We may find out how Warren sells in places where factory owners who built companies that provide jobs are valued, not derided.
Elizabeth Warren is emerging as the symbol of “resistance” to Trump, despite the attempts of Clinton World to slide Chelsea into that slot.
That’s not by chance.
Republicans are desperate to find someone to run against in 2018. Republicans need a new foil.There is no obvious Democrat to run against, because there are no big name national Democrats left. Pelosi and Schumer are old news. Bernie has had his day in the sun.
Warren fits the bill.
First,Warren has a tainted public image because of her Cherokee problem — her claim as she was climbing the law professor ladder to Harvard Law School that she was Native American. There is no evidence that Warren has any Native American ancestry, and she never even tried to live as a Cherokee. She only started claiming to be Native American in her 30s, and behind the scenes in a way that would make her more attractive to law schools seeking faculty diversity.
Warren deserved to be mocked for what she did, but I don’t agree with calling her “Fauxchohontas” or any of the other pejoratives that people — including Trump — use to mock her. It’s insulting to real Native Americans and Cherokee, including the Cherokee researchers like Twila Barnes who have done the hard research to prove that Warren’s Native American story was just a story. I think it’s a mistake to use such verbiage, additionally, because it allows Warren to distract from what she did to exploit Native Americans and then to drop them after she obtained tenure at Harvard.
Second, Warren is a monied-socialist, even worse than Bernie. She goes on and on about how the system is rigged, but she has been involved in and beneficiary of that rigging. We have documented the counter-narrative of her life story at ElizabethWarrenWiki.org, from representation of corporations against the little guy and gal, to the accumulation of great wealth that she tries to hide. There is a lot more data to be mined.
Third, Warren’s class warfare rhetoric won’t sell nationally. Warren can rant about how factory owners didn’t built their companies on their own, but that narrative is anathema to an economy desperate for factory jobs, particularly in swing states in the midwest and non-coastal portions of states like Pennsylvania.
Fourth, Warren is viewed with suspicion by the Bernie wing of the party because she sat out almost all of the primary, and endorsed Hillary in the end (but only when it was clear Hillary would win anyway).
So bring it all together, and Republicans should want to run against Warren. That goal fits nicely with Mitch McConnell raising Warren’s national profile by cutting off one of her rants in the Senate. The pussy-hat Women’s March crowd now adores Warren as a symbol of someone who persisted, but those are almost entirely liberals already.
Democrats, by contrast, desperately need a rock star. For all the reasons Republicans want to run against Warren, liberals want Republicans to run against Warren. In many ways she’s the epitome of the modern liberal — sharp tongues, “nasty” and proud of it, with the sharp elbows she’s always had since her time in academia.
Warren’s Twitter fights with Trump must make liberals feel good, but I’m not so sure they do anything other than pidgeon-hole Warren into someone who offers no personality alternative, and who is a whole less likeable than Trump in the eyes of swing voters.
Mother Jones is picking up on this dynamic, Republicans Are Trying to Raise Elizabeth Warren’s Profile. So Are Democrats:
But there were some who theorized that McConnell was, as ever, two steps ahead. Reporters and pundits debated whether McConnell had intentionally elevated Warren’s public profile because he wants the Democratic Party to be defined by one of its most liberal members. Not long after, a report in Politico corroborated this theory: Republicans have decided to use Warren as a sort of boogeyman ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, when 10 Democratic senators are up for reelection in states Donald Trump won. By late February, the committee tasked with electing Republicans to the Senate launched digital ads attacking vulnerable Democrats by stating how often they had voted with Warren….
What’s strange about Warren is that both parties seem to agree that she should be in the spotlight. Democrats say they welcome Republicans’ decision to elevate one of their most populist voices. Ultimately, they believe Republicans’ strategy will backfire because Warren’s reputation and message resonate across the country.
What this means is that Elizabeth Warren will be at the center of coming political fights. She’s led a charmed life in academia, and in liberal Massachusetts.
We know Warren will sell well on the coasts, and will not sell well in the South. In 2018 we’ll find out how Warren plays in the “Alabama” section of Pennsylvania and across the midwest, where factory owners who built companies that provide working class jobs are valued, not derided.