up for homeowners facing illegal foreclosures and calling for more bankruptcy protections. If she runs, it’ll ensure that those issues take their rightful place at the center of the national political debate.

Even if Clinton stills wins the nomination, she would be a stronger candidate precisely because of the competition with Warren. Clinton may also be forced to focus more on income inequality herself. Plus, a strong showing on the national stage, even in defeat, would propel Warren to greater national recognition and prominence, thus setting herself up as the frontrunner in 2020 if Clinton declines a second term, or in 2024 if Clinton loses or wins another 4 years in office.

If Warren runs and loses, she and Clinton would be better candidates for it. Clinton could potentially lay the groundwork for Warren to tackle income inequality head-on during her own future stint in the White House, but only if Warren forces Clinton to make the issue a major part of her campaign. That only happens if Warren throws her hat in the ring. And who is to say that Warren wouldn’t win? Just look at how the competition between Clinton and Obama in 2008 made Obama a stronger nominee. The same could happen for Warren in 2016. Republicans are already terrified of a Clinton presidency, but they are even more terrified of a Warren presidency and what it could potentially bring to the table.

The greatest single domestic issue in this country right now is income inequality and the people yearn for a leader who can end the vicious cycle that has placed so many in poverty as the rich get richer. Warren has populism on her side and she is the ideal Democratic candidate who can truly shape the party and finally bring it back to strongly supporting the economic values and principles it once championed from the 1930s through the 1960s when America was at the height of world respect and power. Senator Elizabeth Warren is the leader we need.

Fox News Hosts Ruthlessly Attack Elizabeth Warren – VIDEO


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…


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)


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?


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.