I’ve been bearish on Sen. Warren’s 2020 chances around here largely because she started the race on the awkward ground of personal identity rather than being the class warrior that first got her elected in 2012. Well-the class warrior is back and she ain’t pullin any punches.
Whether it’s campaigning among and winning over ‘deplorables’ or her recent surges in the polls , the campaign may finally be seeing a Warren moment. With the first debate around the corner, her campaign is climbing at the right moment. My doubts about the general election are still there-but she is also starting to turn those around too.
Just look at this beautiful speech where she reframes the potent Trumpian themes of economic populism, economic nationalism, and economic patriotism and turns the tables against the corporate class his actual policies are actually enabling.
“Sure, these companies wave the flag — but they have no loyalty or allegiance to America,” Warren wrote. “These ‘American’ companies show only one real loyalty: to the short-term interests of their shareholders, a third of whom are foreign investors.”
Shades of FDR’s economic royalists speech in these remarks.
She tells Tom Friedman, Bill Clinton, and yes Barack Obama to shove it on trade:
“[G]lobalization isn’t some mysterious force whose effects are inevitable and beyond our control,” Warren wrote in her Medium post. “No — America chose to pursue a trade policy that prioritized the interests of capital over the interests of American workers.”
Rather than calling Trump voters deplorable or unnecessary, she is reaching out with an olive branch instead of a clench fist. Letting them know that she not only feels their pain but he is making it far much worse.
Warren has argued that Trump’s populist rhetoric did not translate into action — that his administration appointed industry insiders rather than reformers, and that his signature tax-cut package increased profits of the companies he was lambasting for moving operations overseas. She also came out firmly against Trump’s renegotiated trade deal with Mexico and Canada, dubbing it “NAFTA 2.0” in a speech last November.
Unlike Bernie who is all class all the time, Warren has also consistently been the most rhetorically aligned with Black Lives Matter. The only Democrat consistently talking about Russian interference and laying out a viable foreign policy alternative to Trumpism and interventionism alike.
Too many armchair pundits, including this one, made the mistake of dismissing Warren 2020 as Hillary 2016 2.0. I will proudly eat my humble pie if she keeps up this fight. This is the Warren I voted for in 2012. This is the Warren I wanted to run in 2016. This is the Warren who could earn my vote this year.