2020 Democrat Presidential Candidates: Elizabeth Warren

It’s official! Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has thrown her hat into the ring for the 2020 Democrat Party nomination for President. It comes as no surprise to almost everyone that the far-left Warren is in the hunt for the nomination AND that she has already shown in just a few days she has actually moved farther to the left politically. Why would she do that? To keep up with the crowd!

Warren in her 2016 campaign for president made herself a lightning rod for Republicans — especially Candidate Donald Trump. The Warren scandal of sorts came from her application to teach at Harvard University in which she claimed to be of Native American descent. Even though she grew up in Oklahoma and claimed that her mother had Cherokee roots, many felt like she used what little Native American she had for personal benefit to claim minority status favoritism in her Harvard job application. And Trump during the campaign gave her the title of “Pocohantes,” a very obvious jab at her minority status claim.

Even with all of her exposure while campaigning, many do not know much about her. Let’s take a look.

Elizabeth Warren

Warren was born and raised in a middle-class family in Oklahoma. She is a graduate of the University of Houston and Rutgers Law School. Her career as an academic focused on bankruptcy law, where she focused primarily on empiric decision-making of the public following legal changes. Warren taught at several law schools, including the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University.

Warren’s initial foray into public policy began with opposing what eventually became a 2005 act restricting bankruptcy access for individuals. Warren saw her profile rise in the late 2000s for her forceful stances in favor of more stringent regulations following the 2007–2008 financial crisis. She served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and was instrumental in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), for which she served as the first Special Advisor.

Unable to overcome Republican opposition to become the Director the CFPB, Warren instead challenged and defeated Republican incumbent Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts in 2012. She was the keynote speaker of the 2016 Democratic National Convention and became Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus the following year. A noted liberal leader, Warren has focused on consumer protection, economic opportunity, and the social safety net while in the Senate. Following her reelection to the Senate in 2018, Warren announced the formation of an exploratory committee for her campaign in the 2020 presidential election.

You may be interested to discover that Warren was registered as a Republican from 1991 to 1996. Warren voted as a Republican for many years, saying, “I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets.” According to Warren, she began to vote Democratic in 1995 because she no longer believed that to be true, but she states that she has voted for both parties because she believed that neither party should dominate. According to her, the Republican Party was no longer “principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets” and was instead tilting the playing in favor of big financial institutions and against “middle-class American families.”

On September 14, 2011, Warren declared her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the 2012 election in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate. The seat had been won by Republican Scott Brown in a 2010 special election after the death of Ted Kennedy. A week later, a video of Warren speaking in Andover became a viral video on the Internet. In it, Warren replies to the charge that asking the rich to pay more taxes is “class warfare”, pointing out that no one grew rich in the U.S. without depending on infrastructure paid for by the rest of society, stating:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. … You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

President Barack Obama later echoed her sentiments in a 2012 election campaign speech.

Warren’s Political Actions

  • In December 2016, Warren announced plans to introduce a bill to address President-elect Donald Trump’s perceived conflicts of interest related to his business empire. Under her proposed bill, Donald Trump could face impeachment if he fails to declare conflicts of interest between his presidential role and his business interests. Warren states, “The only way for President-elect Trump to truly eliminate conflicts-of-interest is to divest his financial interests and place them in a blind trust.”
  • In November 2018, Warren said she will not vote for Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) saying, “It won’t stop outsourcing, it won’t raise wages, and it won’t create jobs. It’s NAFTA 2.0.”
  • In 2018, Warren had called for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • In January 2019, Warren criticized President Donald Trump’s announcement of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
  • In January 2019, she announced the details of her proposed “Wealth Tax” to be levied on the wealthiest of Americans. Rather than bullet-point details, let’s look and listen-in to an expert’s analysis of Senator Warren’s proposal as given on “Fox and Friends:”

“The Warren” plan would tax the net worth of people with assets over $50 million at 2 percent a year, plus another 3 percent on fortunes over a billion dollars. And it would apply to all assets — even the wealth hidden outside the US to avoid income tax. There would be some wrinkles to work out, like how the IRS would get an accurate measure of those assets.

The mega-wealthy seldom hold their riches in cash. Most are tied up in corporate stocks and bonds, real estate investments, and other holdings. That would make it pretty difficult to get those accurate measures every year of the real values of their holdings. And in many cases, this would force annual liquidation of enough of these hard assets to pay those taxes.

Just one example of this dilemma would be Jeff Bezos. Bezos, the world’s richest person, would have to pay $4.1 billion in the first year under U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax, based on his current net worth of $137.1 billion. Most all of his wealth is tied up in Amazon stock, and a portion of that stock would probably be sold to pay that $4.1 billion in year one of the tax plan. Other billionaires like Warren Buffet would face the same dilemma.

Most of the wealthiest of Americans keep most of their wealth in corporate investments just like Bezos and Buffet. When interviewed recently on MSNBC, Warren scoffed when asked how difficult it would be to annually ascertain the accurate values of all these assets of the richest Americans on which to base these taxes. The Senator forgets that most of those in Congress — including her — are worth millions meaning that millionaires make most of the federal laws that control these things.

To some, Warren’s tax idea may seem like a good idea. But making good ideas actually BE good is often harder implementing than creating them in the first place.

Warren’s Electability

This is a sketchy one to establish. Many feel her failure to make it through the Democrat primaries had more to do with Hillary Clinton’s name and lengthy 30-year tenure in national politics because of her husband. Democrats definitely wanted a woman in the White House in 2016, but just not Warren.

Warren’s reputation as a smart and wise political manager is a bit sketchy. Though she has spent much time in various political roles — most in appointed positions — she seems really pushy to many voters. Her likability in the very early stages of the 2020 White House run lags behind those of the two other already-announced female candidates Senators Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. But remember: it’s a LONG way to November of 2020!

The greatest problem for Warren in this campaign other than her ability to garner the necessary political support considering her Democrat primary opponents is the requirement for massive fundraising. By most accounts, it will take $1 Billion + to fund the necessary campaign to beat the incumbent President in the race. Warren would probably find that a bit tough, especially with her very obvious and very public recent lurch further left in her political positions. Big campaign spenders are on the most part sitting on their hands to find out who among the plentiful stable of Dem candidates can weather the early-going in this very young campaign cycle. Getting large financial support quickly will be mandatory to develop campaign staying power. Warren is unlikely to be able to get that done.

Summary

Some candidates from both sides of the aisle just have the knack of rubbing a lot of voters the wrong way. It may be because of their voices, messaging, appearance in public, even in the way they speak to political opponents and even supporters. Senator Warren has the ability to slip into that category.

In facing the likes of Harris and Gillibrand in the early going, Warren may dig herselfa hole in which she finds she is too deep to survive comparisons with those two in many ways. She’s not as polished as Harris and Gillibrand even though she is a more experienced politician.

Most often we see the ability to raise a lot of money decides presidential races. It may seem sexist to say this, but when multiple female candidates appear together on-stage in debates, mannerisms, and Q & A impact voters’ opinions more than party politics. And Sometimes appearance IS everything.

I think that impacted Warren’s staying power when she ran against Hillary in 2016. I think she will struggle to beat that stigma in 2020. And I don’t think she’ll successfully make the trip.

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