To Back Warren Is to Treat Politics as a Matter of Substance

Jun 27, 2019 · 315 comments
luxmissus (NorCal)
The more I see of Warren the more impressed I am. She’s no Clinton. She actually cares about economic interests of everyday people. She’s more about practical assistance and less about posturing.
Alabama (Independent)
Mark Schmitt hasn't done his homework if he believes that Warren is to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. Apparently he missed the Boston Globe's May 23, 2019 article entitled, "Elizabeth Warren’s lies catching up to her." https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/05/23/warrens-white-lies-catching-up-to-her/
Walter Ingram (Western MD)
Substance? My oh my, the writer does realize that Donald Trump was elected, doesn't he? We who follow substance, are greatly outnumbered by, well, those that vote not understand substance at all.
Realist (Ohio)
“To Back Warren Is to Treat Politics as a Matter of Substance” Substance is admirable but of limited consequence among politicians who lose elections. And by itself it does not win elections. FDR, the most substantial and consequential president of the 20th century, didn’t start out with a lot of plans. Charisma trumps white papers pretty much every time; darn that pesky human nature.
Inveterate (Bedford, TX)
She ought to run for vice president. There is no way a woman will win against Trump. Probably nobody will win against him anyway, with gerrymandering, fake news, and hacking of poll data. Just get ready to skip to 2024.
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
At least Warren has given some thought to what she wants to try to accomplish if she wins. Correction, she's put a lot of thought and time and energy into plans that she is presenting to us. What greater proof do we need that she cares, that she's sharp, and that she will work for America? Does she need to have charm and charisma and a loud mouth? Should she paint her nails and be more feminine? Or should she be exactly who she is: a sharp lawyer who has done research, come to conclusions she didn't expect to and been willing to change her mind and become an advocate for the middle class. I'll take the latter. I'll take the woman who saw her father unable to work for awhile, who watched her mother take her courage in her hands and get a minimum wage job at Sears to support her family. The woman who was on the debate team, who became a mother and then a lawyer, an academic and then a thorn in the GOP dominated Senate. We need someone like her to work for us. At least she has plans. At least she's articulate. That's more than most of our candidates are. 6/27/2019 9:10pm
EC (Sydney)
She needs to clarify on private health insurance. Not even Bernie's plan is about eliminating private health insurance altogether. As a person who lives in a country with universal health care, private health insurance does have its place....and it helps alleviate pressure from the public system .That said the public system ought to be supported by all taxpayers whether they have supplemental private insurance or not.
Melbourne Town (Melbourne, Australia)
@EC Private health insurance in Australia takes about $AUD 3.7 billion from the health care system. It is a net taker rather than contributor to the system.
Objectivist (Mass.)
Detailed plans ? Hardly. Lots of target specification, that's for certain. But the real details, about how it will be done, by who, using what criteria ? Nope. Because the constitutionality of her redistributionist-socialist schemes is something she doesn't want discussed.
Amy (Brooklyn)
"as a Matter of Substance" Surely, you jest/ Warren's only principle is how many votes can she buy by promising giveaways.
A J (Amherst MA)
I am pledging to donate my meager cost of living increase to the Warren campaign. She is the BEST candidate in so many ways. I'm tired of men (and its mostly men) telling me (us women) that Ms Warren is un-electable (while criticizing characteristics no man would ever receive); shut the heck-up!
Brendan Ward (San Diego)
Yes, she is a person of substance, just like Lenin and Marx were.
N (Austin)
Will I vote for Warren if she is my party's nominee? Absolutely. Am I terrified that she will lose to Trump? Absolutely.
Hector Bates (Paw Paw, Mich.)
If she can’t beat him than nobody can, and it’d be fatal to the American Experiment if the Country chose him over her. Which of course is possible, but I personally think that she would eviscerate Trump if she ran against him. She would make it her mission to do so..
Susan (Home)
@N I'm terrified Biden will lose to Trump, and pretty certain that Bernie would. In a debate with Trump, I'd choose Kamala Harris. She's a cool cucumber. But I'm voting for Warren because she's the candidate I most admire. Remember, she won't be a Queen, she will be a President who has to govern. I think she can do it.
avrds (montana)
@N Watch her grill the head of Wells Fargo bank. You can find it online. That might change your mind.
Cabanaboy44 (Windsor, CT)
Warren has shot herself in both feet with her plan for a single payer solution. I probably would vote for her otherwise.
Anne (Portland)
@Cabanaboy44: Many people who have private insurance are still at risk of going bankrupt if they have a medical catastrophe. It's not as perfect as people make it seem.
L. Hoberman (Boston)
@Cabanaboy44 I feel exactly the opposite—I won’t vote for any candidate who isn’t advocating for single payer.
Fm (NYC)
@Anne Indeed. We have top tier private insurance and everyone in the family is healthy, yet we still have thousands in bills yearly from routine visits, examinations, minor sports issues (physical therapy), colds, flus, and so forth. That doesn't count the thousands taken out of salary to cover the whole family (not to mention the thousands paid by the employer). It's a joke.
Lisa (Expat In Brisbane)
Really — a woman with policies. Running for President. Detailed policies. Where have I seen that before? But hey, let’s not cover those! Let’s talk about emails! Benghazi! Pantsuits! Child sex rings in pizza parlour basements! Gonna do your job this time, press?
Edwina (USA)
Warren is similar to Hillary. Very quick to promise he moon. Make no mistake, Warren is counting on the female vote to get her into the POTUS chair...just as Hillary did. But women are way smarter than Warren guesses they are. Women know that liars continue to lie. Who needs an unethical president...not us!!!!
Red Allover (New York, NY)
January 2021, Washington, D.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . President Elisabeth Warren Disappoints Liberals; Appoints Wall Street, Pentagon Advisors; Says She Will Be President of "All the People"
ChandraPrince (Seattle, WA)
Remember Beto? See what happened when the media stopped pumping him up. I was watching the UK Sky news which coronated Beto with his 32 million collected during the last election cycle -- as America's new Kennedy. Would that is also the fate awaiting Elizabeth Warren? Most of these candidates can hardly stand on their own two feet. When media stops pumping them up, these Democrats are liked go limp like poked balloons.
citybumpkin (Earth)
This is why, as much as I respect and support Warren, I doubt she'll win. People in this country don't want substance or policy in their elections. They want a sideshow. Even before Trump, presidential elections have been shallow spectacles. If Democrats want to win, they would be better off nominating a Hollywood star, maybe one of the Avengers...
Blue Guy in Red State (Texas)
She would make a great president imo, but considering how many people voted for Trump the dotard, would they be able to see what she brings to the position in terms of smart, toughness and dedication? The sad reality is that as a country we have not reached the point that smarts and commitment count for more than charisma, platitudes and big smiles. The negative comments about her say way more about the voters than about her weaknesses as a person.
Margo Channing (NY)
Not sure who that Beto supporter is but that is just sad, a blank slate waiting to be filled. I want someone of substance not platitudes, I don't want a man child in the WH learning how to govern we already have that and it stinks to high heaven. Go away Beto and try to your hand at defeating a republican if you can. The problem is men in this country can't bear to see a strong woman in charge. Look how potus treats women those are the same men who voted for that odious little man. She came off quite well yesterday but in all honesty she hasn't got a prayer.
kat perkins (Silicon Valley)
Having an intelligent/honest super planner follow a corrupt, shoot from-the-hip braggart, would be just great. Voting for Warren.
Erica Smythe (Minnesota)
Oh ...to remember the good old days when wonkish candidates like Mike Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry made it to the big show...only to sigh during debates..overdo the blush makeup..and invade personal spaces...all because they're not naturally good at speaking to people. Put these people in the bowels of the USDA and let them write policy. Just keep them away from the rest of us.
Anne (Portland)
@Erica Smythe: Warren is an incredible debater. She'll shred everyone, including Trump.
Erica Smythe (Minnesota)
@Anne She reminds people of their high school principal....waging her finger in your face..telling you to stand up straight...tie your shoes..mind your manners..eat your vegetables....
Eric Blair (London England)
To back Warren is to say you are blind to how Americans vote. She is a Harvard intellectual. Americans don’t trust intellectuals.
EC (Sydney)
@Eric Blair But she IS a 3D person. Still comes across as human.
John D. (Out West)
@Eric Blair, you've got no idea. She's an Oklahoma kid who made good because of intelligence and determination. There's no more American story than Elizabeth Warren's path to where she is now.
Anne (Portland)
@Eric Blair: Right. That's why we're ignoring climate change. Those intellectual scientists. That's a problem.
John Marksbury (Palm Springs)
So now I believe in reincarnation. Teddy Roosevelt has come back as Lizzie Warren!
John D. (Out West)
@John Marksbury, I'm thinking Franklin, but her public lands plank is right out of Teddy's playbook.
Steve Newman (Washington, DC)
Almost all of these candidates are fine by me. However, we cannot run another humorless, policy wonk. The best candidate is one who can respond to Trump's attempts to control the media. It must be somebody who can deflate the bully with a sharp rejoinder. So far, that appears to be Sen. Klobuchar.
Anne (Portland)
@Steve Newman: Actually she's quite witty. And if you've seen her grill people during hearings, you'd know she could gut Trump in a debate.
Dobbys sock (Ca.)
Like the favorite song of summer...*I have a plan for that* has already received too much air play and is quickly dismissed for the next channel. A cliché already for Late Night comedians. *Plans* are needed and necessary. But without actions and results, are just academic white papers put out by lawyers and wonks who scribe such as leisure pastimes. Sen. Warren has a dismantled CFPB and a Hearing Aid bill (kudo's for that). But on the public servant stage...? Crickets. A great voice, wonderful ideals, a senator. Presidential? We'll find out. Persistence needs results. Otherwise one might be better being an advisor and putting out think pieces in academia. Both needed and necessary. But as the Leader of the Free World...?! If given the choice between her and Trump; *I have a plan* is my favorite song and cliché.
S Jones (Los Angeles)
It amazes me that so many readers somehow know Warren will not be President. She's too intellectual, too old, too nerdy, a woman, too liberal, etc. Would these be the same people who knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that Donald Trump, the joke, didn't stand a chance of being President? Too silly, too old, too reactionary, too ignorant? Too many Democrats mistake their neurotic self-consciousness, anxiety and cynicism for political savvy. Take a page from Trump's supporters, (just the one): support the candidate who you can believe in. Do it fiercely and fully. And don't worry about the rest.
Dixon Duval (USA)
The Republicans can only hope that the Democrats would be foolish enough to have Warren run against Trump.
Susan (New York)
Elizabeth Warren by far is the best substantive candidate of the whole lot.
Robert Henry Eller (Portland, Oregon)
A lot of people aren't going to like anyone saying this: Biden would end up in 2020 just like Clinton did in 2016. Or, more accurately, all of us will end up, once again, right where we are now. The 2020 Biden IS a re-hashed 2016 Clinton. Same donors, same groaners.
West (WY)
Elizabeth Warren is a prime example of the best the US (and the rest of humanity) can produce. The trump-kushner nexus is an example of the worst humanity can produce.
NOTATE REDMOND (Rockwall TX)
Warren has a plan for every contingency. The problem is a a lack of specificity. What is the core of her beliefs? She cannot be for every cause equally. What truly rings her bell? We must be aware of what she truly cares for above many.
Discernie (Las Cruces, NM)
For those of us who think this way it would be good to remember that most people nowadays do not. That's to say that all ideas that can called "wonkish" might well be doomed by the overcrowding, ever accelerating, and gloomy descent of the American populace into ignorance. We the people no longer read beyond mimes and sound-bites. Our news, we get drilled by talking heads whose persuasive delivery distracts us from our own capicity to analyze the facts to get at our own truths. So Liz Warren appeals mostly to those who think out solutions from a fact-gathering "rationale" point of world-view. We like that, but what about those voters put off by what they think is elitist talking-down? Therein, lies the stand-off. SO. All Lizzy has to do is acquire sound-bites and mimes that click. Like "Jail Donald for Rape". Or. "Banish Trump to Russia or the Arabs". "Having a plan for that" doesn't mean much to people who want "a chicken in every pot" so to speak. Right on analogy to McCain to show Warren winning the presidency challenging the fatest of the cats who oppress us. She ought to go straight after the money skimmed off us by the likes of Trump and the ones like him who have abused us for so long it seems like time out of mind. The best ticket: Warren-Castro. Now that's a winner. Trying to see who had most color between Cory and Julian, I'd say Julian has been in the sun more and is not worried about it. Go Julian.
Richard Blaine (Not NYC)
Elizabeth Warren is intensely irritating. This is the same problem the Democrats had with Hillary Clinton, and they have learned nothing from that mistake. . The Democrats are so tone deaf.
Anne (Portland)
I find Biden much more irritating.
Anthony (Western Kansas)
American presidents, except for Obama and FDR, have mostly been fluff. I am ecstatic that there is a serious candidate that is not a national embarrassment.
klm (Atlanta)
I no longer believe a woman can win the presidency. Hatred of women by men and women Trumps all.
Just Saying (New York)
If Biden has a senior moment at the debate the left / media will rally behind Warren right away. A woman ( unfortunately white) but hard left enough and without the communist romance baggage (caught so many times on tape) of Sanders. It also helps she is actually unlike Sanders a Democrat.
EC (Sydney)
To Donnie Deutsch and MSNBC commentators, ...who say Warren can't win.... How many pharma, health insurance companies, fossil fuel companies does Donny's ad company make money off? Yeah. Does he make money off of the opioid epidemic? How much money does MSNBC make off these companies? Do you know the US is one of only two countries in the world that allows prescription medication to be advertised on TV? It might explain why even left wing political commentary in the US is so right wing.
Tony Robert Cochran (Oregon)
I love Warren's clearly articulated vision for the future. She's the antidote needed to the Trump malaise. She's also smart, prepared, detailed, determined and bold. As a progressive 32 year old gay man, I want to live in a world where Senator Warren is President Warren.
Jeff (USA)
Where did we get the idea that a candidate needs to “have a plan” for every issue? Last time I checked, we don’t live in a dictatorship - we live in a democracy with a bicameral legislature and a president that all have to work together to pass anything. At this point in the campaign I want to know who candidates are, what their values are, what their ideas are, but most importantly, how they will unite Americans of all stripes so that they’ll actually be able to accomplish something with a republican senate. I like Elizabeth Warren, but we are living in a collective delusion if we think a “plan for that” at this stage of the campaign has any resemblance to future legislation from a divided government.
Anne (Portland)
@Jeff: Most people do care about policies and plans. And those things directly reflect a person's value and ideas.
Jeff (USA)
@Anne I agree, but I don’t think policy wonkishness is going to unite the country. I think if Elizabeth Warren wants to have a chance in the primary and potentially the general election, she needs to move beyond the “policies” and be more about the “pathos,” if you will.
joe parrott (syracuse, ny)
Jeff, Warren's plans are motivated by her passion for helping the American people. Once a politician empathizes with an individual or group, the next question is,"What are you going to do about it?" Unlike our Liar-in-chief, Trump, Warren's response is, "I've got a plan for that!"
margaret heldring (seattle, wa)
Well done! So interesting how plans, personalities, place, and stories weave, or are woven, together to show us who someone is and will be as president.
Andy Marx (Beverly Hills)
What detailed plans? Are you kidding? So far I've heard a lot of generalities, but nothing about how she actually thinks she can accomplish any of it. For one thing, if she's elected and there's still a Republican-controlled Senate, none of her plans will ever get any traction. People seem to forget that an elected president, unless their party is running both houses of Congress, rarely gets anything accomplished, especially in these days of heavy duty partisan politics.
Anne (Portland)
@Andy Marx: So no Democratic candidate should propose plans because they'll just be blocked...so why bother with anything? That's your thought?
GRH (New England)
@Andy Marx, plus she wants to follow in Harry Reid's footsteps and break another precedent by ending the US Senate's legislative filibuster. She has advocated doing so if Democratic Party elects 51 of the 100 Senators and flips the Senate. With zero thought for what is going to happen when the GOP would likely eventually win back Senate control. This was Democrat Harry Reid's short-term thinking in breaking the Senate filibuster for judicial nominations and cabinet nominations. It has now come back to bite them big-time under Trump. And, the precedent broken by Reid, McConnell decided to extend it to the Supreme Court. If the Democrats had ended the legislative filibuster already (the way Warren supports), just imagine what legislation would have been passed during Trump's first 2 years when the GOP had bare majority control of all 3 branches (if not super-majority control).
GUANNA (New England)
I prefer substance over Trump's Entertainment Tonight politics. I am sure Trump will tell his flock substance is overrated.
Melbourne Town (Melbourne, Australia)
Laying out detailed plans and offering them up to the electorate for rational evaluation is a great idea - in a rational world. But the reality is that the world doesn't vote rationally at the moment. The election of Mr Trump - and the very good chance of his reelection - is evidence that many voters vote for their values over their, and the nation's, interests. The Democrats absolutely must not confuse a dislike of Mr Trump in many sections of the electorate as a mandate for widespread change. Down that road lies defeat.
paul (chicago)
If you don't have some big ideas to fix the problems this country is facing, why are you running for president? of course, there are a lot of candidates out there (and including Donald, the-reality-show host) who want to use the position to enrich themselves and their supporters. But looking at the policies they propose, we should be able to decide the purpose, the capability or the motivation of these candidates, as well as he/she really is caring or not. We are a democracy, no president can dictate the policies, and the eventual results will be decided by Congress. Yet, we do need a president who cares about the people and is willing to try. And I don't see that quality in Donald, the-realty-show-host.
Aimee Pollack-Baker (Massachusetts)
A winning candidate must be, policy wise. between the left and the moderates. The Dems are going to draw numbers of voters to the polls in a record high, both voters on the left and blue dog voters. A moderate like Amy Klobuchar will not excite voters who like AOC and the other freshman reps. And a candidate on the left may not attract blue dog voters. Also, the candidate who wins is the candidate who tells the most moving story. Story: Situation-no health care for all at a reasonable cost; villian--those who want to roll back health care completely(Obamacare); hero--politician who is going to fight to make this right. Elizabeth Warren is good at telling this overall story re: our current economic and social situation today and what must be done to change this. She used to be too wonky for her own good. She's less so now, which I think will help. Whether or not she can draw both voter on the left and blue dogs remains to be seen.
A (W)
"To Back Warren Is to Treat Politics as a Matter of Substance" Is it really, though? Just because you have a detailed plan doesn't mean it's one that makes sense or is politically possible. It's not necessarily any more responsible to come up with detailed but totally unrealistic plans than it is to waffle on in generalities without promising anything specific.
Jude Parker Stevens (Chicago, IL)
Logical fallacy. That’s what Trump is all about. Arguments by the dumb for the dumb.
Jim Muncy (Florida)
I like Liz a lot, but she lacks a leader's ability to inspire the deepest confidence. She comes across as nervous, her squeaky voice breaking, almost shrill, and selling, not commanding. She's not George Washington; she's more Barney Fife, that is, laughably unimpressive. She's got the brains, the knowledge, the experience, and even the plans for fixing America. But she sorely lacks charisma, stage presence, or the X-factor, like Obama had. If only she had the gravitas of Tulsi Gabbard, a woman who radiates strength, fearlessness, and leadership. I dislike being the bearer of bad news, but I believe that others, especially Independents, perceive her weakness, too. I guess I, and I think they, want a commander-in-chief, not the head of planning. Plus, she seems a divider, not a healer. It would still be them vs. us with her in charge, I fear. Liz would be a wonderful Vice President, but her talents would be wasted in that slot. Thus, she needs to stay in the Senate. But if she wins, she certainly has my vote. She's a good American, working hard to make the world a better place for all of us, not just the 1%. And for that, she is due respect.
Robert Henry Eller (Portland, Oregon)
What's most significant about Elizabeth Warren's "arc" from youth to the present is what hasn't changed: From Elizabeth Warren the intense and successful high school debater, to now, she has apparently always pursued the argument that made sense. The Conservative Republican (from when those adjectives were respectable) Warren is still evident. The only thing that's changed is Warren realized that the evidence she fearlessly followed pointed her Conservatism in a different direction, in terms of WHAT COULD WORK. Warren is actually no liberal. She's a genuine family values advocate. Where she once believed that families fell apart due to moral failure, she took the time to learn that too many families were being destroyed by systemic policies stacked against families. When she figured that out, it doesn't seem to have taken her long to ditch ideology for practicality and empirically based wisdom. Warren's plans are not pie in the sky; they are not "left wing." They're the recipes most likely to work, precisely in the ways that Republicans pay lip service to, while doing everything they can to subvert in the name of their donors' selfish agendas (Unfortunately, too many mainstream Democrats, especially among what passes for Democratic "leadership," are much the same as their Republican counterparts.). Ultimately, what Warren's plans would make Capitalism and Conservatism respectable and aspirational again.
Jim (H)
Liberal/conservative and progressive/regressive are different axis. Senator Warren is a conservative progressive. Slow steady progress.
HBG16 (San Francisco)
Once we stop trying to pretend we know Who Can Energize The Heartland and so forth, the decision comes down to this: Who Would Make The Best President? I'll take the lady who came prepared.
Lewis Ford (Ann Arbor, MI)
At this juncture there is no question that Senator Warren has the ideas, character and moxie to became the next president of the United States. And she well should. All good Americans of any race or creed need to make a stand with her and the Democrats NOW against the vile blight that has stained the White House, and indeed our entire country and world, since the bogus POTUS Donald Trump slithered into that office.
Miner49er (Glenview IL)
Senator Warren just wants to play house with the lives of ordinary people. Stop meddling Lizzie, or you'll evolve into Hillary.
Anne (Portland)
@Miner49er: That would be the GOP inserting themselves into women's reproductive choices.
Lilly (New Hampshire)
She evolved into HRC when she refused to endorse Bernie when we still had a chance of winning the election against the unindicted co-conspirator.
Doug Tarnopol (Cranston, RI)
Huh, the New America foundation's on board with the Warren wave, too. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.
Dan B (New Jersey)
Some people are misogynist and can't accept a woman president. Too many plans. Not enough plans. Not flashy enough. Too much flash. I'd support a woman, just not that woman. If you're a democrat, or even just a decent human being, Warren is an excellent choice for president. If you don't agree, the problem is with you, not her.
irene (fairbanks)
@Dan B "Supporting a woman, just not that woman" is perfectly reasonable and by no means misogynist. Works equally well for any sector (plug in identity choice here) of the population. And it's true. Sarah Palin comes to mind . . . I was shunned by family members for supporting a woman in 2016, although a Green vote in a reliably Red state was perfectly safe. Right now I'm backing Jay Inslee, a white male of a certain age. Because he is the needed voice on accelerating climate change. He would imo be an excellent choice for President also.
JWyly (Denver)
Her voice, her schoolmarmish delivery is frequently mentioned as an aside to her intelligence. I am yet undecided who I will vote for, but am concerned that my fellow Democrats are putting too much emphasis on style and not enough on substance.
Chacay (Los Angeles)
Warren is the love of the media at this point, it may change, it was O'Rourke he's gone...maybe tomorrow Harris or Amy Klobuchar...but Sanders? Sanders who has more followers than the sum of the two contenders behind him? No! Sanders has zero interest for the media. Is it because he invokes democrat socialism? Hard to believe! Most of the "leftist" press actually, loves to show off for what they are not: LEFT! So why is he the enemy # 2 of the media (except Fox for Mr.Trump)? Because big media and it's journalists hates to be said the truth. Which is that they respond to special interests that has everything to do with the distorted truth they pretend to serve you when they talk politics, candidates, and so on....Warren has taken her discours from Sanders ideas with the least of shame So why Sanders is nowhere to be found and Warren is everywhere ? Hopefully Bernie will keep going to the general elections as an independent (which is how the press categorize him) if he does not win the primaries and...goodbye Democrats.
BBH (South Florida)
Not only the press characterizes him as an Independent, Bernie does too. That is what is particularly galling about Bernie. He wants to lead the Democratic Ticket, but won’t become one.
JWyly (Denver)
Perhaps because Bernie talks in sound bites that lack substance? I hope I am found wrong tonight but I have yet to hear a detailed proposal from him about how Medicare for all would work, or how forgiving student debt would do anything to make the cost of tuition more affordable. The root cause of the student debt crisis is a lack of accountability for how much tuition costs, such as paying 100k for a degree in English with no job prospects at graduation.
Annie (Wilmington NC)
Huh? No job prospects for English majors? Then why have so many of them gone on to lead successful and rewarding careers in business, medicine, education, law, entertainment media, publishing, nonprofit administration, writing of all kinds, editing, journalism, and scholarship name just a fraction of possibilities. Not to mention deep study of the world's greatest authors, thinkers, and artists that help English students to develop a philosophy of life while becoming good writers, readers, critical thinkers and citizens. i could go on forever.
Redone (Chicago)
Elizabeth Warren May not be a lightning rod but the right wing media will make her one. She will be painted as a socialist who is intent on robbing the rich to support the lazy poor. They will paint her message as class warfare. The Democrats will likely hear that about any candidate. Dems have to get a lot better at messaging. No poor person should be anti Warren.
Areader (Huntsville)
@Redone I am not poor, but I will certainly support her if she is the nominee.
Kevin (Colorado)
@Redone Even if she was elected, not every plan she has is going to get implemented immediately and Fox trying to paint it otherwise isn't going to frighten many voters. I believe she knows the reality of trying to bend the corruption curve in DC and has the patience to chip away at it and get to her ultimate destination. If elected, her biggest problem is Obstructionist Mitch, he doesn't appear to be going anywhere and turtles are sometimes reputed to have the longevity of Strom Thurmond.
John (Pittsburgh/Cologne)
@Redone "...painted as a socialist..." I don’t think that will be the primary message. I think the primary attack angle will be that she is an ivory tower professor who thinks she knows everything, including how every American should live their lives. She will become the mom who lectures and badgers you endlessly about all of your apparent flaws and vices. That will be enough.
Joe Sweeney (Brooklyn)
I don't agree with all of her plans, but I'm a huge fan. Nonetheless, proposals like Medicare for All have almost no chance of passing the Senate and becoming law. So they are merely a rallying point for progressives such as myself, but may cause the candidate to lose precious votes in the only states that matter - WI, MN, MI, PA, VA, FL, NM, CO, NV, IA, NC. So I'm not backing Warren as the nominee. I may eventually, but right now. I think she's not the candidate with the best chance of beating Trump - which, in the end, is all that matters.
Kevin (Broomall Pa)
Warren may have a plan for that but I do not plan to vote for free college (I pay for that). Not every large business must be broken up. Medicare for all is terrible policy, a public option allows voters to choose, supposedly Ms. Warren wants to return some power to the people but on this she is against us having a choice? Free things from the government is a fiction. It may not cost the recipient but unless we are going to run up unchecked debt someone has to pay for it. Having a plan is much better than not but it pays Americans to be skeptical of these particular plans.
RealTRUTH (AR)
Treating politics as a reflection of the needs of society is well overdue. It is not a game, as Trump would have it; not a binary choice between truth and lies, honesty and criminality. Real people are dependent upon competent governance for their lives and well being, and it is treated like a board game in D.C. by many politicians. We complain about “pay to play”, but do we actually DO anything? We offer “thoughts and prayers”, but do we DO anything? We say how terrible it is that American children and families are starving, but does our government DO anything? We note every day that we have a deranged criminal in the White House - will we DO anything? Time to pay the piper and put our votes where our mouths are. No more political insanity, no more discrimination and bullying, no more starvation or lack of education or healthcare! It’s NOT about the fickle Market (from which very few Americans profit) - it’s about our lives and the lives of our children, and their children — and we’re headed down the wrong road with Trump and McConnell. That road will lead us all off a massive cliff.
Chuck (RI)
Politics is the bane of 99% of Americans and the livelihood of 1%. Something is really wrong here folks.
Paul Yates (Vancouver Canada)
It would be great to have her as President. It would be great to have anyone as President, other than the current occupant of the White House. I’d go so far as to say that anyone willing to read and understand a complete edition of a single daily publication the New York Times or the Washington Post (I’m not that person) would make an outstanding President. Since the current embarrassment is scarring history every single day and barely reads even picture reports, Elizabeth Warren seems like a superstar candidate by comparison. She would bring dignity back to the White House.
Steve (Seattle)
What a stark contrast to the idiot in the WH that formulates plans and policies on twitter while in his underwear chomping on a Big Mac.
Big Text (Dallas)
The first time I heard about Warren's fight for the Consumer Protection Bureau against the "Public-Be-Damned" Republican Party, I thought, "This woman's going to make history." That fight led to her election to the Senate, where she stood up to the corruption of Mitch McConnell. Still, she persisted! I'm already in her corner financially, and, perhaps naively, believe she can save this country from the grasp of Putin's puppet. Get aboard! We're bound for Glory!
Claudia Gold (San Francisco, CA)
I have always, and will always, vote 100% based on policy alone. If we all did that, we would all be living in a much better country.
Vanessa Hall (Millersburg, MO)
Elizabeth Warren is **responsible.** Mark Schmitt left that word out of his essay. There has been little responsibility as of late from what was formerly known as the "party of responsibility." Elizabeth Warren has become my candidate of choice because she's not only responsible, she has shown up to the party with sensible, responsible plans that will begin to clean up the mess that continues to be made from the White House. She has worked for and earned everything she has ever gotten, successfully raising a family along the way. She knows she has to win the nomination, not just sit back and let it fall in her lap. And she will do it. Warren/Pete 2020
Sendero Caribe (Stateline)
Regardless of who wins the election in 16 months, there is the lingering and growing problem of how to get Social Security, Medicare and retirement in general back on the rails. These three areas have potential for both parties to work on. It will likely involve cuts and taxes instead of tax cuts. Not the stuff of winning politics but of good public policy.
Big Text (Dallas)
@Sendero Caribe . Here's how you get those programs "back on the rails": You pay for them. That's also how you maintain electricity and water service to your home.
Wordsworth from Wadsworth (Mesa, Arizona)
For whatever reason, Hillary Clinton was a lightning rod. Elizabeth Warren is not. If Ms. Warren wins the nomination, and we have Warren versus Trump, then the contrast will be very stark. It will be Rational v. Irrational. Prepared v. Personality. Elizabeth Warren is a common sense woman who buttresses her arguments with solid case law. How middle class or lower people could vote for Trump over her is a puzzlement.
Big Text (Dallas)
@Wordsworth from Wadsworth Elizabeth Warren is a leader. Hillary was not. She wasn't even that great of a politician. I voted for her without enthusiasm. Warren is a completely different story!
Sendero Caribe (Stateline)
@Wordsworth from Wadsworth She isn't Hillary, she is Michael Dukakis.
David (California)
Flailing about frantically, hyperventilating, DNA testing, extremely animated, playing the affirmative action card constantly, Warren is the least cerebral in her presentations, the least like my college professors, and hopefully the least likely to get the nomination.
Dan B (New Jersey)
@David Wrong on all counts.
Anne (Portland)
@David: Why not just say what you mean...hysterical woman? Many of us see her as incredibly bright, focused, intelligent and prepared. And witty to boot.
serban (Miller Place)
It is unlikely that if Warren becomes President she will be able to implement all of her proposals, even though most of them make sense and would go a long way towards improving US society. Nevertheless, if nothing is proposed nothing is what we will get. What makes Warren's proposals stand up against other politician promises is that they are accompanied by details of how they can be made to work. They show that there is some serious thought behind them and that she is not just mouthing platitudes and pie in the sky. That she understands important details has been demonstrated by the success of her brain child, the Comsumer Protection Agency (that is now being sabotaged by the present administration). She gave an intelligent answer to the question how can she hope to achieve anything if the Senate remains in GOP hands. Her point was that the pulpit of the Presidency can be powerful if most of the voters in any state believe that she is trying to do her best for them. There will be a price to pay for obstruction.
James Lee (Arlington, Texas)
Senator Warren has displayed her own maturity by developing a program to give her platform substance, and she has shown her respect for the electorate. Trump, who doesn't even respect himself, cannot grasp the thinking behind such an approach. Our manchild president will revert to ridiculing Warren for her claim to have native American ancestors. While that claim was false, it was no more phony than Trump's claim to be a human being.
marrtyy (manhattan)
Politics is self-indulgence to Warren not substance. She wants government to live your life for you. Too intrusive.
Anne (Portland)
@marrtyy: No, she just doesn't want mega-corporations (as 'people') controlling every aspect of our lives.
marrtyy (manhattan)
@Anne: She wants the government to control our lives.
Anne (Portland)
@marrtyy: It's the GOP who wants to control every woman's body.
Daniel B (Granger, In)
A Republican dream script has turned into reality: dems arguing that a candidate is unqualified because of lack of plans or too many plans.
Nathan (San Marcos, Ca)
It's not Warren's politics that either attracts me or repels me. It's the lack of an economic structure to support those politics that drives me away. How much free stuff can you promise to give to voters? How can you pay for it--I mean realistically? I'll take Amy Klobuchar's realism over Warren's economic fantasies any day.
Dan B (New Jersey)
@Nathan I don't think you realize how much money the 1% has. She's not promising free stuff. She's promising to pay for good stuff with taxes.
Anne (Portland)
@Nathan: Less money for the war machine; more money for healthcare and education. Seems reasonable to me. And this 'free stuff' is an investment in our fellow citizens. It's not like she's offering gold cadillacs and diamond-encrusted toilets.
Judith Putterman (NYC)
Nathan — You’re right.
Kodali (VA)
The good thing about her is she is what she says she. She will do what she says she will do. The good thing about old age is they don’t change. Trump is corrupt in the past, present and the future. He won’t change. Similarly, Biden with his gaffes and compromises, neither here nor there will not change. The best out there is Elizabeth Warren by a mile. Besides, she is younger than Trump, Biden and Sanders.
LonghornSF (Berkeley, CA)
@Kodali Warren is 70 and frankly seems lower energy than Biden or especially Bernie. It showed last night when she hardly spoke in the second half of the debate and had a blank look on her face despite heated policy discussions going on around her.
Anne (Portland)
@LonghornSF: She's saving her energy for debating Biden and others. Have you seen her in hearings? She can grill the best of them. She'll gut the second round folks when she has her chance.
Horatio (NY NY)
Clearly we can all tell what kind of a president a candidate will make by the detailed plans they present. Example: THE WALL. Yes, we had pretty detailed plans about the ridiculous 50" tall 4 ft. thick impenetrable concrete wall to span the entire southern border and be entirely paid for by Mexico. Yes, we could tell.
Doriebb (New Haven, CT)
If Hillary Clinton was the perfect student, the smug winner of every spelling bee and high school bake-off, the type who took copious notes and aced all the tests, the girl most likely to succeed and least likely to be liked; Elizabeth Warren is the perfect teacher, the one who loved her students as much as the subject she taught. She’s the benevolent schoolmarm you felt affection for yet nonetheless respected. She was so much cooler than your parents. Warren seems more to enjoy the opportunity to share her wisdom and knowledge than she seems eager to run the world. Is there a higher qualification for the presidency than not really wanting the job?
Anne (Portland)
@Doriebb: Stop comparing the two just because they're women. Warren is not CLinton.
Wordsworth from Wadsworth (Mesa, Arizona)
@Doriebb Ms. Warren does have that affect of a good teacher. However, she's a law school professor. You had better come to her class prepared with cases fully briefed or she is gonna be p.o.-ed. In a way, that's a very good thing. Warren is going to demand responsibility and accountability to those working in her administration. That will be a far cry from what we have now, the interim and unqualified, people who are okay with locking up children in cages.
David (California)
Disagree that Warren is a candidate of serious policy substance. Clearly she was a candidate of personal opportunism in carrying on with the native American Indian gambits for many years and the racist DNA testing. Warren has a paranoid hyperventilating personal style that seems unlikely to win a majority of the electoral votes, should she get that far. Trashing of all big corporations is demagoguery at its worst.
abigail49 (georgia)
Our intertwined economic and government system is like a car with a lot of miles on it that keeps breaking down. When it runs, it gets you to where you need to go, but when it won't start in the morning or breaks down on the road, it throws your life off track for days. The repairs could bust your budget. It can even get you and your kids killed. Most middle class Americans trade in their cars when they start giving trouble and buy new ones. And that's where we are with our economic and government system. The time for tinkering and fixing is over.
simon sez (Maryland)
Politics is not a matter of substance. It is a gut thing. Look at the people who win public office on a national level. Trump, Obama, Clinton, Kennedy. They speak to where people live..... and that is not in their heads. This is precisely why Warren will never be President. She is so cerebral it is sometimes painful to watch her as she flails her limbs around like Bernie, an old professor who jabs her index finger to make points and contorts her face when worked up ( most of the time). If her handlers have tried to teach her the basics of non-physical communication, she clearly hasn't gotten it. At 71, when it will be 2020, it is too late. Can't teach an old dog new tricks when her entire body is hardwired to act out in these ways. People vote from the gut. She is so stuck in her head with her " I have a plan for that" she seems lost at sea. Frankly, if someone like her veered toward me in the street I would hand them a dollar just to be rid of them. You want to watch an intellectual who comes from the heart and uses body communication like a pro? Tune in tonight and check out Pete Buttigieg. He is winning the hearts and minds of Americans. And he will be our next President.
irene (fairbanks)
@simon sez Agree with you about Warren. Disagree on Mayor Pete. Totally over any and all 'halo pictures'. Please !
C (.)
@simon sez So what do you make of the millions of people who adore her despite all the flaws you cite (I'm not one of them, but that's irrelevant to my question)?
Brent J (South Carolina)
@simon sez Why bother to listen what people do and what they have done. Instead, I found the comment creepy in the sense of suggesting that a wonky female just can't cut it. As I understand it, it would be better if she were a he or that she should limit herself to be a policy aid to a real man or that she's just too old. Well, we know what people think about living in the shallow ponds.
Michael Livingston’s (Cheltenham PA)
Wow the let's-push-Warren-down-everyone's-throat movement is really gathering steam isn't it?
Anne (Portland)
@Michael Livingston’s: The media is covering her surge. It's Biden that's being shoved upon us.
Yeet (Squad)
What is here plan for dealing with the 51 - 54 Republican Party members in the US senate. She has about as much chance of enacting universal healthcare as I do of being elected president.
Mari (Left Coast)
Do not underestimate the power of the Democrats fired up wanting to take the Senate AND the White House!
Dan B (New Jersey)
I think a lot of people are severely misinformed as to who the wealthy are in this country, and how much money they have. Elizabeth Warren is not talking about people making nice six figure salaries. She is talking about people with hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars. And you have no idea how much can be accomplished by raising their taxes just a little bit. I think this is an ego thing- people can't comprehend how much more that some others have.
Steve (Texas)
@Dan B Completely agree. Also, it is hard for many people to intuit the scale of large numbers. For example, 1 million seconds is 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is 31.7 years, 1 trillion seconds is 31,710 years. I've had folks refuse to accept that fact, regardless of how patiently I showed the math.
Cold Eye (Kenwood CA)
It seems to me that Warren is feeding off the anger of the left as much as Trump feeds off the anger of the right. Trump had plans as a candidate too.
Hana daHaya (Manhattan)
@Cold Eye Let me correct you, as one of the "left" you speak of. Warren offers hope, not snake oil promises like Trump throws at us, but genuine hope, with pragmatic detailed plans, presented in plain language that everyone can understand. She is the real thing. To this day, no one actually knows what Trump is, except Mueller probably has a good idea.
Daphne (East Coast)
@Hana daHaya Warren offers anger and scapegoats. I've attended one of Warren rallies when she was running for Senate and it made a Trump rally look tame and composed in comparison. Pure rage.
Steve (Texas)
@Daphne Where and wgen was this rally? Is there video evidence or do we take your word for it?
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita, Kansas)
A complete reversal of the Trump Doctrine. Which is : Scam as much money for me and my family, before we get arrested. Liz and Pete, in that order. Sign ME up.
John (Poughkeepsie, NY)
I'm 35, and Warren is the first candidate who ever motivated me to donate to a political campaign. I'm proud to put a few bucks behind someone who actually wants to protect the middle class; better yet, she has real plans to do so. Let's make this an America that we're proud to hand-off to our children.
Dan G (Washington, DC)
@John\ Like you at 35, I'm 85 and this is the first time I have ever donated to a candidate in a primary. Go Elizabeth!
West (WY)
@John I'm 75, and Warren is the first candidate who ever motivated me to donate to a political campaign.
Steve (Texas)
@John Posts like these are one of the few things that give me hope in these dark times.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
Promises are meaningless without the political skill to translate them into actual programs. Obama was a brilliant candidate, but he did not have the political acumen and experience to deal with the realities of Washington. Biden's vision may be less aspirational than that of Warren and others, but he has the political understanding and experience to actually get some things done. At the moment, repairing the damage is a necessary prelude to developing the ability to enact the vision.
Craig Warden (Davis CA)
I like that Elizabeth Warren has plans. Unfortunately I do not like some of her plans -- quite a lot. Breaking up Amazon is not going to benefit me or most Americans. All other major countries do not all have single payer systems. They have many different systems, many including private payers. The German system is quite similar to Obamacare. What unites them is a government backed guarantee of healthcare and often price controls on healthcare costs. Eliminating private insurance is unnecessary and will cost votes. I want a president who negotiates with anyone, including unsavory adversaries. I think it is a very bad sign that Warren would not go on Fox, because there are persuadable voters inside the Fox bubble. So my overall conclusion is to spend more time looking at other candidates who are less rigid and more results oriented.
Mathias (NORCAL)
@Craig Warden If possible I recommend digging deeper. My initial impression on this was negative as well and pushed me away from Warren. I listened to a someone explain it in an interview though and it made a lot more sense. It’s a complicated subject though and isn’t a simple break up a monopoly but also about our personal privacy. After listening to the reality of what she is trying to accomplish it made more sense. I’ll see if I can find the interview and post where to see it.
yulia (MO)
It is not even close to Obamacare, because it run by not-for-profit insurance companies and heavily regulated by the Government including the premiums.
Mathias (NORCAL)
@Craig Warden If possible I recommend digging deeper. My initial impression on this was negative as well and pushed me away from Warren. I listened to a someone explain it in an interview though and it made a lot more sense. It’s a complicated subject though and isn’t a simple break up a monopoly but also about our personal privacy. After listening to the reality of what she is trying to accomplish it made more sense. I’ll see if I can find the interview and post where to see it. Can progressives reign in big tech? The Conversation Ramesh Srinivasan, leva Jusionyte.
Richard Huber (New York)
I beg Democrats not to be seduced by a good speaker who espouses wonderful ideas. Great ideas are easy to come up with. The hard part is to implement them & even harder, to pay for them. Sen. Warren has even less management experience than did Obama. Being President is a huge managerial job! Warren has never had a single executive job; no experience as an elected executive official. Her only elected job is as a Senator & we all know how much they get done. But above all else there's the imperative of sending Trump packing. He would make mince meat out of her.
Dan B (New Jersey)
@Richard Huber So let's go with a bad speaker, with no ideas. Great idea!
Anne (Portland)
@Richard Huber: She'd gut Trump in a debate. He would only be able to stammer and babble.
Richard Huber (New York)
@Dan B Pretty silly isn't it Dan
Maureen (philadelphia)
Senator warren isthe modern day FDR. Her Presidency would revitalize the American workforce by addressing income inequity and focusing on the dignity of work and everyday life.
Jim Muncy (Florida)
@Maureen Except she doesn't inspire confidence like FDR did. That was his strong suit; he seemed a benevolent king, powerful, confidence-inspiring, a round peg in a round hole -- the opposite of Liz, who, btw, I like as an ideasmith.
Sendero Caribe (Stateline)
@Maureen--LOL
Been There (U.S. Courts)
1. It is much profitable to pick a destination, draw a map, and plan a route to get there, than it is to wander aimlessly, testing the direction of the wind at every fork in the road. 2. When you fight for your beliefs, even if you lose your ideas live on. When you fight just to win, a victory is as empty as a loss. For these and other reasons, I support Elizabeth Warren.
Robert Brown (Honaunau, HI)
Key to Warren's appeal (at least to me) is her very explicit stand that the solution to so many of our problems lie in recognizing the need for substantive structural changes such as an explicit national industrial and energy policy. She is the only one of the candidates so far who has tied together solutions to global heating, job loss, health care reform, inadequate research into causes of gun homicides, and income inequality in a coherent platform. Other candidates present cogent partial solution proposals but Warren ties it all together. It's that kind of vision combined with a will to fight that the world needs. We might differ on details of each one of her plans but she has at least put forward a lot more than memes and blandishments. I've made up my mind. I'll vote for Elizabeth Warrent.
Panthiest (U.S.)
After watching the debate last night, I'm thinking Warren/Castro looks like an amazing ticket.
Irene Cantu (New York)
@Panthiest Speaking as a Mexican American - I will stay home if Castro is on the ticket.
Julia (NY,NY)
I may not agree with all Sen. Warren's plans but I'm supportive that she has plans.
Daniel (CA)
@Julia Yes, it's time we have a President with a functional brain again. And she has plans other than enriching herself or receiving adoration, which is wonderful. That's the extent of Trump's plans (along with unraveling Obama's legacy I suppose).
Eric (New York)
It was no accident that Elizabeth Warren kept repeating in the debate that she will fight for the average American. That fire in the belly, the willingness to go toe to toe with Mitch McConnell, tells me she has the potential to be a very effective president. Obama, for all his rhetorical skills, was too much of a compromiser. He wanted to build consensus. When McConnell and Co. said N No, we're going to do it our way or not at all, Obama said OK. He did not fight for us. After last night's debate i think a Warren/Castro ticket would serve the Democratic party and the country very well.
descartes (california)
I don't get this obsession with "plans". Congress is where laws are made--- The president has limited capacity to nudge congress. But the president can influence things through supreme court nominations (unlikely to be substantive differences between democratic presidential candidates- mostly there is left and right on the supreme court). And presidents have the ability to make administrative fiats (?how will the candidates differ). And presidents deal with foreign affairs (not obviously an issue between democratic candidates). Presidents choose cabinet members and advisers and, given congressional approval of those persons, adjudicate their advice. Who will be best at adjudication and critical decision-making? I don't see a plethora of plans as probative (prior executive experience may help). Then, and most important to me, there is simply how the president makes me feel based on their public presence and communication. Plans don't seem that critical all-in-all despite this opinion writer's attempts to formulate them as critically relevant.
Jim Muncy (Florida)
@descartes Rene, thou still hast the ability to see that the king has no clothes. You have made a critical point here; now just sit back and watch it be largely ignored.
Doug Lowenthal (Nevada)
With so many Americans disaffected enough to vote for Trump, why is Warren’s call for a restructuring of government economic policy in any way radical?
Dr John (Oakland)
Why is America where single payer health care for everyone is a left idea? What rational right leaning politician in Canada,or any modern industrialized society would advocate to have private for profit insurance companies take over their single payer systems? It is time for the editors at the NYT along with their cohorts to describe single payer as the common and ordinary system practiced by all our friends and allies. Ms. Warren's ideas and plans are not left wing,but our only rational. Be brave in the face of the threat by the insurance industry to pull their support
Geese (California)
@Dr John Actually, single payer is not all that common. Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan and many other countries do NOT use single payer. Instead, they use a third option, which is based around PRIVATE insurance companies, but all of those are nonprofits. Employers, employees and the government (for low income people) contribute their share. And then all fees for service are negotiated between the different stakeholders in the system, i.e. government, consumer representatives, health care professionals and insurance companies. More people in the world are insured by that method than single payer, and the evidence indicates that this method -- called "shared responsibility" -- is better than single payer -- particularly in having shorter waits for various procedures. NY Times and other media outlets should write more about THAT. Expand the debate in the US to get beyond this false dichotomy that it's either single payer or the defective system we have now. Here is a link to an article that tells more about this: "Shared Responsibility: Better Than Single-Payer" https://www.the-american-interest.com/2019/03/25/shared-responsibility-better-than-single-payer/
Jim Muncy (Florida)
@Geese Thanks for the link. It does sound good.
David (San Francisco)
Politics. . . “a matter of substance”?—How un-American! We’ll take rhetoric over substance thank you. Not that we won’t kill (or die) for the rhetoric that gets us going; we do. Rhetoric well-used gets our blood up. Freedom, and especially the first amendment, are good precisely because people can use ‘em to get to us, to get under out skin, to get us going. As His Royal Highness, Donald J. Trump tweeted last night, substance is “boring.” Excitement—that’s what we love.
Hana daHaya (Manhattan)
@David Substance is only boring if you have no brain to process it.
D Price (Wayne, NJ)
Policy proposals, appropriately detailed, demonstrate a candidate's gravitas. Agree with her or not, but Elizabeth Warren is cultivating a platform, while several others who eschew policy specifics are cultivating an image. (It's also true that the act of developing her platform, unto itself, solidifies her image as a policy wonk.) Are policy proposals risky? Sure. Committing to anything always has some degree of downside. But Trump took office with no specifics, just vague promises to bestow some illusive (and elusive) greatness on our country by legislating bigotry and exclusion into the national ethos. If it's true that things gravitate towards the mean, then we need our next president to wield some intellectual heft. I'll take a policy wonk who runs the risk of falling short any day of the week.
jim emerson (Seattle)
Warren provides the clearest contrast with Trump, a snake oil politician who, in more than two years, has yet to propose any detailed "plan" for anything. He keeps promising plans, from healthcare to immigration and produces ... diddly squat. Americans are beginning to realize that <43 percent of the voting population is beyond the reach of facts or policy. Will a Democratic counter-strategy of identifying specific problems and strategies for addressing them get through to the majority of voters? That remains to be seen.
Hana daHaya (Manhattan)
@jim emerson Although I understand your hesitation "remains to be seen," my take on Warren is that she offers a whole panoply of advantages. Not only does she have detailed plans (which appeal to wonks like me), she has a personal narrative that appeals to those not interested in the details. She is plain and simple with the values of the heartland......she looks it, she speaks it, because she lived it. I just donated to her campaign. Last night's debate gave me one last look and she gets my vote. No one else comes close to the positive qualities she has to offer.
Daphne (East Coast)
@jim emerson Warren is very much like Trump. Ramp up the anger and point it at the straw man.
Patrice Ayme (Berkeley)
Most Democrats of influence in the last 25 years or so, have been on the right of Ronald Reagan himself. Obamacare, without "public option", turned out, as secretly intended, mostly into a way to direct more money to private insurance and private medicine. On top of that one often can't select one's doctor and one is all too much "out of network". Meanwhile, doctors on the public payroll can make more than one million dollar a year (example: in the poor San Joaquin County in California). Al this has to stop and Medicare For All should do it (one can keep one's doctor on Medicare). Under Clinton, President Roosevelt' reform of banking was actually inverted, destroyed, and one result has been the 2008 crisis. Another has been increased inequality and lowering of life expectancy, both of which happened under Obama (even before they got worse under Trump). An obstacle to progress in the USA has been mono-thinking. Obama professed his admiration for Reagan. That Obama thought this emotion seduced people is a testimony to the fact that most US voters, even Democrats, embrace the marketing of everything, including health care, and hyper speculation in banking, by the rich, to the rich, etc. It's this corruption of US voters’ hearts which has to be corrected, even before one can engineer progressive solutions. In general Warren's detailed proposals turn what has been a debate into who is the most telegenic, into a debate of ideas, and the emotions to sustain them. Great!
Cold Eye (Kenwood CA)
Where are all these “plans” I hear so much about? The media gushes over them, as in this article, but doesn’t articulate what these plans actually are. The issues section of the Warren for President website touts how many billions she is going to spend on problems, but no “plans” on where she’s going to get the money - I.e. how she “plans” to get congressional approval or withstand the legal challenges to a “wealth tax” - or how she “plans” to use that money efficiently or even fairly. When asked by Chuck Todd how she would deal with Mitch McConnel during the debate she replied “I have a plan for that” to uproarious applause and cheers, then went on at some length until she answered the question obliquely, concluding Democrats needed to “fight” and “make him” more reasonable. If that’s what she means by a “Plan”, count me out. Her silence during the 16 primary season is proof enough for me that she’s an opportunistic lightweight. Someone said if Warren’s the nominee, Trump will take 48 states. True.
Anne (Portland)
@Cold Eye:P There are a lot of comments in a row here that slam Warren but don't suggest an alternative. Interesting.
Dan B (New Jersey)
@Cold Eye With people who can't read a website, its no wonder we wound up wtih Trump for president. Sure, she has plans, but she didn't come over to my house and explain them to me. Does she really have plans?
Cold Eye (Kenwood CA)
@Dan. If you read my post, you would see that I checked her website and found no “plan”. Just vague promises. That some people who would categorize them as plans indicated that they are either too lazy or too starry eyed to think about politics critically. The only substance to her entire platform is the vague promise to pass a wealth tax through Congress. Where is her legislative plan to do that? What is driving her campaign is feminist anger and the uniformed support of those who can’t tell the difference between a policy position and a plan.
Concerned MD (Pennsylvania)
Sadly, no policy or well-researched, solution-focused initiatives stand a chance if Mitch McConnell and a GOP majority maintain control of Senate in 2020 election. More focus on flipping key senate seats may be actually more important than whom replaces Trump.
Charles Coughlin (Spokane, WA)
@Concerned MD McConnell? He won't be front row for long. Everyone who partnered with Trump turned into toxic waste. Yet the hopeful keep lining up to be the exception. Have we found one yet? New Yorkers know the score. The best revenge against your worst enemy would be to get him a high paying job with Trump.
Scott (Los Angeles)
"...the story they tell about who she is, how she made her way from Oklahoma, the University of Houston and early parenthood to Harvard Law School..." It's common knowledge that Warren, who claimed at the debate Wednesday that he family could not afford to put her through college, misled university admissions people and administrators about being "Native American," which assisted her in admission, tuition aid and even her hiring at Harvard Law School. All that time she manipulated a system meant to help Native Americans. How appalling that she and her supporters downplay or outright deny this indication of her very flawed character.
Dan B (New Jersey)
@Scott That is not true at all. If you care to actually look into it, as the Boston Globe did, she never made those claims in that context- it was just sharing quirky family history after the fact.
TLLMDJD (Madison, WI)
@Scott Not only is it not common knowledge, it is not true. Harvard has acknowledged that their consideration of her applications for law school, tuition aid, and ultimately faculty appointment, had nothing to do with any cultural or other ties to any Native American tribe.
Laura (Florida)
@Scott It is neither common knowledge nor proven that she misled university admissions. Read Kristof's recent piece in this same paper. Also, our current president has been accused of rape, sexual assault, fraud, obstruction of justice, and racial discrimination in housing practices.... among other things I'm sure. Biden presided over the Anita Hill hearings and championed racist legislation in the 70s in Vermont (anti-bussing) and the 90s in Congress (tough on crime bills) that he refuses to disavow today. Bernie's campaign in 2016 is accused of paying employees according to their gender and mishandling sexual discrimination complaints. The list goes on as to the flaws of all candidates... dare I say, human beings. If this is the only thing that can be found against Warren, she is the least appalling of all.
Michelle (Acela Corridor)
Does it strike any one else as bizarre that we emphasize the policy plans of candidates for president? After all, it is the *executive* branch of the government. The president executes the laws--s/he does not create them. The president writes laws as much as a jellyfish plays poker. The proof is in the pudding if you don't believe me. No significant legislation on health care or (god help us) the border wall has passed in the Trump era. He doesn't have support in the house. Obama managed to eke out the ACA, but only because he had a majority where it counted--the legislative branch. Where the president does have power is in foreign relations, where Trump has done significant damage. We need a strong manager and--even better--a moral leader. Most of all, we need someone who can win an election. For my money, Warren is not it.
Anne (Portland)
@Michelle: Warren has plans and policies (and yes they are important) and she is indeed moral.
PWV (Minneapolis)
How can the American electorate consider anyone to be a serious candidate for President if they can't clearly articulate a set of plans on how they will try to deal with at least several of the major issues that face our nation? If some people disagree with the plan, then that is called debate. If debate surfaces a way to make the plan stronger, I have confidence Senator Warren will incorporate that idea, because that is what data-driven people do. I sent a check off to the Warren for President campaign yesterday, and I hope she has four years to try to implement her plans
DesertFlowerLV (Las Vegas, NV)
I will vote for whomever the Democrats nominate - even if it's someone I don't care for. Mainly, I Will Vote.
rob (Seattle)
Everyone loves the fact that Warren puts out lengthy wonky tracts on just about every issue she’s ever dreamed about. The problem is her wonky solutions are wrong. Her prescriptions are unworkable, unpassable, and financially unsustainable. Seriousness matters, but correctness matters more.
Anne (Portland)
@rob: Care to be more detailed? Or should we accept your opinion when many of us believe her wonky solutions are pretty good, workable, passable and financially sustainable. (Less war machine money; more money for education and healthcare.)
Kara Ben Nemsi (On the Orient Express)
Elizabeth Warren came over as arrogant, uncompromising, fanatical and extreme, all attributes that will turn away a critical number of moderate voters in the center. Nominating her would mean repeating the same mistake that brought Trump to the White House - and he didn't even want to end up there! This time round, things are different, the GOP will fight for Trump with all they've got, while the fanatical left takes pleasure in slapping the moderate and independent voters in the face. What could possibly go wrong next year?
Anne (Portland)
@Kara Ben Nemsi: And who do you like if not Warren? I found her authentic, articulate, intelligent, and well-prepared.
David (Maine)
Unfortunately, it's just like the historic maxim about combat -- the first thing that goes out the door when you get elected president is all the plans. Direction matters and so does character, but detailed policy proposals are mostly a glittering distraction in pluralist democracies. They don't matter next to the ability to get uncooperative people to cooperate. You can't talk them away.
jkemp (New York, NY)
Senator Warren proposals would severely curtail freedom in this country. At a time when the economy is booming and nearly everyone who wants a job has one why would anyone support a 70% marginal tax rate? You want to take wealth from the wealthy? Socialists always make everyone poorer. 180 million Americans purchased health insurance and according to polls like it. 3 million Americans work for a private health insurance company and 75% of Americans with an investment portfolio have investments in these companies. What possible reason could you have to take something away from Americans they purchased and like? Because some Americans don't have insurance, but they can purchase it subsidized from exchanges. Because there are inequities in our system? You'd prefer waiting for procedures and doctors on strike? Any effort to eliminate student debt is a regressive tax. The people with the most student debt went to school the longest (doctors, lawyers), those with no student debt frequently did not attend college. She is proposing a transfer of wealth from a group that makes more money to one that makes less-that's regressive. And on top of that, make college free! There's no way to pay for any of this and all you do is make the degrees worthless. Ask a cab driver in Buenos Aires the value of his free engineering degree. Free, free, free...are Americans that naive and foolish. If she's the thinking person's candidate it means Americans aren't thinking clearly.
Anne (Portland)
@jkemp: The economy is booming for the already wealthy. And while unemployment is low, so are wages and benefits. Many people work 2 or 3 jobs and in the gig economy and still live paycheck to paycheck. Unchecked capitalism is what makes people poor. We're becoming serfs to the Mega-Corporation overlords. Most young people are saddled with so much debt they can't buy cars, let alone homes. and many still live with their parents. This "free stuff" (such as education) serves us all well. It's an investment in our country. And if we can find endless money for the war machine, surely we can find money for things that actually improve people's lives.
AR (Virginia)
@jkemp "She is proposing a transfer of wealth from a group that makes more money to one that makes less-that's regressive." No, it's not. Regressive taxes are ones that are applied uniformly at the same rate to everybody and everything. Herman Cain's "9-9-9 Plan" (a 9% tax rate on personal income, corporations, and consumption) was an example of this. This kind of tax is regressive in that hits lower-income people harder. A 9% income tax is a far bigger deal to somebody making $40,000 a year compared to somebody making $400,000 a year. So-called "anti-tax" states are characterized by regressive taxation. They may have no state income tax, but the sales taxes and other taxes are sky-high and make life for non-rich people quite miserable.
Mon Ray (KS)
In last night’s debate Elizabeth Warren and Bill De Blasio raised their hands when the candidates were asked if they would eliminate private health insurance. Those voters who like their private health insurance and the ability to chose their physicians will not want Medicare for All and will therefore vote against Warren, De Blasio and anyone else who wants to eliminate private health insurance.
Patty O (Florida)
@Mon Ray Medicare for all doesn't mean that you won't get to choose your own physician, any more than private insurance automatically means that you do. I have private insurance, very good insurance, I might add. But to save the most money, I have to stay "in-network." People need to really look at what Medicare for All entails. If they do, they will love the idea.
Anne (Portland)
@Mon Ray: Many people with private insurance STILL go bankrupt over a medical emergency. Many STILL have to fight with insurance to cover needed meds, surgeries etc. And it's profit driven. Private insurance is far from perfect.
Kara Ben Nemsi (On the Orient Express)
@Mon Ray Only Warren and Blasio had this absolutist, my way or the highway, position. Fortunately, there were numerous other candidates that are more rational. Let's forget Warren and look at those.
Johnny (Newark)
She views corporations as The Enemy, so no, she is not going to win anything.
Harry Pearle (Rochester, NY)
There may be a danger for Warren, if she does not attack Trump. Trump is destroying democracy, as we know it, day by day, now. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I hope that Sen.Warren will focus to the democracy risk. She might refer to the "Democracy" song of Leonard Cohen: "Democracy is coming to the USA" (1992). She might use some symbols such as Trump's OK sign, a thumbs down on Trump, or an inverted US distress flag. But I fear that avoid Trump's threat to democracy is a mistake. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harry Pearle (Rochester, NY)
@Harry Pearle I think the Trump problem for Sen. Warren is his seeming invincibility, his unstoppability. So, I suggest that she find ways to remind voters, over and over, that Trump has to be stopped to save democracy.
diderot (portland or)
The Democratic candidates IMO generally fall into three categories: 1. Candidates that have a legitimate chance at the nomination: Warren, Biden, Booker, Harris, Sanders. They are experienced politicians, know how to prevaricate if necessary, and in the immortal words of D. Rumsfeld are "known knowns". They could beat Trump. 2. Long shots (fill in the blanks) who would IMO spell trouble for Democrats in a general election. 3. Those campaigning for a position in a Democratic administration or positioning for the 2024 nomination when Warren, Biden, and Sanders, among others, will be too old or departed. The sooner the debates are confined to the "legitimate" candidates, so that we can hear them pitted against each other, the more likely we will choose the right one.
Joe (MO)
She has policies that would be good for the US, but is she capable of effectively implementing them? Probably not.
Luisa (Peru)
@Joe Well, she does have a record of getting good stuff done, such as The Consumer Protection Agency....or am I mistaken?
Mimi (Baltimore and Manhattan)
@Joe Her policies MIGHT be good for the US. My problem with her plans is that she is from academia where all kinds of ideas and proposals are just that - ideas. Frankly, that's my problem with Warren.
lechrist (Southern California)
President: Elizabeth Warren, to make the destroyers of the Middle and Working Classes heel. Vice President: Jay Inslee, to focus solely on his area of expertise and our greatest threat: Global Warming. Secretary of State: Joe Biden, to repair our injured international friendships and restore diplomacy/agreements, Attorney General: Kamala Harris, to bring back justice to the Justice Department. Veteran Affairs Chief: Mayer Pete, to restore service and dignity to Vets.
knockatize (Up North)
Acting on a plan has a better shot of succeeding than winging it Trump-style, but keep in mind the words of noted political thinker Mike Tyson: "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." (Mike Tyson is easier to remember than Helmuth von Moltke the Elder.) In other words, what happens to her plans when reality punches them in the mouth? JFK came into office, and LBJ following him, surrounded by a truly impressive array of thinkers. All the right credentials from all the right schools. The best and the brightest, don't you know. Who brought us Vietnam, plus the Bay of Pigs and urban renewal. Read your Halberstam, Liz.
Jack (Austin)
@knockatize Von Moltke and Halberstam. Very interesting. The process of association pretty quickly led me to the supposed dying words of von Schlieffen and from there to the idea that the likes of Gingrich and McConnell are no doubt counseling to keep the right flank strong. And to me the response to your warning is to say it’s up to the rest of us to stay engaged and to occasionally weigh in as appropriate. We can’t just sit back and figure the best and the brightest will take care of things for us. Democracy isn’t a spectator sport. If the voters clearly indicate it’s time to save capitalism from itself, but reality then hits the people implementing the generally agreed on plans in the mouth, the rest of us need to speak up. Figure a way to persuade voters to vote against the obstructionists without insulting the voters we need to persuade.
John (Pittsburgh/Cologne)
"...Treat Politics as a Matter of Substance." Total mistake. For example, although I'm a Trump supporter, I have respect for Warren. During the debate, her substance was good, but her style was horrible. Specifically, she jerked her head around so much while talking, that I could hardly focus on what she was saying. It was painful to watch. She didn't come across as poised and calm, but rather rattled and hyper. I had trouble seeing her as commander in chief. Substance only works in the context of good style.
SG (PNW)
@John and you say Trump comes across as calm? Twitter rampages at 3AM? Relentless name calling instead of dialog? Trump isn't rattled and hyper in his threats to everyone to everything? Or is it okay when it is a man doing it: "Oh, I'd support a woman...just not that woman." Applied to every woman ever, of course. With all the bashing of Warren here (that really wasn't here to this extent before) I'm starting to wonder if the Russian troll machine has been given a new target.
Steve (Texas)
@John Does Trump strikes you as calm and poised?
Dan B (New Jersey)
@John Not important. Do you want a good president or do you want a tv star?
TheraP (Midwest)
Warren’s manner of analyzing and thinking through issues is both philosophical and practical. She has a knack for seeing subtext, the underlying tissue, of a problem, ferreting out the threads that connect apparently disparate fields of study. She insists on facts and research rather than adopting ideologies or nostrums. And what she unearths enables her to see clearly what needs to happen for things to improve. This ability is rare. And we are in a time when such rare ability is desperately needed. Not just for today, but for tomorrow - for the hope of tomorrow, at a time when this nation and our Republic is being dangerously tested and frayed by a chief executive who governs by Tweet, stirring the political pot in ways that are unhelpful at best and downright sadistic at worst. We need a president with skills like this. And I am now convinced to cast my primary vote on her behalf. She’s earned it already. And I am impatient for her to win. It gives me hope that she’s in the race.
Dixon Duval (USA)
@TheraP I agree, and one of, if not the best example of her use of this skill is claiming to be Native American. We're all as much Native American as Warren is yet she was able to sell her claim and use it to her advantage. Not sure this would work on the global set- but an interesting skill.
Cold Eye (Kenwood CA)
She’s an academic by training and nature. They make lousy politicians.
avrds (montana)
When I listen to Warren and read her plans, I see a person who has spent time analyzing the nation's problems and finding ways to engineer solutions. She does not accept that we have to live with or simply change around the edges all the policies and laws that directly affect tax codes, health care, child care, education, immigration and all the other problems the nation faces right now. Rather, she looks at a problem and asks how can we do this better to benefit all Americans, not just the select few? Warren strikes me first and foremost as a problem solver. And after the current presidency, we are going to have a lot of problems to solve.
Erica Smythe (Minnesota)
@avrds She's solving the problems with the wrong solutions. That's her problem. They're Back Bay solutions for the elite white people who've stolen power and prestige from working class Americans who think they're brand of Socialist Populism is going to be as cool as Soylent...and tastes the same.
Richard Phelps (Flagstaff, AZ)
Elizabeth Warren is intelligent, sincere, honest, hard-working, and has convinced me that she is totally dedicated to doing the best she can to improve the living standards of the average American and general status of our country. In almost every way she is the antithesis of our current President. In addition she supports many of the issues I also consider important: - taxing the very wealthy more than the average working American - emphasis on supporting green energy and reducing carbon emissions - elimination of assault rifles and large magazines - taxpayer paid healthcare coverage for all - reigning in the greed of many large corporations and their efforts to fund political candidates that in turn support the large corporations. I think she could turn out to be one of the best presidents we have ever had. As the functionality of our present government has been declining and the overall approval rating of those in Congress approaching single digits I have often thought that we need someone special to rise up; capable of bringing us out of the morass we have now - someone like Lincoln. Our political system needs major changes and I believe Elizabeth is the person capable of doing that.
Richard Phelps (Flagstaff, AZ)
@Richard Phelps Elizabeth Warren, not just Elizabeth......my bad
Auntie Mame (NYC)
@Richard Phelps Her ideas are wonderful,, but I hope she can write a message something like return America to its roots.... America working for everyone ( which is really what she is all about...) and she needs to emphasize what her accomplishments thus far are. I hope she has the energy/ stamina to see it thru and enough biography already.
Richard Phelps (Flagstaff, AZ)
@Honora i do not agree 100% with everything Warren does. But I will bet that the information you have read regarding this topic was funded by the large corporations. I could not find a lot about this from anything Ms. Warren has stated or written. Large corporations have loads of money to hire superb writers to spin this story the way they want to. Look carefully at who is funding what you read and take that into consideration when you draw your conclusions. I believe, as she states, that the main impetus of most large corporations is to create the greatest return they can to their shareholders. This has not always been the primary corporate goal. If we do not do something to level the playing field and help better support the average working American, we are going to have a revolution in this country and or perhaps the entire world.
Mark (Virginia)
I think one of the major takeaways from the first debate is that the 2020 candidate needs to run on a progressive platform. Warren and Castro were the clear winners of the debate for being willing to take controversial stances on health care, immigration, affordable university, etc. Beto fared poorly by not bringing anything new to the table. We'll see how Biden performs tonight but I have similar concerns from him as well. We need to scrap the conventional wisdom that moderate candidates can appeal to the largest demographic. That might have been the case at one time, but now moderate candidates mostly only appeal to middle class Democrats who are likely to vote the party line in any circumstance. A progressive candidate is going to drive voter turnout among young people and can possibly flip the working class communities Trump won in 2016
Meredith (New York)
US politics needs substance, yes---and some normality. This perfect satire from "The Borowitz Report"-- New Yorker Magazine, sums it up: "Debate Viewers Struggle with Concept of President Without Glaring Personality Disorder" By Andy Borowitz Miami—"Millions of viewers of a televised debate Wednesday night found themselves struggling with the notion of a President with no visible personality disorder. In interviews across the country, viewers said that they were having difficulty imagining a President who does not display flagrant signs of malignant narcissism, impulse-control deficit, or rampant paranoia. “I kept trying to picture whether any of these people would be capable of insulting another country on Twitter to compensate for his or her own pathological sense of inadequacy,” Harland Dorrinson, who lives in Akron, Ohio, said. “None of them showed me that they have what it takes to do that.” “A President should be ready, at a moment’s notice, to ridicule another person’s face,” Carol Foyler, of Nashville, said. “I didn’t see one person on that stage who seemed up to that task.” Tracy Klugian, who lives in San Diego, said he was taken aback by the candidates showing off their language proficiency. “Every one of them was fluent in English,” he said. “For a President, that would be jarring.”"
Christy (WA)
So right. Politics should be treated as a matter of substance because if they're not you get someone like Trump, who treats the White House like his personal ATM, antagonizes allies, befriends enemies and lies as he breathes. Elections do have consequences and the consequences of this presidency are an unmitigated disaster.
Tony Lewis (Fredericton, New Brunswick)
She’s mildly parroting Bernie. Maybe she should run as VP.
Cold Eye (Kenwood CA)
Too bad she didn’t do that in 16. I guess she saved herself for us, huh? So much for fighting for your principles.
Mark Shyres (Laguna Beach, CA)
There are no plans in politics. Only promises. And they most often turn out much like the mystical plans of mice and men.
Patrick B (Washington State)
As a follow-up question, the panelists should have asked Warren: "So, how do you intend pay for all this?" and "How do you intend to get these things passed?" The same two questions apply to Bernie Sanders and others. Warren is not a viable choice, because if she should ever become our presidential candidate, her campaign will quickly and for all time be mired in those two questions and her attempts to answer them.
Lisa (NYC)
@Patrick B Why? Senator Warren has told you how she would pay for these programs. The Dems need to take the Senate and hang on to the House and get some important legislative work done! I'm not sure why you haven't been paying attention to what she has said over and over again. Her plans can yield results.
Brent J (South Carolina)
@Patrick B I don't see Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are quite in the league of Robin Hood. And, yet, most of us think Robin Hood is a real hero. At the moment we have a President and a Republican party in favor of robbing the poor to give help to the rich. We need to turn this around. While I'm at it, the Roman rulers kept the poor in their place with spectacles and feasts.
Cold Eye (Kenwood CA)
Just because she says she wants to impose a wealth tax doesn’t mean she has a plan to finance her agenda. If her entire platform is predicated on the successful passage of a wealth tax, which is her boilerplate answer to all questions of affordability, her candidacy will wither on the vine.
JOHN (PERTH AMBOY, NJ)
"To Back Warren" is to pick your favorite politician. Period. End of sentence. Stop making the "wonk" the qualifier of Presidential timber. That's how we got the disaster called the 39th President of the United States, 4 years of the misery index, and MAMA (Making America Malaise Again). That's also how we got Woodrow Wilson, the man who "kept us out of War" till he led us into one a year after being safely reelected, a "progressive" racist with visions of an earthly Beatific Vision dancing in his head, which paved the way through his multilateral (and useless) League for the next War.
Bubbles (US)
I appreciate all of Warren's plans. I also appreciate Inslee's plan to address climate change. I remember a feeling of hope when Obama was elected. It was historic of course because he was black. I was young and naive and believed he'd "slow the rise of the oceans" as he said in at least one of his speeches. I failed to understand it was rhetoric. He didn't really have a plan to do that and we're now in much deeper waters. We need plans, not rhetoric. Warren has them. I hope she adopts Inslee's climate change plan and maybe we can slow the ocean's rise more than we have been doing.
abj (New York, New York)
@Bubbles I am for a Warren/Inslee ticket, makes me feel hopeful.
Mon Ray (KS)
Elizabeth Warren’s response to the question about guns was to say we need to do research. That is why we do not need a policy wonk like Warren as President; we need someone who will take quick and decisive action. That is what Presidents are supposed to do—it’s called leadership.
Nathan (New Paltz, NY)
@Mon Ray you only listened to the first half of her response. She concluded by saying that since it is a heath issue it needs data. That is how you can make an argument: showing people facts about cause and impact. That is leadership, not dictatorship; which is what quick and decisive action implies, FWIW.
MTh (NY)
@Mon Ray Why do we need quick and decisive action? The gun control issue has been batted about for years. What's another year or two to get it right?
jfdenver (Denver)
@Mon Ray She also said there is no one size fits all solution, and that what may be appropriate in one setting does not work in all. We need someone who really thinks about the consequences of their actions and its effects. We went into the Iraq War because no one wanted real data.
David J (NJ)
I’m supporting Warren because she has thought through her policy positions and can express those thoughts coherently. Two and a half years of numbing mindlessness, it is refreshing to require voters to think.
Henry K. (Washington State)
Detailed Policy plans are valuable now not just to "tell voters what kind of person" the candiate is, as if they were just a neato slogan or viral selfie. They are valuable because they show she's done her homework, and they give her a place to start the work when faced with the very real obstacles to implementation that you mention. They do not lack practical value just because implementation is difficult and uncertain. They also demonstrate that actual plans and values are driving the campaign, not just ego. The view that somehow actual detailed plans and policy proposals are some sort of naive fluff is pure bloviating cynicism with nothing to back it up.
Cold Eye (Kenwood CA)
Where are these detailed plans? . Not on her campaign website, I can tell you that. It’s interesting that so many people have taken a second look at Warren because of her vaunted “plans”, but you never read any substantial critiques of those plans from any of her opponents. That’s because there is no detail in any of these plans. She does this deliberately so she won’t have to defend anything.
Henry K. (Washington State)
@Cold Eye Thank you for sharing.
Catherine (Chicago)
I thought Ms Warren performed well last night; however, I look forward to the second night of candidates. I, also, see this akin to watching Triple Crown. Patience as this campaign season rolls out…in the meantime, I look forward to hearing Mr. Mueller. I read his report. Somehow, those disqualified horses in the Derby keep springing in to mind—even though horse racing isn't political.
REBCO (FORT LAUDERDALE FL)
Warren has some great ideas but reality intrudes the republicans would never allow most of her proposals to become law. Republicans are well funded and know how to spin the voters into voting republican abortion and white nationalism issues are used to get tax cuts for the donor class, McCONNELL'S life blood.
Doug Giebel (Montana)
In fairness, Americans should have a right to obtain private health insurance as well as have a public "Medicare for all who need it" option. As for election justice, it would be most appropriate for a woman to oppose President Trump, given his history of misogyny and abuse treatment of -- just about everyone. Hillary Clinton's experience should inform the candidate chosen to spar with Donald J. Trump, but a second female opponent would be a delicious "do over."
Mike the Moderate (CT)
I have a plan for Elizabeth Warren. I sent her money. I will continue to do so as I can afford to do it. I will encourage friends to do the same. She is sometimes accused of being too idealistic, but if you don’t shoot for the moon you will never, never get there. Go Liz!
Emeness (Austin, TX)
@Mike the Moderate And if you shoot for the moon and miss, you still end up among the stars!
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
Look at Elizabeth Warren's brainchild, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a great American progressive invention that protects average Americans from financial predators, scofflaws and vulture capitalists. From its creation until 2017, the CFPB "has curtailed abusive debt collection practices, reformed mortgage lending, publicized and investigated hundreds of thousands of complaints from aggrieved customers of financial institutions, and extracted nearly $12 billion for 29 million consumers in refunds and canceled debts." As soon as Trump and the Republicans had a chance they turned the lights as the CFPB in deference to the Robber Baron and Reverse Robing Hood community who prefer to fleece America for a living. Elizabeth Warren is a gift from the heavens. She's smart, passionate, ethical, hard-working and and sides with average Americans, not oligarchs. She's a great American and a great Democrat and she's happy to help all Americans...except for corrupt Americans. Meanwhile, the other side of the aisle is blowing up the national debt and trying to rip away American healthcare so they can feed the rich. It's time to end the corrupt Republican Reverse Robin Hood reign that has cursed this country since Ronald Reagan showed up in 1980. Time to end Greed Over People's hypnosis over selfish, duped and bamboozled Americans. Elizabeth Warren 2020
Mark (Oregon)
@Socrates After reading about her in two recent articles in the NYT I am convinced she is the best of the Democrats and deserves my vote. Am I concerned about her "electability?" Of course. However, it is long past time for a person of her intellect, drive and understanding of us average Americans to be our president.
Chris (10013)
Having detailed plans by no means are evidence of good ideas or “substance”. In Warren’s case, they simply document her hard left economic positions and in fact, should disqualify her for the WH.
Clarice (New York City)
Elizabeth Warren has the sincerity that Hillary lacked, and is also a much better communicator. Hillary tended to talk in circles. Her competitors last night often 1) substituted anecdotes for real answers; 2) dodged the question; 3) expressed broad aspirations while remaining light on details. Warren has such a deep grasp of economics that no one can top her ability to explain these things in a way that is both clear & detailed. She and Bernie may be on the same economic page, but she knows the economy better at the nitty gritty level.
Irene Cantu (New York)
I do not support Elizabeth Warren. She only gave Hillary Clinton her support reluctantly, as did Bernie Sanders. She is too far to the left for the Hispanic community. If she is the nominee for the Democratic party - we will lose even worse than last time.
jfdenver (Denver)
@Irene Cantu What if Julian Castro were her VP?
Chris Tharrington (Maryland)
@jfdenver people don't vote bottom of the ticket. The only time a running mate selection matters is when the presidential candidate does great harm in his selection (McGovern 72, McCain 08).
Irene Cantu (New York)
@jfdenver Even worse, Beto can win Texas for the Dems - Castro cannot.
rd (dallas, tx)
In her efforts to sell herself as policy based and wonkish, Sen. Warren literally has government answers for every social and economic ill. I am generally a liberal leaning democrat. I realize that although the vast majority of Americans want improvement in many things, ( the environment, healthcare etc), they also react negatively to anyone who believes that government should micromanage every ill of society. Someone on Warren's staff ought to tell her she should back off on having a government answer for every issue. It may get her attention now but it is an Achilles heel with the voters in a general election.
Jim (NH)
@rd agree...government can be part of the answer on many if these issues, but to come in and start offering to cancel student debt, and offering "free" everything will loose many of us more pragmatic "liberal leaning" democrats...not that we would ever vote for what's-his-name, but many may decide to stay home...
peter lynch (Boulder, CO)
There are plans and policies. They matter. They can contribute to the conversation and help mold the party’s platform, even provide guidance to the next administration. They do not, however, matter as much as character, wisdom, vision, and the ability to lead and even to reassure our fractured nation. For that crucial part of the presidential mission having a plan won’t cut it. Those on the left enamored of Warren need to ask themselves what her appeal might be to those of us who acknowledge her intelligence and feistiness but miss the gravitas and grace which we so desperately need as a rebuke and correction to the clown in the White House.
Andrew (USA)
@peter lynch Right now we need a fighter. Republicans are not interested in compromising with democrats on any issue of substance. At all. They have made that abundantly clear. Unless we start making substantial, structural changes to the way our government functions, nothing will change... end the fillibuster. ditch the electoral college. DC statehood. pack the courts. Otherwise, we get more democrats with "gravitas and grace" watching while republicans gleefully tear down every norm in the name of cementing power for the wealthiest among us.
Mathias (NORCAL)
Everyone who runs for president should have several detailed policy proposals or be disqualified.
El Chicano (San Antonio)
As a long time Democratic Socialist I became a Bernie Bro in 2016 because Bernie's proposed policies spoke to me. While Hillary Clinton kept emphasizing identity polices Bernie was speaking about income inequality due to the stagnant wage growth that has taken place over the last 40 years. I am rooting for Bernie to win the 2020 nomination but the headwinds he is facing are strong. The "liberal" network MSNBC is not doing Bernie any favors because either they ignore him or worse trash him and his ideas. MSNBC's pundits keep blathering on and on about Americans not wanting to vote for a "socialist" instead of educating those same Americans that socialism is why things like police departments, fire departments and public schools and parks exist. Elizabeth Warren is my second choice for President in 2020. She is smart and has a lot of great ideas. By calling herself a capitalist who wants to make markets work she can avoid being smeared by Trump with the utterly bogus accusation that she is a "socialist". If Bernie cannot win the nomination I would be very happy if Warren wins it. Based on her recent poll numbers it appears that many Democrats feel the same way as I do. If Warren wins and the Democrats can take over control of the federal government it would be possible turn America into a country we could be proud of again. Americans could accomplish so much more if we were united and working together instead of being divided and constantly at each other's throats.
RMS (New York, NY)
It has been over a century since Teddy Roosevelt and others ushered in America's Progressive Era in response to the abuses of industrialization. It is time for America's second Progressive Era with the looming dangers of big data. Hands down, no one is more informed, is in more command of the major issues, and has more force of substance than Elizabeth Warren. GOP competence in the WH continues to hit new lows, while the back room was thrown open to every oligarch/plutocrat fantasy and the quiet dismantling of Americans' rights. Worse, we let it happen. GOP greed for power and its obstruction are not going to let up. To return America back to its people, it will take brute stubbornness and the sheer force of will from someone whose clarity of purpose will finally force the GOP into that corner where they either chose what's good for Americans or expose its own pernicious intent. On our side, we need to forget about moderate, progressive or any other label. It is about doing what is right. We cannot afford "I think I can do a good job." We need the big stick of a new Teddy Roosevelt.
Quandry (LI,NY)
Isn't it about time that a Presidential candidate suppresses the fluff, and puts forward substance? Almost everyone else galavants around articulating that they have all of the answers, after you elect me, I'll take care of everything. A prime example of that is Beto. All feel good, and no substance. Except for the a few exceptions like Roosevelt with his plans to remediate the depression and fight WWII, Johnson with his Great Society and War on Poverty and Obama with ACA, we have been fueled only with feel good moments that never happened!
lieberma (Philadelphia PA)
I Hope she will be the demos candidate. Will further ensure Trump winning a landslide. Bernie would be even better in this regard, but he does not stand a chance even with his demos freinds.
Guido Malsh (Cincinnati)
Of all her proven qualities required to become president, perhaps the one one most required from now through the election, is to reassure those who think she's too radical/extreme, even though the policies she endorses are responsible. To lead a traditionally conservative country such as ours on a bold new path, while risky, is still essential now as we struggle to save, protect and enhance our democracy. This requires a bold, no nonsense new leader. Warren's got what it takes. Do we? Vote.
Gruzia Shvili (NYC)
I take issue with your editorial. Are you saying that none of the other candidates have substance, that they're empty suits? That's wrong. To back Warren is to believe that the brand of a "politics of substance" is a winning ticket—perhaps that's your argument. And there again, I'm not so sure. To back Warren is to believe that she can win over the swing voters in a handful of states. Hilary Clinton lost the election, I believe, because Bernie Sanders damaged her and then Trump damaged her some more. When will the Democrats decide that it's more important to win than to be full of "substance"? That is, if I may, a fairly shallow understanding of politics. Politics is at least two things. First, the art and science of governing. But second, the art of winning and holding power. They are inseparable, and you can't have the first without the second.
Betsy Todd (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY)
@Gruzia Shvili I wish people would evaluate candidates on their own, and vote for who they want. It's a dangerous game to vote for the "most electable" candidate, as we learned in 2016. There is simply no way to truly know who others want to vote for, especially with media pundits mucking up the race with their opinions. Please, just vote for your choice of who can do the job. That's how we were able to elect Obama.
LonghornSF (Berkeley, CA)
Is she going to win swing voters with promises to ban private health insurance and raising tax rates to 70%? How is that going to go over with moderates in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin (or Florida or Texas)?
jim guerin (san diego)
We as Times readers will end up favoring a candidate who is not going to change things "too much". This is a function of demographics; we are older. I support both Warren and Sanders, but I suspect that Warren lacks leadership skills for crises. She might develop them of course. Sanders just circulated a petition to ask Congress to assert its authority to manage any conflicts with Iran. This is typical of him, looking at the big picture, trying to keep ahead of the real game. The real question is how deep a crisis the government is in. When the crisis is bad enough, I listen to the young, who are idealistic but fearless, and they support Sanders. Warren is the hope for minor changes. I will support her if nominated, gladly.
ps (Ohio)
On substance, most of the potential Democratic candidates seem sound, Warren mostly standing out. It seems to me the party needs to consider that there are those who will vote for their candidate no matter what, those who will not vote for their candidate no matter what, and those who are not sure who to vote for, or if to vote at all. Your candidate has to arouse enough interest, confidence, even passion, to get those people to the polls even if they wake up with a headache, are afraid to take off work, must get to a (moved) polling place in a distant neighborhood, face a long line outside in the rain, make sure they have the right id, put up with skeptical looks if they are a person of color, and feel their vote is that important. We need that candidate to beat Trump.
Livonian (Los Angeles)
I like Warren. She's head and shoulders above the rest of the Democrats. Yes, she's a populist. That's a bad word only when a bad person is a populist. Warren is a good person who cares about average Americans. And unlike Bernie, she wants to correct capitalism, not ruin it. To me, her bona fides come from the fact that she was an academic policy wonk with a passion for regular people's economic circumstances, who came to politics late. That is very much in contrast with people who seem to be careerists with the perfect resume for politics, as if they were planning on a run since high school (Buttigieg, Harris, I'm looking at you). I don't agree by any means with all of her many plans, but I do like that she's a plans and ideas-generating machine, less likely to be swept up by the enormously powerful forces of business-as-usual in Washington.
M.A. (Roxbury, CT)
Senator Warren’s strategy works because her individual policies, sewn together, define her overarching plan to make our market economy work for all of us. All her policies come from the same place and advance the same agenda. Look at the way she explained why the Hyde Amendment is emblematic of how economic policies that seem fiscally responsible can, in practice, disenfranchise the poor. We always see the big picture with her because all the small parts fit together cohesively. That this reveals her intellectual integrity and personal authenticity is an added bonus. Maybe she’ll make America think again. It’s what teachers do.
Magan (Fort Lauderdale)
Elizabeth Warren stands for fairness, equality, and the best interests for ALL Americans. Period! Warren has reached outside D.C. and looked for some of the most creative problem solvers from all corners of the globe. She isn't afraid to try new ideas and think outside the box to address our problems. We have had presidents who have one or two "Big" ideas or policy/proposals but never have we had someone like Warren. If we miss this opportunity for her to become our next president it will be the biggest mistake of my lifetime.
Dr. Girl (Midwest)
Warren creates comprehensive detailed plans. She is a problem solver, which is rare in todays politicians. This will also be her vulnerability. The republican 'Monday Morning' quarterbacks are already dissecting her proposals. They have never had a creative idea in their lives, but that does not matter. Their purpose is to provide the republican candidate(s) the reasons for why Warrens plans are bad for America or US businesses. When they are done, they will never be required to present a coherent viable alternative. This has been Trump's plan all along. They never had a replacement for the ACA. This was the biggest lie ever. Trump is the best at this. He presents grandiose promises of great plans and proposals, but never states any details. You cannot dissect his proposals, because he hasn't ever thought about the problem. The people have to really want more. We are getting there. I just do not know if we are there. The average Trump voter is okay with not knowing how the sausage is made. There is nothing to dissect, or critique, when no one knows the details.
Mon Ray (KS)
In last night’s debate Elizabeth Warren supported elimination of private health insurance. That would lose her my vote, and the votes of many millions of others who are happy with their private health insurance and their ability to choose their own physicians.
Richard Phelps (Flagstaff, AZ)
@Mon Ray Allow me to quote from Wikipedia on single payer health plans: "'Single-payer' describes the mechanism by which healthcare is paid for by a single public authority, not the type of delivery or for whom physicians work, which may be public, private, or a mix of both". No one has to lose their ability to choose their own physician. Americans remain the only major country without a single payer health plan. It's coming one day and your health care will be better as well as a lot cheaper.
Innovator (Maryland)
@Mon Ray How happy would you be if you are laid off from your employer, losing your subsidized insurance? If your employer changes plans (they have no obligation to keep your physician)? If the Obamacare limits on deductibles and copays go away? If you start having to pay $5K a year due to health problems or say a broken leg. If your physician decides to leave your employer plan which might be chosen due to cost-cutting rather than keeping you happy with physician choice. Out of network co-pays are huge .. Rollbacks of Obamacare protections could make all this devastating, with real possibilities of bankruptcy or losing your savings, which double as your retirement plan. Highest likelihood is that you are laid off at 50+, with lower career prospects, and potentially much worse health status. Or you aren't healthy enough to work at 50+ or 60+ to make it to Medicare age.
Craig Warden (Davis CA)
@Richard Phelps Let's stick to the facts here. Much of Europe allows both public and private plans. Healthcare in Germany is more like Obamacare than anything else, just with better subsidies. So no, it is not correct that the US is the only major country without single payer. A more accurate statement is that the US is the only major country that does not guarantee health care for everyone. So my conclusion is that Warren is incorrect and her stance loses my vote.
Norburt (New York, NY)
Good grief, a reporter writing serious substantive analysis about a serious substantive candidate. Something of a shock to my brain, followed quickly by relief and gratitude. A few voters out there are still sane, rallying to Warren, and a few reporters are still incisive and able to see through the silly, superficial punditry. Thank you, Mr. Schmitt. I truly appreciate that you outlined the dangers of a policy-based campaign strategy -- thus highlighting Warren's courage and confidence -- and also made the critical point that the details of policy proposals matter less than the fact of their conception and the ways in which they are presented.
Jacquie (Iowa)
"how she made her way from Oklahoma, the University of Houston and early parenthood to Harvard Law School, the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency." That says it all about Elizabeth Warren's abilities and drive. She would make a good president at a time when we need drastic change for the middle class and democracy itself to survive.
an Angry Old White Guy (LRfromOregon)
Yes Mark, Warren needs a working Congress behind her polices but she would also have Millions of Voices backing her as well ! republicKlans now Destroy governments and it is UP to the Left to Restore Balance back into the Working Class ! We Need a Hard Left Turn to Achieve that Dream, All Others have Failed thus Far !!!
Dr. Girl (Midwest)
@an Angry Old White Guy Voices do not matter, a congress does. Obama could not appoint a supreme court justice because he was blocked by the senate. Liberals/progressives who stayed home during the 2016 elections, may have done themselves a disservice in the future. Gerrymandering may insure that liberal agenda does not diffuse to the state level. People need to vote not just for a presidential candidate, but vote every election as if you are also choosing a supreme court justice, a census map, and a legislative map. Consequently, if you stayed home you thwarted progress of any progressive agenda in the future. Progressives seem to think that change starts at the presidential level. It is actually starts in local elections.
Jack (Austin)
@an Angry Old White Guy I think you’re onto something important with your Millions of Voices. Speaking for and to myself, I’m going to write my own talking points (thank you very much) so I need to remember there’s an ethic to that - no fair if I go around telling people her views just happen to align with mine or theirs. There are ways in which I’m to her right. I agree with Pelosi on health care for example. But Senator Warren is the one who is in the arena fighting, she can and does develop her own views and think and speak for herself, and truth be told she’s almost surely smarter than I am. Nevertheless she needs our active engagement and clear-eyed resolute support. For my part I want people in the Midwest and the South to come to understand in their own way that a lot of what she stands for is pretty close to the way we did things during the days they thought America was great. I want to help convince people like conservative NYT columnist Bret Stephens, who has said that politics is best played between the 40 yard lines, that this is what the Blue Team at one 40 yard line is supposed to look like.
sbanicki (Michigan)
She is the kind of President we need. Grew up in working/middle class family, worked hard to get where she is at and suppoerts what I call Controlled Capitalism. This better describes where sbe is at than "socialism. ... https://lstrn.us/2CORkXF
Old Hominid (California)
The United States is currently facing so many serious problems, it's best to elect the "smartest person in the room". That person seems to be Elizabeth Warren. She has thought about complex issues and has devised plans to address them. She seems to have excellent judgment. And good judgment does not naturally accompany intelligence: just look at our current government. I think the media, in general, has done a terrible disservice to the American voter by describing those currently in charge, including the one in charge of the Executive Branch as "stupid" among other descriptors. Most of them are not stupid. But their values seem uninformed by reality and a majority of the decision-making shows very poor judgment.
Innovator (Maryland)
@Old Hominid President is an administrative job, so you need to be smart enough to choose good policy directions and to choose good cabinet secretaries and advisers. That's why Reagan seemed competent, he knew how to pick the best people. Warren is also putting out her opinions and carefully researched ideas (with expert opinions included) out for debate, which is riskier than saying little and being elected for something other. There is a risk that she will be voted against for the same reasons as Hillary, voters uncomfortable with women, especially smart women. And she does have to get out the vote, importantly with younger voters and with minorities. However, policy-driven debate does not seem to be a direction that Trump would particularly thrive in. The policies of the GOP are not popular outside the base, or with independents or with new voters.
Anonymous (United States)
W’s bankruptcy “reform,” which helped the banks at the expense of the little guy was supported by “Uncle Joe” Biden. I’m glad to hear that Warren came out against it. Policy is everything. Political flim-flam and charisma are for fools. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of fools among American voters.
Chris Martin (Alameds)
So scrap the filibuster already.
Matthew Carnicelli (Brooklyn, NY)
@Chris Martin I agree. It's time. Scrapping the non-talking filibuster, now that it is no longer available to prevent lifetime judicial appointments, has relatively little downside. Yes, it would allow mere majorities to push through legislation - but isn't that what democracy is all about? The Trump Administration couldn't get even 50 votes to repeal the ACA - so it wasn't the filibuster that prevented it's repeal. And had they indeed repealed it, it would have likely led to an even greater public outcry and even bigger Democratic majorities in 2018 - thus putting an end to Trump's ability to get anything through Congress going forward. The filibuster, as currently constituted (which to say, non-talking), allows one party to comfortably sabotage a presidency, as DeMint and McConnell did with the Obama presidency. A talking filibuster would be a different matter - and likely lead to 'interesting' political moments - but would not allow a minority to 'comfortably' sabotage a Presidency. The non-talking filibuster needs to go in 2021 if Democrats regain control of the presidency, Senate, and retain control of the House. We can't allow McConnell and friends to sabotage another Democratic presidency.
Alan (Queens)
My only concern is that Liz is so passionate that she might scare off moderates and independents. She needs to curb her enthusiasm just a trifle.
Blanche White (South Carolina)
@Alan That's like saying Sen. Warren needs to curb her sense of outrage at the predatory practices of the 1% and their enablers, OUR government. With her, we the people have our best shot at taking back this Country and, for the FIRST time, putting some teeth in those founding principles.
Paul Wortman (Providence)
Sen. Warren has the charisma, the passion, and is a one-person "brain trust." But, after watching her forceful defense of "Medicare-for-All," I wondered if this might turn out to be a "plan for that" that will be her Achille's heel. John Delaney made an equally convincing, substantive argument for the goal of universal health and against the Sanders-Warren "Medicare-for-All" policy. It will deprive people of private insurance that they like and want to keep, and that its current reimbursement schedule is so minimal as to bankrupt many hospitals. In addition, there is the current Republican scare tactic of "socialism" and the equal likelihood of a new, massive Harry-and-Louise advertising campaign by the health insurance industry. This is one "fight" Warren should seriously reconsider given how many other great ideas she has. She doesn't want to repeat Obama's error of saying you could keep your doctor by taking away quality plans that many workers have through their employer's private insurance when "the public option" is a much easier and safer way free market way to attain the goal of universal health care without dismantling one-fifth of our economy. Given the prominence of health-care for Democrats, it's imperative that they and their nominee get it right. The yellow light is blinking already for Medicare-for-All and a more moderate plan seems desirable.
Matthew Carnicelli (Brooklyn, NY)
@Paul Wortman Elizabeth has herself said that "there are many ways to get to Medicare for all". I have hung out a bit at the campaign-run "All-in for Warren" community site, and my impression is that - like every other activist site I've ever visited - the candidate is being pressured by enthusiastic yet unrealistic, politically inexperienced supporters. And so long Bernie continues to sound his siren song for "Medicare for All', I'm afraid that that pressure will only build. The problem with attempting to get to "Medicare for all" in one fell swoop is that it would likely involve a suicide mission. Gradually transitioning to it over a period of time, while leaving some escape valve for those who insist on a completely commercial approach, would not be. If we adopt the Delaney approach, you might have 60%-70% of the non-Medicare / Medicaid population on board within a few years - and thus give the Federal Government tremendous leverage in reforming our wildly inefficient health care system (especially once you include patients currently enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid). The countries that successfully adopted Medicare for All started from scratch, from the ground up. We'll not be doing that. We both remember "Harry and Louise", and if the GOP is good at anything, it's powerful messaging. If we lose the messaging war, we eventually lose the war.
Derek Muller (Carlsbad, CA)
Warren issues long winded, detailed plans that are wrong for the country. Issuing white papers and making numerous policy proposals does not make you the correct candidate if such ideas are wrong headed and disastrous for the country.
Chuck Burton (Mazatlan, Mexico)
@Derek Muller wake up. We are already living in a disaster. President Warren’s plans will be debated. The best will move forward, the others will at least inform the argument. Trump cannot explain himself out of a paper bag.
Jim C. (New York)
I reject the idea that it is not substantive to take into account the political skills and personal appeal of a candidate in choosing whom to vote for. Winning the election is a substantive matter- the candidate's plans mean nothing if this is not accomplished.
Old Hominid (California)
Elizabeth Warren seems to be a smart person who has thought about complex issues. She also has exhibited good judgment. I think she will be an excellent President. I like that she favors the color purple.
Zigzag (Oregon)
We have seen what it is like for an administration to "shoot from the hip" on policy with the current administration - it will be refreshing to see what plans are going to be brought forth by the many other candidates trying to compete with the comprehensive roadmap Ms. Warren has developed. This next election will be a stark contrast between winging it and a thoughtful and cogent roadmap for our future.
VK (P)
It is time that we have someone who actually uses statistically relevant data to make informed policy proposals. Ms. Warren has shown she has the really cares about these issues and we should commend her for leading the entire pack of candidates with such details. I applaud her. Her passion just oozes out when she speaks and we can take comfort that during crisis she will value real information to make informed decisions and not shoot from the hip. I wish her the very best in this campaign.
Mark Thomason (Clawson, MI)
Elizabeth Warren's campaign style works because the US has gotten so far off course, and has in so many ways become a lesser place to live. If we were basically fine, she couldn't campaign like this. It wouldn't work for ideas merely to tinker with success. This is the Reagan Revolution come home to roost. Voters are unhappy, and have much to be very unhappy about.
Marshall Doris (Concord, CA)
A shelf full of policy proposals is, as pointed out here, decidedly not yet an accomplishment. What is important to remember, though, is one of the lessons we must learn from Trump’s election: it is not enough to win the election, a winning candidate eventually becomes President, and then must govern. Of course one of the abysses into which the Republican Party has fallen is a gut-level belief (Reagan ran on it) which foolishly avers that not only is less government better than more government, but in many cases that any government at all is problematic. As Trump proves every day, a systematic lack of desire to govern combined with a profound inability to do so, is a recipe for disaster. The key task for voters when we hear roll calls of policy proposals on the shelf, is not just the substance of the policy itself, but the candidate’s ability to actually run the extremely complex entity that a Presidential Administration has become. Of course Trump can’t do it: duh! But can Warren, or Sanders, or Castro, or (gadzooks!) Delaney? That is the million dollar question lurking hidden the shadows of policy positions, campaign strategies, and polling results. We don’t just need to find a Democratic candidate that can win, we need one who can govern.
Ronald B. Duke (Oakbrook Terrace, Il.)
Liberals are generally suspicious of material values, they embrace, value themselves, on their intellectual, or you could say, spiritual insights. Material values are easy to measure and display, but how to measure, and especially, display, intellectual values? By intensity of individual belief and expression. This will tend to manifest itself in intransigence (refusal to compromise, or at least great difficulty in doing so--Obama, anyone) dismissal of other (wrong) points of view, vehement expression. Materialism is more laid back, it's controlled by everyday societal approval--for instance, financial success is rewarded, lack thereof, not. Liberalism is controlled internally--how right to I feel about my beliefs, how convinced am I? (specious logic useful here). Materialism is constrained by negative feedback from the surrounding world, liberalism is, well, 'liberated' by individual positive feedback, well known to produce extreme, destructive results. Beware of being led by liberals, their greatest moment of self-realization, self-belief, might we when they're leading everyone else over a cliff because they 'know' it's the right thing to do. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, the left in general.
LES (IL)
@Ronald B. Duke I for one have had enough of unbridled materialism devoid of ethics or consideration of the general welfare.
Constance Sullivan (Minneapolis)
We're all terrified that Trump might be re-elected. But that doesn't mean Democrats should avoid considering, and voting for, the strongest of the candidates we have vying for our support right now. Unlike two other top contenders who will appear tonight and whose numbers are slipping, Senator Elizabeth Warren is becoming stronger as a candidate every day and with every new venue people get to know her in. And she comes with strengths other candidates don't have: Look at her accomplishment designing and setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that has Big Money men tied in knots to undo because it hinders their greed. She starts with data. She's getting really good at talking with people and not coming across too much as what she is, a professor of law. There's substance to Elizabeth Warren, and Boy! does America need substance after Trump! I'm beginning to believe that only one of the Democratic women candidates can beat Trump. The one who looks least like Trump, and who has most knowledge behind her elaborately specific positions, is Warren.
Patrician (New York)
@Constance Sullivan Agree completely. The concern that Warren can lose to Trump is bogus. There is not a single Democrat running about whom one can’t say that he or she can’t lose to Trump. Not a single one. Biden can lose to Trump, if he doesn’t generate enthusiasm and excitement in the base (as is the case now). Low turnout can be his demise. Bernie can lose to Trump. We haven’t seen yet any candidate win a national election running on socialism. (I like Bernie as well, not dinging him, just following through with the argument). Anyone can lose to Trump. No one is a sure shot. And at the same time Anyone can also beat Trump. The polls show that all the Top 5 Democrats running are beating Trump. All of them: Biden, Bernie, Warren, Harris, Buttigieg. So, for the primaries: why not get behind the candidate that excites you individually and then vote D in the general? People are being too clever by half when they think they’ve got ‘electability’ figured out.
arusso (or)
@Patrician There is one solution to our current Trump predicament, high voter turnout! If Democrats need to be "motivated", "excited", or "entertained" to get out and vote, shame on them! Right now everyone, EVERYONE!, who cares about integrity in our government and our nation should have already decided that they would be voting Democrat in 2020 regardless of who gets the nomination. If one is more likely to go vote in 2020 if candidate A is nominated and less enthusiastic if Candidate B is nominated then they have not been paying attention and do not truly understand the gravity of this election. Just stay home altogether.
Constance Sullivan (Minneapolis)
@arusso Please make sure your message about voting Democratic no matter who it is gets to the fervent Bernie troops! So many Bernie supporters either voted for the Green candidate or stayed home without voting in 2016 that it made the difference in who got to be president. I mention this sad fact, because I hear Bernie enthusiasts making the same noises now: Our guy or the highway.
Patrician (New York)
“I have a plan for that”. That’s all the voters want to hear now. They don’t care much about individual plan details - outside of a salient few that directly impact their lives: Medicare for All, student debt forgiveness, and childcare... Frankly, that’s also what the media is now doing. A new Warren plan is treated with a shrug, as if it’s no longer news. Warren wants to ban private prisons? Hmm. Ok. It’s on brand. That speaks to the trust that Warren has generated. Her brand speaks loudly and is reflected in her plans which in turn reinforce it. That’s being authentic. She accepts her nerdiness, indeed revels in it! Plans are values. Like values if you don’t live them, you lose your credibility fast. Warren’s plans tell us exactly who she is. They flow naturally from her guiding philosophy of life: level the playing field. The powerful have rigged the system to their advantage and sustain it through corruption. Balance needs to be restored in the natural order of things. Having a core theme unite all those plans is what stands Warren apart from politicians who have historically simply used them as an exercise to check the box.
Anne (Portland)
@Patrician: I love her nerd. I love her wonk. Bring it on!
Mimi (Baltimore and Manhattan)
@Patrician You know who else has plans? Donald Trump. Just go back to his campaign rallies in 2015 and 2016. He has plans and made promises that he never did implement. In fact they were empty. That's what scares me about Warren. She's only been in government since 2012 and she gets credit for the CFPB which actually was a committee effort, not hers alone. She was a bankruptcy tax law professor, for God's sake.
Michael Roberts (Ozarks)
@Mimi Trump didn't have a single plan. He only had slogans and empty promises. Warren can back any one of her plans with facts and figures. Trump, on the other hand, couldn't even keep his slogans straight.
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