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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Warren’s Senate Bid Taps Populist Tide

Elizabeth Warren’s Massachusetts candidacy for U.S. Senate is an easy sell for progressive Democrats, but WaPo’s Dana Milbank does a solid job of summarizing her appeal in broader terms. Milbank’s post is a good short-read, clip and share for Warren’s supporters looking to win swing voters. From Milbank’s article:

…Elizabeth Warren, the former adviser to President Obama who is now trying to unseat Republican Sen. Scott Brown, is no mere professor, or candidate. She is a phenomenon.
The source of the ardor is no mystery: Warren’s unapologetic populism and her fervent belief that corporations should be held to account for the economic collapse. Part Pat Moynihan, part Erin Brockovich, she has revived the energy of the left in a way no other Democrat has, including President Obama.

Milbank, quotes from a Warren speech: “We live in an America that has hammered, chipped and squeezed the middle class,” she told a crowd in Newton, Mass., while the government “has said to large corporations that you don’t have to pay anything in taxes.” From Milbank’s interview with Warren:

Warren has no interest in going to Washington to be “slow and polite,” she told me. She wants to go to fight corporate excess, because “the people who brought us the financial collapse have now doubled down” by resisting attempts to re-regulate business.
“The idea of going to the Senate to be the hundredth least senior person in a nonfunctional organization is not what attracts me,” she said. “I see going to the Senate as an opportunity to expand the platform” and as a way of “leading the charge.”

Clearly Warren’s candidacy provides a long-missing populist voice and vision for Dems. As Milbank observes, Warren’s election could mean that “…Democrats will no longer play by Marquess of Queensbury rules while their opponents disembowel them…what dispirited liberals are looking for is heat — somebody who believes, as Warren often puts it, that “some fights are worth having.””
In the comments following Milbank’s article, ‘Roaxle’ notes that Warren “coined the phrase ‘tricks and traps’ to describe bank policies. We knew we were getting screwed; she put it into the words we didn’t have.” The rising tide of populist resentment of abuse and corruption in the financial services industry being expressed in the Occupy Wall St. demonstrations suggest that Warren’s candidacy is right on time.
As Milbank notes, she is close to even in the polls. But no one should be surprised if her opponent, Sen. Scott Brown, gets blank check support from the financial services industry and its mega-rich right-wing beneficiaries, who are likely to make defeating Warren a priority. Those interested in helping Warren level the odds, should click here and here.

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