The Frontrunners
June 20, 2019 1:03 AM   Subscribe

“From the very beginning, he was always concerned about policy. Always concerned about making a meaningful difference. He didn’t have time for the niceties,” Jane Sanders, the Senator’s wife and closest adviser, told me. “He has, over time, really become more—he’s still very issue oriented, but he’s placing focus on the people and the impact that those policies have.” Bernie Sanders Wants to Change America. But He May Have to Change Himself First. (TIME) “A cashier who steals a handful of twenties is held accountable, but Wall Street executives almost never hold themselves accountable,” Warren said. “Not now, and not in 2008, when they crushed the worldwide economy. The only way that Wall Street will change is if executives face jail time when they preside over massive frauds.” Can Elizabeth Warren Win It All? Sanders likes to frame himself as a New Dealer — an heir to the party of Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt, Sanders said last week, “led a transformation of the American government and the American economy” and was “reviled by the oligarchs of his time,” who attacked his New Deal programs as “socialism.” Why Bernie Sanders Isn’t Afraid of ‘Socialism’ (NYT) “Ask me who my favorite president is,” Warren said. When I paused, she said, “Teddy Roosevelt.” Warren admires Roosevelt for his efforts to break up the giant corporations of his day — Standard Oil and railroad holding companies — in the name of increasing competition. She thinks that today that model would increase hiring and productivity.(NYT Magzine)
posted by The Whelk (42 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Slightly less MSM, an opinion in The Guardian: The secret to Elizabeth Warren's surge? Ideas
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:49 AM on June 20 [8 favorites]


As a Vermonter who was for a time in positions to meet often with Sanders and other politicians on the national stage, I can attest to Sanders' difficulties in connecting with people on a personal level, as described in the Time article. Most politicians learn your name after 2 or 3 meetings. Sanders didn't remember it after a dozen meetings. His handshakes with people in a group were cursory — his mind was on the substance of the meeting, not on the individuals he was meeting with. He was often impatient — if you asked a question, he would cut you off if he thought he understood what you were asking, rather than hearing you out. (He does this in the Time story to Janis Hazel. And in the last paragraph the writer sums it up with "He had no interest in me in the normal ways. Oh, you live in Brooklyn? I used to live in Brooklyn. What part?" ) When you are the elected Senator from Vermont, secure in that job for life and not looking for anything beyond it, that's fine. But when you are campaigning for the Presidency in Iowa or New Hampshire, it's not. Those states are the only places where the primary electorate has a chance to check out the candidates face to face, directly, up close, and at length. Those voters are pretty savvy and can spot candidates who lack empathy with them and are either faking it or not even trying. In many ways, the arc of his presidential candidacy has been remarkable. But I don't think he even understands the gap he faces, relative to other candidates including Biden, in making those personal connections with voters.
posted by beagle at 6:02 AM on June 20 [17 favorites]


I hope everyone can be nice in this thread please!!

This Osita Nwanevu New Yorker piece is a nice and factual breakdown of their similarities and differences.
posted by latkes at 6:02 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I wonder who Warren's favourite president was when she was a republican during Reagan's term.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:07 AM on June 20 [14 favorites]


I'm hearing a lot more about Warren lately.

Can anyone comment on her relative imperialism score, compared to the other candidates? What are the chances of condoning war or coups in Iran, Venezuela etc?
posted by AnhydrousLove at 6:12 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I wonder who Warren's favourite president was when she was a republican during Reagan's term.

Maybe the same as when I was a Libertarian during Bush's?

People change.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:20 AM on June 20 [55 favorites]


But none of these is a "frontrunner." This is "top tier other than/after biden"
posted by knoyers at 6:23 AM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Can anyone comment on her relative imperialism score, compared to the other candidates? What are the chances of condoning war or coups in Iran, Venezuela etc?

Not The worst...but also not awesome!

"While she’s voted for military de-escalation on some issues, including ending the Yemen War, she’s gone along with some of the most belligerent acts that have occurred under her watch, cheerleading Israel’s devastating 2014 war on Gaza and vocalizing her support for sanctions against Venezuela. Even judged according to the spectrum of today’s Democratic Party, which is skewed so far to the right on war and militarism it does not take much to distinguish oneself, Warren gets an unsatisfactory grade: not the last in her class, but far from first."
posted by windbox at 6:29 AM on June 20 [5 favorites]


I've been surprised and impressed with how good Warren is at retail politics. I was familiar with her as a policy wonk but she seems to be having so much fun on the campaign trail doing selfies with fans and such. She comes across as very genuine and caring on an individual human level. I know qualities like that are probably less important than policy but it would be nice to have an actual human being in the White House again.
posted by octothorpe at 6:36 AM on June 20 [9 favorites]


I've been impressed with Warren for years, even though I have some (pretty major) disagreements with her. Sanders more closely aligns with my beliefs. However, I think she would be an effective president, more so than Sanders. I'm a policy person and boy does she have policies.

I don't tend to share this opinion in DSA circles.
posted by Automocar at 6:48 AM on June 20 [24 favorites]


That Giridharadas Time article was really interesting. It's kind of unusual to learn something from one of these "I followed the candidate for 6 months" articles but I feel like I have a better sense of Sanders as a person and the strengths and weaknesses of his current campaign after reading it.

Comparing Sanders' personality as described in the article, to Warren, who apparently spends hours shaking hands and taking selfies after most appearances, certainly makes a case for her greater ability to connect with people. But as he mentions in the piece, in the age of Trump, it's pretty unclear if charisma matters in this election? Like, we've elected the most hateful garbage can of a person who is completely unlikeable, so who knows!

There are some substantial policy differences and it's a sad reflection of the American Left that no one is even really questioning Warren's voting record on war policy. But I will certainly be amazed and enormously relieved if either of these two people is our next president. A better president is not enough to turn things around in the US. But a president with some kind of ethical vision for the future at least gives us something to work with. Imagine if we had ranked choice voting in the presidential primaries! I think that could push one of them past Biden.
posted by latkes at 6:56 AM on June 20 [8 favorites]


She also speaks about her policy proposals with a level of moral clarity and vision that feels like it could be great for national morale in general. She is phenomenal. I also think Sanders has a different kind of policy vision - one that truly upsets healthcare lobbyists, Third Way- style think tank assholes, etc - but doesn't really dole it out as warmly. He's a cranky old brooklyner who has been repeating the same socialist talking points since the beginning of time. Doesn't seem to give a shit about pressing flesh as noted upthread and yet people love him anyway. When folks pretend like people don't absolutely fucking adore Sanders I always wonder what universe they're living in - he's by far become one of the most popular politicians in the country since 2015.
posted by windbox at 7:01 AM on June 20 [17 favorites]


I'd love it if this primary created a referendum among liberals and in the Democratic Party on whether it's OK to name villians. Less of Biden's "we're all friends here and we all want what's best for America" and more of this:
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plan to address America’s opioid epidemic has one unusual component, something that sets her dramatically apart from nearly everyone else running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination: a villain.

Specifically, that villain is Purdue Pharma, the creator of OxyContin. Even more specifically, it is the Sackler family, who own Purdue. A May blog post introducing Warren’s opioid plan promises “real criminal penalties” for pharmaceutical executives guilty of “dumping mountains of highly addictive pills” into struggling American communities.
posted by mcmile at 7:05 AM on June 20 [17 favorites]


I also think Sanders has a different kind of policy vision - one that truly upsets healthcare lobbyists, Third Way- style think tank assholes, etc - but doesn't really dole it out as warmly.


Above the Law editor Elie Mystal:
I kind of talk to corporate lawyers for a living and their clients generally way more afraid of @ewarren than Sanders because her regulatory acumen will be targeted and disruptive.

But, you know, don't let me get in the way of the narrative. Lawyers gonna make bank either way.
posted by Jpfed at 8:59 AM on June 20 [10 favorites]


Charisma and crowd-working are no substitute for good policies, but I’d much rather have a candidate with both policy chops and people skills than just the one.

In hindsight it’s obvious Bernie would have been the better choice last time, but we can’t fall into the trap of running the last election. The angry white men should not get another shot after what we’ve been through for four years.
posted by rikschell at 9:09 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


I don't think men should get another shot, since they've had every presidency ever, frankly.
posted by agregoli at 9:14 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]


Both Sanders and Warren have detailed policies and ideas. Sander's entire appeal is based around his policies and ideas because, as we will no doubt be reminded as long as he is alive and in politics, he is a cantankerous old man and not a great retail politician.

The idea that Warren has great ideas is true - she does - but its also a subtle dig at Sanders that echoes attacks from the 2016 primary that he is a one note candidate lacking in specifics. That is a ridiculous charge considering Sanders has done more to shift the national debate at both an ideological and policy level than any politician since probably Reagan.


The brewing Sanders versus Warren online battle is more than a little comical and sad considering neither is the current frontrunner. Polling consistently shows both fighting for a distant second behind Biden. I foresee a grim future in which Sanders and Warren supporters slug it out on the desolate battlefield of twitter while Biden waltzes to the nomination with between 30 and 40 percent of the vote, speeches praising segregationist Dixiecrats and all.
posted by eagles123 at 9:19 AM on June 20 [14 favorites]


Like, we've elected the most hateful garbage can of a person who is completely unlikeable, so who knows!

I've read that Trump is incredibly charismatic in person (when he's not flipping out, I assume). Presumably it is in that je ne sais quoi sense of charisma rather than the kind cultivated by creating actual connections with other human beings. He's also good at reading a crowd--his incomprehensible, stream-of-consciousness speeches emerge from the ability to figure out what will make a crowd happy in the moment and then saying that. His horribleness also appeals to the type of person who sees the open misogyny and racism and narcissism as being brash and brave and rough around the edges. Like, his supporters genuinely like the very personality traits and behaviors that repulse us. Basically what I'm saying is that they find him likeable, and that's part of the reason they elected him.


When folks pretend like people don't absolutely fucking adore Sanders I always wonder what universe they're living in - he's by far become one of the most popular politicians in the country since 2015.

I don't think anyone is arguing that Sanders inspires adoration among his supporters. I think the argument is that the rabid support has a ceiling because the lack of human connection means he's not good at drawing in people who don't already love what he's saying, at least compared to other politicians.

The Warren-Sanders battles make me feel sick. If any two groups of supporters should be allies it's theirs, and the fact that the circular firing squad is emerging even there is tanking my hope for 2020.
posted by schroedinger at 9:24 AM on June 20 [13 favorites]


The idea that Warren has great ideas is true - she does - but its also a subtle dig at Sanders that echoes attacks from the 2016 primary that he is a one note candidate lacking in specifics.

I disagree! Warren has great ideas, period. Her ideas and the enthusiasm around them aren't subtly about Sanders or 2016. It is possible to like Warren on her own merit, it's not about taking a little shot at Sanders.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:27 AM on June 20 [18 favorites]


Bernie Sanders Says He'd Consider Decriminalizing Sex Work (Vice)
Less than 24 hours after Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said she would be "open" to decriminalizing sex work, the Bernie Sanders campaign told VICE the candidate believes it's a policy that "should be considered." .... When asked in March about his thoughts on the matter, he told hosts of the radio show The Breakfast Club, "That's a good question and I don't have an answer for that."
posted by box at 9:38 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I disagree! Warren has great ideas, period. Her ideas and the enthusiasm around them aren't subtly about Sanders or 2016. It is possible to like Warren on her own merit, it's not about taking a little shot at Sanders.


Of course it is. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I just described the vibe I get from media coverage - just look at the guardian article linked in this thread - and arguments advanced in the little Warren versus Sanders supporter twitter dust up last night. There is even a quote in this thread about how corporate lawyers fear Warren because of her regulatory genius, as opposed to Sanders who presumably will just mumble socialist slogans from the 30s while he's easily outmaneuvered by geniuses who went to Tier 1 law schools.


In reality, both would play a large role in the administration of the other were either to become President, probably as a Senate ally. They've worked and campaigned together in the past.
posted by eagles123 at 9:38 AM on June 20 [5 favorites]


One thing that's cool is how they are pushing each other left. He has to answer to her support of reparations. She has to respond to his commitment to Medicare for All. If we had ranked choice they could campaign together in a "not Biden" alliance.
posted by latkes at 10:28 AM on June 20 [12 favorites]


If we had ranked choice they could campaign together in a "not Biden" alliance.

This is only a tiny step in that direction, but to avoid wasting votes cast for candidates who do not meet the delegate threshold of 15%, Kansas is using an IRV-like mechanism to transfer those votes until they point to a candidate that does meet the threshold.
posted by Jpfed at 11:02 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


One of the reasons I'm for Warren is that she's a lawyer. That training allows her to read (often in an extremely limited amount of time), analyze, and retain a LOT of information. (I liked both Clintons and Obama for this same reason. Some of the smartest people I've ever known are lawyers.)

I wish more people had positive associations with lawyers and the law, because the US legal system (an admittedly sad, ramshackle affair) is how things get done around here.

Spotlight dance: Biden's ongoing love affair with malarkey.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:23 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Many of the articles I've seen have been coming at this from a (subtly or un-) pro-Sanders perspective, but there have been a number of recent comparisons of Sanders's and Warren's policy differences that make a decent case that they are not identical, even on big-ticket issues (eg, Medicare for All). Of course, how one weights and aggregates these issues into a total candidate preference is pretty subjective, as is deciding which policy preferences will have any impact on actually implementable policy. I'd support either myself, and don't see much of a need to fight about any of it, but it's still interesting.

Are Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders the same? The debate, explained. (Vox)
Why the Differences Between Sanders and Warren Matter (Jacobin)
So, what’s the difference between Warren and Sanders? (Post)
Think Elizabeth Warren And Bernie Sanders Are The Same? She Doesn’t. (Buzzfeed)
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Had a Secret Nonaggression Agreement. Is It Falling Apart? (NYMag)
posted by chortly at 1:09 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


None of the candidates are perfect. Of the leaders I will be perfectly fine with Bernie or Warren.

I am NOT fine with Biden. Very much not so. For MULTIPLE reasons.

I worry so fucking hard that the bitter "feminists" who wore pussy power hats after Hillary lost will, if Bernie wins, refuse to vote for him because of spite. I hope to god such isn't the case, and I honestly have a feeling most know better, but never underestimate the power of political cults.

Bernie and Warren both have some messed up Nationalist positions, but frankly, you're running for President, so you're gonna have that. Booker and Yang are the only other two I think I might show interest in. And even then they have plenty of issues in terms of stances compared to Bernie/Warren.
posted by symbioid at 1:51 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I'm more worried about the "Bernie Bros" refusing to vote for Warren (and I wouldn't vote for Yang against Boaty McBoatface), but we can certainly agree that there's a lot to worry about.
posted by box at 2:02 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


I worry so fucking hard that the bitter "feminists" who wore pussy power hats after Hillary lost will, if Bernie wins, refuse to vote for him because of spite.

Allow me to suggest the possibility that there is a tiny bit of projection going on in your worry. Black women specifically and women more generally have been doing much of the heavy lifting in trying to defeat Trump. As one of the many non-bitter feminists wearing a pussy hat at that march, I’ll point out that few if any of the attendees were bitter. Angry? Absolutely. Terrified? Absolutely.

I once had a friend who was a social smoker who spent a lot of time worried about the dangers of microwaves from microwave ovens. About the hundredth time she was sharing her anxiety about microwaves, I suggested she pay attention to something that she had more control over and that was an evidence-based danger: smoking. In that same spirit, I would like to suggest that instead of worrying hard about straw feminists we actively work to get out the vote. As a therapist once pointed out, worry is not a plan nor a strategy. Our brains like to pretend that worry is a form of useful action. It is not. Don’t worry; write postcards. Knock on doors. Donate money.

Also: STFU about imaginary bitter feminists. Thank you.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:14 PM on June 20 [34 favorites]


I am pretty sure that the only people who would utterly refuse to vote for either candidate if nominated are the 1% voting bloc of centrist assholes who typically vote republican but switched to Hillary for 2016 because they have common sense, want Biden because they fancy themselves moderate, but draw the line at the prospect of free healthcare for poors. My friends dad is an example of the type of WSJ-reading "moderate" republican who voted for HRC but would "NEVER vote for Bernie Sanders or Liz Warren - EVER" to quote him. See also Howard Shultz types of assholes (though I can't remember if Shultz said he would only consider jumping back as a 3rd party spoiler if Bernie was nominated, no word on Warren tho).

Bernie and Warren stans have enough overlap with each other that there's no need to worry. I seriously can't imagine a universe where enough Primary Warren voters would refuse to vote Bernie in General or vice versa for it to matter. And literally every Warren "attack" tweet or article from the Bernie Bro circles I follow - "shes not as progressive on XYZ" - is always prefaced with the fact that she's clearly the second choice, I haven't seen much "never-Warren" sentiment at all and can't imagine it would be taken seriously.

It's more along the lines of "they're both great! But if you want more socialism, then why not choose to use this real opportunity to try to elect a real democratic socialist?"
posted by windbox at 2:40 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


I'd be surprised if the 2016 Johnson/Stein/refusenik voters haven't learned a stiff lesson over the past 2.5 years. When the alternative is Donald fucking Trump, you vote for the person best positioned to beat him, whomever that is, and that's whomever gets the Democratic nomination. I wouldn't borrow trouble on this point, and would instead focus on getting out the vote.
posted by orange swan at 2:43 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Yeah apologies if i sounded like I meant I took this as a super huge fear, it's just a little something I worry about. I also worry about Binary Trans people eventually becoming anti-NB so I have a lot of "fears") and I have seen such resentment at Bernie in 2016 and I know many people play a politics of spite (myself included) that we often hurt our own movements in the process. So again - sorry for that term. It was wrong and carries to many negative patriarchal implications.

It's a difficult stance, in most cases, where to make sure we can compromise to get things done and what is essential.

Beating Donny was essential. I voted Hillary despite my decades of disgust for her politics (not her personally, she seems ok as a human).

And the language I used about being "bitter" is less about the stereotypical "angry feminist" attitude - so I used language that had implications beyond what I meant so I apologize.

Anyways, as long as we can agree we need to get the orange turd the fuck out, I'm ok with. This was just meant as an expression of concern based on the rhetoric I've seen in 2016 against Bernie Bros.

The earth doesn't have time, we don't have time in the end to stop this. We have to stop this.
posted by symbioid at 3:43 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Thanks, symbioid. Agree that we have to stop 45.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:27 AM on June 21


Elizabeth Warren Wants to Ban ‘Corrupt and Inhumane’ Private Prisons (The Cut)
She says she’d end “the use of federal private detention facilities by ending all contracts that the Bureau of Prisons, ICE, and the U.S. Marshals Service have with private detention providers.” Local governments would lose public-safety funding if they failed to use public prison facilities.

Warren also pledges to block private-prison contractors “from charging incarcerated and detained people for basic services they need,” including phone calls to their families and over-the-counter medication, and to force them to end “exploitative price markups” on commissary items.

She would implement several new transparency measures. She would also make contractors subject to FOIA, and appoint an independent monitor at the Department of Justice to investigate conditions in prisons.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:43 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]




Can anyone comment on Warren's relative imperialism score, compared to the other candidates? What are the chances of condoning war or coups in Iran, Venezuela etc?

Warren's global warming plan includes a trillion dollars in money to help other countries make infrastructure changes.
posted by xammerboy at 5:44 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Both Sanders and Warren have detailed policies and ideas.

Sanders has changed the discussion and been enormously influential in terms of big picture ideas, but has not provided a lot of detail, as far as I know. My preference is for Medicare for All over a Public Option, but if I have any concern it would be that that will require a lot of changes be made to a big part of the economy very quickly. A detailed plan on how it would be rolled out would do a lot of assuage me.
posted by xammerboy at 5:57 PM on June 21


The more I read about Warren, the more I respect and like her.
posted by y2karl at 10:58 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Mefites, I give you the most unlikely airplane photo-op since Mueller was spotted in the same terminal as Don Jr.

(I love how blue shirt guy is staring into the camera like "what are the fuckin odds.")
posted by Rhaomi at 11:37 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


not that unlikely! they attend the same events and have to go to same places - and as mentioned they've both worked on bills together for a long time.

I like that'they're not in first class.
posted by The Whelk at 12:18 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


That New Yorker profile is damn something! Good job, PR people, and no diss. I know a shitload more about her than I did and now I want some sort of Sanders/Warren thing for, what, Preznit or to demolish the DNC or something.
posted by mwhybark at 3:28 PM on June 23




That article is from 2016.
posted by octothorpe at 7:58 PM on June 24


« Older As long as you hold me more than you hold that...   |   Hell hath no fury like Ugandan twitter for... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.