Go Big or Go Small

Elizabeth Warren doesn’t do big donor calls and events as a primary candidate, and now she says she won’t do them if she’s the party’s nominee either. From CNBC:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren pushes her pledge to have her presidential campaign avoid big money a step further this week, committing to avoid pricey fundraisers even if she is elected the Democratic nominee.

She has not previously said she would avoid big-dollar fundraisers during the general election if made the nominee.

Critics of her decision say the move could end up hurting the Democratic Party’s chances in the presidential campaign and other races down the ballot.

Here’s one of those critics, who served as PBO’s national finance director:

Warren’s campaign clarified the candidate’s position on DNC and down-ticket fundraising (HuffPo):

In a statement, Warren’s communications director, Kristen Orthman, said that the candidate would continue to attend fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee, state and local parties, and other Democratic candidates, and that those fundraisers would be open to the press. She also said that Warren — like almost every other Democratic candidate for president — would continue to turn down donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees.

“No special access or call time with rich donors or big dollar fundraisers to underwrite our campaign. Our campaign is and will continue to be a grassroots campaign ― funded by working people chipping in a few bucks here and there,” Orthman wrote. “As we have said from the beginning and has been our practice throughout the primary, Elizabeth will also continue to do everything she can to build our party infrastructure and strengthen Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.”

CNBC notes that in an interview with Chris Hayes a while back, Warren said she didn’t believe in “unilateral disarmament,” which seemed to indicate she was open to big donor fundraising in the general election if she became the nominee. That’s been the conventional wisdom within the party for ages. So, what changed?

This is just pure speculation on my part, obviously, but maybe Sanders is going to drop out and endorse Warren, and a no big donors pledge is a condition of that endorsement. And maybe Warren is willing to accept that condition because she believes she can win without big donor events. It wouldn’t be a crazy notion, considering how well she’s done in the primary so far — and considering how massively underfunded Trump was compared to Clinton in 2016.

It’s a gamble. But then again, so was forgoing high dollar donors for the primary campaign, when people told Warren that was crazy talk and she got dragged in the media for it. A representative piece from an April 1 Vanity Fair article:

[M]oney is no longer just a theoretical concern for Warren—and it’s triggering some serious turmoil within her campaign. According to The New York Times, Warren’s financial director, Michael Pratt, “strenuously objected” to her decision to renounce big-money donors, warning that closing the door to bundlers would cut Warren off from networking opportunities and hamstring her ability to remain financially solvent for the next 11 months. When Warren went against his advice, he resigned.

Instead, Warren took the advice of Dan Geldon and Joe Rospars, two of her closest advisers. Per the Times, the thinking was that any hit to Warren’s fund-raising would be made up by the goodwill she would cultivate with voters, and the newly empty slots in her schedule that would allow her to canvass more states and hold more rallies. For Warren to take advantage of either outcome, however, she needs a broad, active, and loyal base—an attribute that, at this point in the campaign, she does not have. (Warren is polling around 5 percent in recent surveys of the Democratic field.)

Oh what a difference six months makes. Now Warren does have a donor base — and the lead in the Democratic Party primary.

I’m a Warren supporter, and I get why she’s doing this — money poisons politics and has a toxic effect even on people who are basically good and non-corrupt, IMO. But I’ve been told all my life that a candidate can’t win unless she’s willing to do the $50K-per-plate events, and I honestly don’t know if that’s true or not. Maybe we’ll get an opportunity to test that theory.

It’s a dream scenario if you believe in your heart that this country is rapidly devolving into an oligarchy and that only “big, structural change” of the type Warren advocates can save it. And it’s a dream match-up to have a whip-smart, long-term consumer activist go up against the most corrupt and stupid individual to ever occupy the Oval Office.

If Warren were to win the nomination, then beat Trump while Democrats hold the House and make significant gains in the Senate, it’s a whole new ballgame in American politics. It requires a massive leap of faith to believe that is possible. But then again, three years ago, most people didn’t believe this country would put a repugnant racist buffoon like Trump in charge. Maybe we can surprise ourselves again — this time in a good way.

Open thread.






166 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    A misstep. In hardball politics, if you’re explaining, you’re losing.

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  2. 2

    maybe Sanders is going to drop out and endorse Warren, and a no big donors pledge is a condition of that endorsement.

    Forget it. At best, Sanders will join no club he cannot rule. There’s enough evidence to make it plausible that his specific goal is the destruction of the Democratic Party.

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  3. 3

    I am not happy with this grandstanding. We need to win. While no one was looking T attacked the ability of citizens to be able to sponsor their immediate family for citizenship.

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  4. 4
    RepubAnon says:

    Perhaps a simpler reason: lots of the big money donors said they’d vote for Trump over Warren. This is a good way to tell the Third Way DINOs that Warren don’t play that.

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  5. 5
    Mary G says:

    Seems like she left herself some wiggle room when she said she’s going to keep going to DNC and other candidates’ events. And if she keeps being the front runner it’s her or Trump.

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  6. 6
    Kay says:

    You can’t change something without actually changing it. They can’t all continue to say they want to get big money out of politics if they’re taking it. The only way to stop doing something is to stop.

    She is a candidate for big changes. That entails risk.

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  7. 7
    kindness says:

    That’s a lot of ‘Ifs’ there Betty. My own preference is to be a politician that is willing to take your money and still vote against you as needed. But that is just me being Jesse Unruh.

  8. 8
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Mary G:
    That’s what it sounded like to me, reading the statement

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  9. 9
    Kent says:

    Calm the fuck down people.

    She isn’t saying she won’t take big donations. Nowhere does she say that. If someone walks in willing to write a $1 million check for whatever PAC supports Warren they are going to take the money.

    All she is saying is that she isn’t going to do events that are EXCLUSIVELY for big donors, like the $20,000 per plate dinners designed to provide the 0.1% with exclusive access and face time with the candidate.

    I would be interested to see a breakdown of what percentage of say Hillary’s dollars came from exclusive big donor events. Not what percentage came from big donors, or what percentage were high dollar amounts. But what percentage were generated by these sorts of highly exclusive events that are mostly held in CA and NY.

    In other words, what are we actually talking about here.

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  10. 10
    japa21 says:

    @Kay: Here’s the thing. I understand exactly what you are saying but, she isn’t just risking her own electability, she is risking the future of the country on this.

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  11. 11
    Nicole says:

    It’s hard to say, but I think social media, while certainly a tool of disinformation, is also changing the role of money in politics. Television and radio ads cost a lot of money, but I don’t know that they’re as effective as they once were. Social media is cheaper to advertise on, and also can be completely free to advertise on (Warren has been very good at using Twitter -as has Harris- judging from the number of likes and retweets they get).

    And yeah, there’s a lot to be said about being beholden to people who give you money- Warren, or whoever ends up the nominee, should use that against Trump- he’s obviously beholden to foreign oligarchs because he owes them a lot of money.

    But hard to say. I could see her running her campaign without big donors, but if she’s to be a good team player (or, again, whoever is nominated), the downticket races will need help and they won’t have the national recognition the nominee has.

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  12. 12
    jonas says:

    I think Warren gets something that Hillary didn’t — people are pissed as hell at what they perceive as the wall big money has built around government and politics in this country. If she can successfully hammer Trump for literally having had all the swamp-filling spigots turned up to 11 during his entire term, while she remains unsullied, that could make a difference with a lot of otherwise skeptical independents who pulled the lever for the shitgibbon in 2016 naively believing in his outsider, non-influencable persona.

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  13. 13
    germy says:

    @Kent:

    She isn’t saying she won’t take big donations. Nowhere does she say that. If someone walks in willing to write a $1 million check for whatever PAC supports Warren they are going to take the money.

    Thank you.

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  14. 14
    Hoodie says:

    I’d say this is a reasonable calculated risk for this particular set of circumstances. Warren wants reducing the influence of big money donors to be a campaign issue, and it’s hard to do that if you’re hobnobbing with billionaires. Because she’s running against the orange fungus, however, this would likely be the least risky time to take this approach. Where are the big money people going to go? If they’d go to Trump over this, then it probably wouldn’t have made a difference anyway, i.e,. they’d go for Trump because of tax cuts, etc. It might be different if she was running against a more conventional republican, e.g., some who might be perceived as somewhat sane and less dangerous. IIRC, someone posted a story a few days back as to how several tech money people were jumping on the Warren bandwagon despite her eschewing VIP events. They can still donate and fund raise for her, she just won’t be at the party or give them special favors for doing so.

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  15. 15
    jl says:

    Sanders was forced at admit yesterday what will soon become obvious, that he has to substantially scale back his campaign. That will hurt his support and right now some soft-core Sanders supporters are up for grabs. I think there is enough vagueness in what Warren is saying that even though I don’t like her statement, it is not clear she is going to shut down all big money fund raising for Democratic Party. So, I agree with BC’s take.

    @RepubAnon: That is a very good point. We have to remember that the candidates know more about what is going on behind the scenes than we do. If a lot of the big money is telling Warren she has to change or soften her message to get their money, and Warren thinks doing so will hurt her support more than help, she might be in a dilemma, and she has to solve it the best way she can. We know that big donors are not shy about trying to dictate conditions for support, and Democratic big donors have publicly shown they are very jealous of the ability of Republican donors to make threats and dictate policy in minute detail.

    I am not happy with Warren’s statement, I think it’s unnecessary. But we have the candidates we have not perfect ones. I support Warren and Harris, in that order, and both have made mistakes. I have to trust Warrens’ strategic vagueness on certain issues. I am quite sure she using that as a tactic on health policy.

    As I typed in the previous thread, with the idiot media seeing a chance to do a take down on the new front runner, and obsessively searching for an old school ‘gotcha’ on her being let go from a teaching job because she was pregnant, Warren has a good chance of getting away with it, if she can avoid anything that looks like waffling.

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  16. 16

    @Kay: What is so original about her campaign, she seems to think that economics trumps everything.

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  17. 17
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    grandstanding

    Grandstanding is saying they object to it and then continuing to play this game. How much would be enough, to spend on elections? A billion? Two billion? How much are we, as a country, going to pour down this endless hole of consultants and tv ads and operatives?

    What a colossal waste.

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  18. 18
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @jonas: those swamp-filling spigots are figurative, not literal, but otherwise your post seems spot on to me.

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  19. 19
    germy says:

    I’m going to continue helping the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates everywhere so we have the resources not just to beat Donald Trump but also to win back Congress and state legislatures all across the country. That’s how we’re going to make big, structural change.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 9, 2019

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  20. 20
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Could you provide a quote of hers where she’s said this? I’m only half-tuned into the primary, so I could’ve missed this.

    My personal understanding is that bigotry and money act in synergy, complimenting and reinforcing the other. IOW, they’re intersectional. My impression of Warren is that she thinks this as well

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  21. 21
    germy says:

    @Kay:

    Grandstanding is saying they object to it and then continuing to play this game. How much would be enough, to spend on elections? A billion? Two billion? How much are we, as a country, going to pour down this endless hole of consultants and tv ads and operatives?

    I agree.

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  22. 22
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @RepubAnon:

    Perhaps a simpler reason: lots of the big money donors said they’d vote for Trump over Warren. This is a good way to tell the Third Way DINOs that Warren don’t play that.

    This makes sense. There have been a flock of stories lately quoting big-money Dem donors saying they wouldn’t support Warren if she was the nominee. If she’s not going to get their money anyway, might as well make a virtue of it.

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  23. 23
    The Moar You Know says:

    Maybe we’ll get an opportunity to test that theory.

    Pretty high-stakes betting there, future of the country and all. But hey, if she gets the nom she gets to do it her way. And if she loses, I get to excoriate her for it for the rest of my natural life. Which probably won’t be long under eternal one-party rule.

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  24. 24
    PJ says:

    @Hoodie: Yeah, if her opponent is Trump, I’m not sure this would make any difference. Trump supporters aren’t going to consider voting for or supporting Warren, or any Democrat, and “independents” and Wall St. types, who might think of supporting a “centrist” candidate, wouldn’t support her because of her policies, not because she’s not attending gold plate dinners. If big money people want the Democratic candidate to win, they will donate to her campaign one way or another. The only Democratic supporters who would not donate, or donate less, because they don’t get to spend 5 minutes with her, aren’t going to make a difference in the campaign.

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  25. 25
    jl says:

    @germy: I think that is an example of strategic vagueness, and consistent with what I read in links in previous thread. Warren is definitely saying that she will not personally throw closed door big donor events specifically for her campaign. Will she cooperate with open fundraisers for the party that are attended by big donors? I don’t think that is clear. She has attended those in this cycle, one quite recently, when Sanders would not, and was criticized by the Sanders fanatics as being a corporate shill.

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  26. 26
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    The D candidates are very much alike on immigration. Warren really isn’t an outlier on any of these issues. It just isn’t true that she’s rigidly focused solely on economic issues, and Democrats approach on immigration as partly an economic issue anyway.

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  27. 27

    @Kay: I agree with your critique about money in politics but her principled stand may cost us the election.

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  28. 28
    germy says:

    So Zuckerberg doesn’t want Warren to become president (and he recently and quietly changed faceboook rules to allow Trump’s campaign to post what they call fake news) but someone in Zuck’s meeting cared enough to leak his comments. That gave me some hope. Not all of Zuck’s employees can buy compounds in New Zealand. Some of them might want this country saved.

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  29. 29
    jl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: ” What is so original about her campaign, she seems to think that economics trumps everything. ”

    Warren has put systemic corruption as a leading issue of her campaign, and using the word ‘corruption’ up front in doing so. She is also one of the most aggressive in advocating systematic change in federal governance. So, I think in many voters minds, those two things raise issues besides economics, such as morality of society and specific plans to get something done despite GOP obstruction. I don’t think the same as Sanders’ simplistic, reductionist message at all.

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  30. 30

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: No she hasn’t said it in so many words but that’s the implication of her speeches. All her debate answers began with corporations this and special interests that. All her critiques are based on economics.

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  31. 31
    the Conster says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    Her entire praxis has been markets, not civil rights. That’s her story of migrating from being a Reagan era Republican to being a Democrat – that they were better for markets That’s not what Democrats are though – we’re the party of civil rights. Someone on twitter made a comment that Wilmer’s record on civil rights is way better than hers. It’s a troublesome issue for her.

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  32. 32
    Kent says:

    Unlike Biden who seems to have old Clinton retreads, Warren has some of the smartest people in American politics working for her. I trust they have thought this through and know what they are doing. This isn’t the Jill Stein or Ralph Nader campaign. They are in it to win.

    I gotta think that the type of people we are talking about (basically the 0.1%) are not swing voters. They know exactly which party they support and why. And if they are actual Dems (and yes there are many wealthy Dems) then they are smart enough to understand the zeitgeist and aren’t going to switch their support to Trump just because they got one less fundraising invite out of the hundreds they get every year for every damn thing from the Opera to the Zoo.

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  33. 33

    @Kay: She hasn’t convinced me yet that she has the winning message. YMMV.

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  34. 34
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    She outraised Joe Biden last quarter and she did it without putting big donors at the front of the line ahead of small donors and voters.
    I would just urge caution at paid political consultants freaking out about how Democrats may not have enough to pay them.
    This has turned into a billion dollar industry. These people are self-interested. “More! Dump more in! Buy more ads! Hire more strategists and hacks! MUST. You MUST pay me and my colleagues or you will lose the arms race we created and work very hard to keep going!”

    It’s like defense contractors advocating for military spending. It is their job.

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  35. 35
    Ruckus says:

    I think you have to ask two questions about big money politics.
    1. What do you spend the money on?
    If it’s on more big dollar fund raising, or dinners with big dollar donors, what’s the point?
    2. What will you owe for taking the money? If it’s loyalty to the big money bullshit, is it worth it?
    She’s running a different type of campaign than what has taken over our politics. I think people not in or working for the top 2% would appreciate that idea of not taking that money.

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  36. 36
    germy says:

    Matt Lauer wants to make a comeback on TV. I assume he can’t wait to do to Warren and Harris what he did to HRC. Ask a bunch of tough questions based on Republican lies.

    The former anchor now says that, in the wake of misconduct claims made against him in 2017, “my silence has been a mistake.”

    “For two years, the women with whom I had extramarital relationships have abandoned shared responsibility, and instead, shielded themselves from blame behind false allegations,” Lauer wrote in his letter.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/matt-lauer-pens-open-letter-ronan-farrow-book-allegations-1246419

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  37. 37
    Betty Cracker says:

    @RepubAnon: Good point. Warren has shrewdly made free ads out of Wall Street fat cats getting the fantods over her rise in the polls.

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  38. 38
    Immanentize says:

    How about reading Warren’s position as “Fuck you Zuckerberg?”

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  39. 39
    Immanentize says:

    How about reading her position as “Biden has to rely on the OLD way of doing things?”

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  40. 40
    germy says:

    @Kay:

    I would just urge caution at paid political consultants freaking out about how Democrats may not have enough to pay them.
    This has turned into a billion dollar industry. These people are self-interested. “More! Dump more in! Buy more ads! Hire more strategists and hacks! MUST. You MUST pay me and my colleagues or you will lose the arms race we created and work very hard to keep going!”

    It’s like defense contractors advocating for military spending.

    That was my reaction, as well. People like Mark Penn and Tad Devine should find another line of work.

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  41. 41
    Belafon says:

    @Kay:

    She is a candidate for big changes. That entails risk.

    Yep. And there are a whole lot of people for whom a second Trump term will be death. Will her choices cause more people to look at her? Hard to say, but I wouldn’t necessarily count on it if they’re willing to bite on the Free Bacon stuff about her.

    What we saw in 2018 is that there’s a limit to how much money can influence the elecitons. But the people with the money will spend it somewhere.

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  42. 42

    @the Conster: Yes. Thanks you put it better. I actually agree with her about regulating the capital markets. But that is not the whole story of what ails us.
    @jl: T ran on uprooting systemic corruption too. Pray tell what else is drain the swamp? Stating that they are anti-corruption is what every politician does, anywhere in the world. Its not exactly an earth shattering or a different message

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  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    When looking at Trump’s allegedly lower spending vs Hillary, keep in mind all of the shit he was getting for “free,” like Manafort’s help, Cambridge Analytica, Russian troll farms, etc.

    Just because there’s no price tag on assistance from Putin doesn’t mean it was free.

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  44. 44
    CaseyL says:

    I’m ambivalent. I do respond to the idea that if you want real, bedrock, structural change you have to DO real, bedrock, structural change. OTOH, there is going to be so much, such absolute mountains, of $$ opposing whoever the Democratic nominee is, it seems insane to forego a critical resource. OTOOH, I’d be very confident of Warren’s ability to take fatcat money and then not do what they request/demand of her – in fact, do the opposite.

    But the 2020 Presidential election is going to be anomalous in every conceivable way, not least because the incumbent is a foreign asset controlled by entities hostile to the US, whose treachery is endorsed by a major political party and 30%+ of US citizens; and whose re-election depends on continuing assistance from those same hostile entities. Disinformation will come thick and fast, through all media, echoed and re-echoed by the MSM.

    I most fear voter suppression and falsified vote counts. I think the best use of money that would normally go to media buys would be to launching vote protection strategies in every state. Maybe Warren can talk about that, as a corrollary to not attending big-donor-only events.

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  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    @japa21:
    You are right but ask yourself this question – “What does it look like if you do run big donor fundraisers?”
    A lot of people think it looks like you care more about the money than the job or more about the people with that money. That isn’t change.

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  46. 46
    PJ says:

    @Immanentize: Biden is only 6 years older than Warren, but he has been in professional politics so much longer (since 1972, vs. 2012), that he can’t imagine raising money any other way.

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  47. 47
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy: All these women I cheated on my wife with need to take some of the heat, too.

    That’s, uh, not really a winning argument these days, Matt.

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  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    To repeat myself from the thread below, my worry is that this is an attempt to attract the dead-enders, but the dead-enders are already posting shit like “Bernie or Yellow Vest!” on Twitter, so they’re unreachable.

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  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    It’s reached the point of diminishing returns. It HAD to happen. It literally goes up every single year. So give me an end point. How much? If Trump raises two billion does that mean we have to raise 3?

    It’s obscene, in a country where we put collection cans out to cover surgery bills all of these people are dumping hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns that go on for two years? My God, we could have forgiven every student loan in the country twice over. And it’s connected. Our politics suck and are corrupt because this is an obscene system that is AWASH in money.

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  50. 50
    jl says:

    If you go to Warren’s website, and look under the topic ‘Equal Justice Under Law’, there are plans with a lot of emphasis on minority issues, such as discriminatory policy against Hispanics and African-Americans. Is that packaging an attempt to draw in people who might not be sympathetic to the issue of systemic race and ethnic discrimination in the US, or does it show she has a wrong view of the issue? I don’t know. We’ll find out as the campaign develops and Warren has to build a coalition.

    We have the candidates we have not the perfect ones we want. Biden and Buttegieg take a lot of corporate money, let’s see what they do with it. I’m donating the Harris as well as Warren, so I do what I can. Let’s see if Harris can make a comeback in the polls.

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  51. 51
    Marcopolo says:

    Reposting an edited version of my long comment in the last thread:

    Warren is either tied w/ Biden or the front runner so she is going to draw much more heavy fire/attention for all of her decisions. But honestly, the D primary has been going on for months now and all the evidence is that the two candidates who have eschewed doing high dollar donor outreach for grassroots, online fundraising are starting to lap the field money-wise.

    I am not any kind of omniscient seer able to make a prediction on where things will stand a year from now. Hell, might be Warren isn’t the nominee. What I do know is that both Warren & Sanders each had about 1M donors last quarter, that the vast vast majority of those donors are nowhere near maxing out and that those donor numbers will only grow going forward. At this time, none of the other D candidates are really in this game.

    As for being the lead fundraiser for the entire D party. I hear what the Obama guy is saying but…online D small donor fundraising seems to have kicked into another gear (maybe 2) this cycle. It looks like over 1 billion dollars will be raised via Act Blue in 2019-during an off election cycle year. For comparison, last year during the midterm election cycle ActBlue also raised about 1 billion. To put that in further perspective, at the end of 2019 Act Blue will have facilitated raising about 4 billion dollars total since its inception in 2004. Yep, half that money in the past 2 years.

    Let’s see, what else? According to The Q3 FEC reports that are being filed now, D’s are generally out raising R’s ( some spectacularly—see Mark Kelly in AZ), several progressive challengers are out raising conservative D incumbents, and generally the picture looks good.

    Do I think any potential D nominee could out raise Trump no matter whether they did big dollar donor outreach or not. No. Do I think Trump’s campaign (or the R’s in general) will actually follow “the rules” regarding campaign finance. No. Yeah, and no one is really talking about this! And seeing as how the FEC doesn’t even have enough sitting members to even provide any kind of oversight or enforcement it doesn’t really matter.

    This is a long post so let me wrap up by saying large donor money in politics is a poison that corrupts the system. This decision by Warren helps with her goal of defining herself against Trump’s corruption. In that respect it is very smart. Remember Trump saying in 2015/16 that people should vote for him because he was rich & couldn’t be bought—yeah, look how that turned out. Finally, yes the D party has a challenge ahead as to how they will fund party/state party/etc… costs. Honestly, doing that via big dollar donations from wealthy donors needs to change. When the rubber hits the road do you really think folks like Steyer or Bloomberg are gonna be okay with higher taxes on the uber wealthy? I highly doubt it.

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  52. 52
    PJ says:

    @Ruckus: I don’t know why people are worried about this – George Soros isn’t going to donate less to the Democratic candidate or the Democratic Party just because he didn’t get invited to some expensive dinner.

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  53. 53
    joel hanes says:

    Remember the not-Republican voters who *could* *not* vote for Sec. Clinton because she made a speech to Goldman Sachs?
    This is a gesture in their direction.

    In which states do we think this would be important? I’m guessing it would be those states in which the number of votes for Jill Stein was greater than Trump’s margin over Clinton.

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  54. 54
    jl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: sorry I was not ultra specific. I was addressing your charge that Warren is running a campaign based solely on economic issues.

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  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Good economics, good. Not what we have now, that tilts hard for big money, and screws the vast majority. Screws us hard.

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  56. 56
    hueyplong says:

    I don’t give a flying fuck what Rufus Gifford thinks (if that’s even a real person). If anything, the tenor and tone of his tweet makes me like Warren more than I did before I read it.

    [Still for Harris, but warming to Warren.]

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  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    What if US businesses actually innovated and invested in their employees instead of buying politicians? There’s an opportunity cost to this. If it’s going to the billion dollar campaign machine it isn’t going somewhere else.

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  58. 58
    NotMax says:

    @PJ

    Nitpick, but he first ran for (local) office in 1969.

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  59. 59
    Belafon says:

    @Belafon: Having said that, unifying Democrats and getting ALL of them to the polls would overpower just about everything. And then we need to do it in 2022 as well.

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  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Oh come on, I am not a Warren stan by any means but trying to draw any equivalence between Warren and Trump on the issue of corruption is absurd.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    PJ says:

    @NotMax: I stand corrected – I didn’t feel like googling whenever he ran for county council or whatever.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    Gravenstone says:

    @germy: So, the new media strategy is dig the hole deeper, Matt? Good on ya!

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    Kay says:

    @joel hanes:

    Central to Warren’s campaign- essential to it- is the idea that government no longer works for people but is instead beholden to wealthy and powerful people. The campaign has to reflect that. It has to. She cannot credibly run on what she’s running on and keep the status quo on campaign fundraising in place.

    Now maybe Democrats don’t want that risk and won’t reward it with the nom, but it is not a divisible piece of her message- it is the message.

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    Yarrow says:

    @NotMax:

    A misstep. In hardball politics, if you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    Yep.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    germy says:

    @PJ:

    SOROS!

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    germy says:

    @Gravenstone:

    Maybe Lauer has Alan Dershowitz's publicist.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: That is a good point — Trump got lots of free help. The MSM also treated him as an amusing sideshow. But now he’s the president, dog help us, and he’s a historically unpopular president with an unpopular agenda, which will be a factor.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    PJ says:

    @Kay: You know this, but a big part of the problem is that businesses (or really, the upper management and owners of businesses) see no point in spending any more money on employees than they absolutely have to, even if it will benefit their business (though employee education, better health care and child care so that people can actually work more, etc.), let alone benefit their employees by making them happier, healthier, more secure, etc. Part of the reason they spend so much on politicians is so that they don’t have to invest in their workers.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Immanentize says:

    @PJ:
    I know. I think this is a nice clear way of creating a difference between her and Biden.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70

    @Omnes Omnibus: No you misunderstand me. Saying that they are going to fight corruption is the oldest message in the politician handbook. Now you can argue that she is serious about it and for T it was just a rhetorical strategy and I would agree. She may be earnest about her message but her message fighting corruption is standard politician boilerplate.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    Kraux Pas says:

    @japa21:

    Here’s the thing. I understand exactly what you are saying but, she isn’t just risking her own electability, she is risking the future of the country on this.

    We’ve been risking the future of the country *not* doing this for years. The future came and now look where the country is.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    Elizabelle says:

    People here like to hyperventilate, hmmm? I guess it’s a type of exercise.

    Kay has been saying forever that corruption is a big issue, and it is authentically one of Elizabeth Warren’s. Just about everyone can see the corruption and subversion of policy due to big money in politics.

    Plus, EW has hours of people lined up for selfies with her. That is huge, and not something I am aware is going on with other candidates.

    It may be that EW does not want to get hit with charges of “hypocrisy, hypocrisy” when she speaks out against big money in politics. Because our careerist media may not be able to analyze or know much history, but they can (to some extent) count.

    Further, she and her team may have decided that the usual style of campaigning — millions upon millions of dollars going into media owners’ pockets for attack ads — is not what she wants to fund. Maybe she will do more of a ground game.

    Mostly, I do not live to come on a blog and yell and scream about how fucked up Elizabeth Warren is. That is not my wheelhouse.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Ruckus says:

    @germy:
    They should find another line of actual work. What they do now is grifting. Look at all the grifters who latched onto shit for brains. None of them are worth any more than he is.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: I knew you would have said that, and better, upstream. But I didn’t read the comments before putting up my own.

    Breathe, people.

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Immanentize says:

    @hueyplong:
    I agree — who is Rufus Gifford anyhoo?
    I do, however, put stock in what Hugh Janus tweets.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    @Yarrow

    While the saying more succinctly ought to be “If you’re parsing, you’re losing” it is what it is.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    germy says:

    @Immanentize:

    I agree — who is Rufus Gifford anyhoo?

    It does sound like an alias, doesn’t it.

    As far as Mr. Janus and his opinions… Fox News found him wise enough to quote. Perhaps tomorrow they’ll invite Heywood Jablome for a rebuttal.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78

    This is way outside my area of expertise, but Warren has convinced me she doesn’t do anything without a plan. This was not impulsive. It was thought through. I hope she’s right.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    NotMax says:

    @Immanentize

    ‘Holeheartedly?’

    :)

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    guachi says:

    It’s clear Democratic voters as a whole aren’t pushing for Civil Rights first in their voting decisions. Black voters heavily approve of Biden and “Civil Rights” isn’t really front and center when anyone thinks of Biden.

    So the idea that Warren is concerned with economic issues and somehow that’s a BAD thing doesn’t hold water at all.

    Recent Economist/YouGov poll shows these are the what Democratic voters rate as the “most important” issue:
    Health Care – 27%
    Environment – 20%
    Economy – 11%
    Social Security – 10%
    Gun Control – 7%
    Immigration – 5%
    Medicare – 4%
    Education – 4%
    Terrorism – 3%
    Gay Rights – 3%
    Taxes – 2%
    Abortion – 2%
    Foreign Affairs – 1%
    Deficit – 1%
    Use of Military Force – 0%
    Trade – 0%
    Afghanistan – 0%

    Ranking of what Democratic voters rate as an issue that is “Very Important”:
    Health Care – 87%
    Medicare – 78%
    Environment – 77%
    Gun Control – 76%
    Social Security – 71%
    Economy – 68%
    Education – 67%
    Taxes – 57%
    Foreign Policy – 56%
    Abortion – 51%
    Immigration – 50%
    Terrorism – 49%
    Deficit – 47%
    Trade – 46%
    Use of Military Force – 44%
    Gay Rights – 40%
    Afghanistan – 34%

    It’s abundantly clear that issues related to money and economics are right at the top.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: And her public career has been largely based around the issue. She’s got form.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    Ksmiami says:

    @japa21: bingo it’s not just about her and the Presidency

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    That money is going to find a home, and the sort of major structural change she’s advocating is not going to make it likely that it winds up in blue coffers.

    It is a really reckless gamble akin to going “all in” on a pair of 4s, one of which is in the flop, against two kings in the flop. If Trump wins, he becomes the LAST President of the US as currently constituted, and life under a stable, secular rule of law is lost for a generation at least.

    I suppose it’ll make the goo-goos feel superior, though. The place will look like Santiago, circa 1982.

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  84. 84
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    You said it better, but yes.
    It may mean my $20 donation actually means something, it has some actual value. It means I can actually be involved. It means that I, and millions like me actually have a voice, even if it’s tiny. A tiny voice is far better than no voice whatsoever.

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  85. 85
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    maybe Sanders is going to drop out and endorse Warren

    In his 48 years in politics (including numerous failed campaigns) he has never dropped out. It doesn’t bother him if he loses or helps a republican win (which he’s done repeatedly), what he craves is attention.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    NotMax says:

    @guachi

    “it’s the economy, stupid” didn’t spring full grown from the brow of James Carville. It’s long been the fuel pump of the engine driving campaigns.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @Kay: I think that’s a really good point…one that makes me feel better about that announcement. I’m curious – do you think that message will resonate with people in Ohio? I know “drain the swamp” was a thing, but it seems like a lot of voters simply accept corruption and the ability of big-money to run the government as the natural order.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    Yutsano says:

    @NotMax: Let’s be fair: picking nits is your mutant superpower. :P

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    That money is going to find a home, and the sort of major structural change she’s advocating is not going to make it likely that it winds up in blue coffers.

    Agree. She’s better off taking ALL the money and helping down ticket candidates take all the money too. Then when she and they are elected they can change the laws.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90

    @Yarrow: She is trying to appeal to the purity left. They won’t be sold, as Mnem predicted above.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    germy says:

    One more time:

    I’m going to continue helping the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates everywhere so we have the resources not just to beat Donald Trump but also to win back Congress and state legislatures all across the country. That’s how we’re going to make big, structural change.
    — Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 9, 2019

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    jl says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Right now we have to hope for whoever we are supporting, since we can’t see into the future. The candidates are running a primary race right now.

    As I typed above, one thing Warren, and other candidates, know far better than we do, is how much big money is going to Trump no matter what, and what demands Democratic big donors are making or strongly hinting at. And how much each candidate thinks acceding or even appearing to accede will help or hurt their campaign.

    So, my prediction is, typed out here so I remember it, Warren will not personally host any closed door big donor events. She will cooperate, perhaps even appear, at open Democratic party events that would attract big donors. I think Warren will never do anything that appears to shut out small donors or favor big donors over small.

    Will this mean a billionaire Warren supporter will have to stand in line with everyone else for a selfie. Very probably.

    Edit: and I don’t see anywhere that Warren said she is turning down any individual money offered, billionaire or ditch digger. She has sworn off corporate PACs, IIRC.

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  93. 93
    Fair Economist says:

    For a country with the population and wealth of the US, 1 billion is not all that much – about 3 dollars per person. If Warren needs it, I will max out in support, and if only 1 tenth of one percent does the same, she’s good to go.

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  94. 94
    Another Scott says:

    As I posted downstairs, I’m not worried. She’ll have the resources she needs, as will the rest of the Democratic parties around the country.

    https://twitter.com/ewarren/status/1181988860080918529

    Obama spent $985.6M (according to FTFNYT) for 66M votes (according to Wikipedia) in 2012. $15/vote.

    “OMG!! She’ll only be able to spend $20 per vote instead of $28.50!!11”

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: One more time:

    In hardball politics, if you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    Betty Cracker says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: It’s just a guess, and I wouldn’t bet even a dollar on it. But I’ve known a few old men who had heart attacks, and it tends to focus the mind in different directions. We’ll see.

    @guachi: I believe protecting civil rights and the interests of working people is at the core of the Democratic Party — it’s why I’m a Democrat. There’s no conflict between the two, but unless we credibly stand for both civil rights and working people, we’ll lose. President Obama understood that. I think Hillary Clinton understood that too, but she was sandbagged on the latter message by both Trump and Sanders.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    JanieM says:

    To Kay — a note of appreciation for your consistent good sense and even temper. I’m very much with you on everything you’ve written here, and I’m so glad to have someone saying all of it so clearly.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    NotMax says:

    @Yutsano

    A notch above some.

    :)

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    The Moar You Know says:

    The former anchor now says that, in the wake of misconduct claims made against him in 2017, “my silence has been a mistake.”

    “For two years, the women with whom I had extramarital relationships have abandoned shared responsibility, and instead, shielded themselves from blame behind false allegations,” Lauer wrote in his letter.

    @germy: Goddamn. I don’t think I’ve ever read a clearer example of entitlement in my life.

    What a bag of crap. And no, he does not get to get anywhere near any of the Dem candidates.

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    jl says:

    @germy: thank you.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    Cacti says:

    If you can’t win an election, it doesn’t matter how many plans you have.

    My biggest concern about Warren as Dem candidate has always been questionable political instincts.

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker: Isn’t “Voting Rights” one of the biggest civil rights out there?

    Also gerrymandering: dilute the power of the Democratic vote, particularly that of black voters.

    Because take out the voter suppression, and you do not have Trump in 2016.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    germy says:

    @Yarrow: Explaining seems to be working for her. Crowds love hearing her explain her plans.

    The republicans have a guy who just rambles. He couldn’t explain the instructions for opening a cereal box.

    “In hardball politics, if you’re explaining, you’re losing” sounds like something pundits say on TV to sound savvy.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    Ruckus says:

    Those of you who are doubting, think what happens currently, no matter what party or candidate. Money talks, like it or not, it does. And so do big money donors. The have expectations and demands and feel like they paid to be listened to. Which means you and I get shit.
    And no voice whatsofuckingever.
    To change that takes actual change, not just words. That’s what Warren is trying to do. You want change support one of the people who are trying to do that. If each of the people who voted for Hillary gave $10, that would be far more money than the amount that shit for brains says he’s gotten.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    Marcopolo says:

    @Ruckus: This. Warren’s entire campaign is about driving voter engagement. About reconnecting folks with the democratic process.

    I have tried mightily to persuade my good lifelong friends to become more actively involved in our politics. Trust me it is a slog. I had a majority write at least a packet of postcards in 2018 but had only one person go knock doors with me & one person donate to campaigns.

    Generally speaking they just don’t think they have any influence through their actions (though they do all vote). These folks are all at least middle class & college educated.

    But that is what we need to get “big structural” change. I am ready to support whomever the eventual nominee is but so far I find Warren (who I know ain’t perfect) the most inspiring candidate.

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  106. 106
    Fair Economist says:

    @Mnemosyne: Real Bernie “dead enders” are, I think, quite reachable. Warren vs. Trump will be very hard to sit out for any genuine lefty. The ones who are really unreachable are Russian trolls and fake lefties (like Roseanne Barr circa 2012). They are enemies, not really numerous, and not the target of this.

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    p.a. says:

    @PJ: Fuck Milton Friedman and the Chicago School. Fuck them. Courtiers telling the Court what it wanted to hear.

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    guachi says:

    I think if the question of “important issues” was, generically, “civil rights” like “the economy” is, it would get a much higher percentage of support from Democrats. But I think it’s fairly clear that specific civil rights issues don’t move the needle nearly as much as, say, health care does.

    I mean, gay rights is barely above Afghanistan and that’s just sad.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    SFAW says:

    @Immanentize:

    I do, however, put stock in what Hugh Janus tweets.

    Under his own name, or as “John Barron”?

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Yarrow:

    She’s better off taking ALL the money and helping down ticket candidates take all the money too. Then when she and they are elected they can change the laws.

    Democrats have been saying this for literally all of my life, and I’m no spring chicken. Kay is correct at #6 — the only way to stop doing something is to stop. At least she’s telling us now so the folks who think it’s too big a gamble can vote for a different primary candidate.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    Ksmiami says:

    @jonas: honestly it’s so critical to get Trump out and rescue what remains of our country that I wouldn’t care what money came in and how and I’m not sure Warren’s message is doing it.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    germy says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    And no, he does not get to get anywhere near any of the Dem candidates.

    You know he’s just aching, just itching to ask those Tough Questions. Put Harris and Warren and Klobuchar on the spot and take them down a peg.

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    Marcopolo says:

    @jl: According to a piece I read (on my phone & not gonna try to find it) sometime in the past two weeks, Warren had an event in the SF area where she basically told big tech company folks that, yes, she was going to regulate them (including breaking some up if necessary). The reporter said that 1) she still got a positive reception; and 2) there were at least several very well off folks who stood in line w/ the unwashed masses afterwards for photos.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @germy: JFC. What’s the opposite of “woke”? “Rich, White, and Male” would work, I suppose.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    Kent says:

    I’m not in the tank for Warren. My first choice was (and maybe still is) Harris.

    But looking at Warren’s career from when she actually came onto the national political stage in the 1990s when she first served on the National Bankruptcy Review Commission I gotta ask how many times her judgement has been wrong.

    Hillary Clinton was wrong on the Iraq War and probably wrong on her support for a neoliberal free trade agenda and the TPP although she equivocated like hell on those issues.

    Obama was wrong on the financial bailout and mortgage relief and on the “race to the top’ education policy supporting charter schools and the corporate standardized testing agenda. And he was wrong to bend over so far backwards to drag in GOP support for healthcare and wrong not to fight for Merritt Garland. He should have sent him up to the Supreme Court without a vote and told Mitch if you don’t vote him down we are going to presume the consent of the Senate.

    Biden was wrong on a whole lot of civil rights issues back in the day and is still wrong on his notion that he can get shit done by working with Republicans.

    But Warren? Name one issue she has been wrong about in the past 20 years in her fights over bankruptcy policy and consumer protection in the early 80s or as a Senator since 2012. I can’t think of any. *Maybe* her support for Medicare for All and abolishing private health insurance. Although I haven’t read the details of her plans there.

    So I’m inclined to trust her political judgement here.

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  116. 116
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Trump on the Kurds: “They didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy.” He says they’re only interested in fighting for “their land.” He adds, “With all of that being said, we like the Kurds.”

    This asshole perpetually lives in a 1955 movie lot.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    Marcopolo says:

    @Ksmiami: Umm, are you paying any attention to the D presidential primary fundraising reports? I’m guessing that’s a no, since they belie your belief.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Betty Cracker: From your lips to God’s ears🤞

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    Sure Lurkalot says:

    @Kay: I’m with you, Kay. Our ridiculously lengthy election campaigns and the ludicrous amount of money spent are truly wasteful of time and resources. Money for nothing and time out for any meaningful legislation. Another system that no other sane country emulates.

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    Kay says:

    @Hitlesswonder:

    I’m curious – do you think that message will resonate with people in Ohio?

    I do. It’s part of why I’m a Warren supporter. It’s more than “big money influences politics”, too.

    Voters hate campaigns. They really hate them. They’re not hobbyists like we are – they are weary of this.

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  121. 121
    Cacti says:

    @Kent:

    But looking at Warren’s career from when she actually came onto the national political stage in the 1990s when she first served on the National Bankruptcy Review Commission I gotta ask how many times her judgement has been wrong.

    The TPP
    Hitching her wagon to Wilmer
    Repeating the lie that 2016 nom was stolen from him
    The DNA test
    Promising to end private insurance

    You’re welcome.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    jl says:

    @Marcopolo: Was that the Fairmont event in late August?

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    Kent says:

    @Marcopolo:

    @jl: According to a piece I read (on my phone & not gonna try to find it) sometime in the past two weeks, Warren had an event in the SF area where she basically told big tech company folks that, yes, she was going to regulate them (including breaking some up if necessary). The reporter said that 1) she still got a positive reception; and 2) there were at least several very well off folks who stood in line w/ the unwashed masses afterwards for photos.

    Breaking up big tech would actually be one hell of a boon for anyone not named Zuckerberg or Bezos. Getting rid of monopolies like Facebook and Amazon would actually stimulate a whole lot more tech startups and would probably generate a lot more tech jobs and open up space for new tech millionaires. These people are not stupid. Warren’s regulatory agenda would actually be in their self interest.

    Look at Facebook. Despite being one of the richest companies in human history it’s web site is still a fucking disorganized mess. They just don’t give a shit because they don’t have to. My local DMV has a better web site than Facebook. Break it up and you create a LOT MORE tech jobs and opportunities not less.

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  124. 124
    Kay says:

    @JanieM:

    Thanks.

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  125. 125
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: Explaining her plans and explaining her decisions are not the same thing. The first one is her style and people like it. The second one is defense and that’s what she has had to do here. She’s having to do it because of her own actions, which is never a good thing.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    Marcopolo says:

    @Cacti: Thank the FSM for the pie filter.

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Marcopolo: you’re a really, really good poster—full of inspiration and practical ideas and guidance. I hope I don’t have to pie you again today!

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  128. 128
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Kent:

    I gotta ask how many times her judgement has been wrong.

    Let’s not go overboard. She’s a very good, but she’s had her share of mistakes, like all the candidates. She voted for Reagoon and Nixon, twice. The DNA stuff. Supporting clown Ben Carson for HUD. Her support of the military industrial complex (Raytheon and General Dynamics). Her support for TARP.

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  129. 129
    Marcopolo says:

    @jl: Here’s the article: Silicon Valley billionaires’ strange new respect for Elizabeth Warren

    Alas I cannot do the link copy into the headline w/ my phone but here is the naked link: https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/recode/2019/10/2/20894388/silicon-valley-donors-elizabeth-warren-big-tech-mark-zuckerberg

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  130. 130
    Marcopolo says:

    @Steve in the ATL: May the best team win. And I will support the Braves in the next round if it is them.

    Okay, y’all play nice (or not) I am outta here.

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Marcopolo: I thought the Braves were playing tonight but it looks like the Falcons showed up instead

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  132. 132
    Kent says:

    @Cacti:

    Warren on the TPP: This was her exact position as reflected in this op-ed. Tell me how she was wrong: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kill-the-dispute-settlement-language-in-the-trans-pacific-partnership/2015/02/25/ec7705a2-bd1e-11e4-b274-e5209a3bc9a9_story.html

    As for the other stuff. the 2016 “election rigging” and DNA nonsense were perhaps mis-steps but they are trivia not policy positions.

    The medicare for all issue. Her web site doesn’t actually lay out the specifics of her plan that I can actually find. But I would agree that banning private insurance the way that Bernie proposes is probably a political mistake even if it makes the most sense long-term as a policy. The existing medicare program today has 1/3 of all seniors on private insurance through medicare advantage and has all manner of supplemental private plans available. So getting rid of all that would not actually be Medicare for All but some new program that is dramatically different than today’s Medicare. I’m not exactly sure what Warren’s position is here but I’d like to see her walk back the ban on private insurance of any kind if that’s what it actually is.

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  133. 133
    Fair Economist says:

    I’m going to reiterate what several other posters have brought up: Warren (and Sanders) are refusing big donor events, and outraising Biden, who is doing them.

    Based on the facts of who raises the most, Warren is right and her critics ate wrong. We should actually be asking whether a Democratic nominee could *afford* to do big donor events.

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  134. 134
    Marcopolo says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Back for this: C’mon Koch, I thought you were better than this. She said the last R prez candidate she voted for was Ford. Also she was on the TARP oversight board. There is plenty of documentation in regards to how she felt about it—she and Geitner had a very adverseral relationship.

    Now really gone.

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  135. 135
    jl says:

    @Marcopolo: Thanks very much. It was the Fairmont Hotel Democratic shindig and fundraiser Key quote below. this was in late August, fairly recent. IIRC Warren as a featured headliner, most other Democratic candidates did not attend.

    If the plan is to not personally work the phones and closed big donor events to raise money for her campaign, but still do these party events, while pointedly shunning any special access for bigshots, I think that is a reasonable compromise. I hope that is what it is.

    ” Tech donors, including some senior employees from companies like Slack, Apple, and Facebook, took the bait — and helped fill out three tables in the center of the ballroom at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, where Warren would speak to the larger group after the VIPs got their time to peddle influence.

    But there was just one problem: There was no special access for the hundred or so VIPs who were promised a “photo opportunity” in the invitation. In fact, Warren didn’t even show up, said three people who were there. Cory Booker might’ve been in the hotel’s French Room snapping selfies, but she refused to play the game.

    When Warren got up to speak before the larger group — people who paid as little as $100 a ticket — she backed off not one iota from the donors’ favored industry, promising that “we will break up Big Tech.” That drew some light boos.

    “I’ll take you on, on that one,” she shot back.

    And yet after she spoke, hundreds of donors queued up for 20 to 30 minutes each for selfies — just like the thousands of people who pay nothing to attend her rallies do. Silicon Valley’s VIPs waited in line with everyone else. ”

    Edit: I left out part of the key quote. the ‘one problem; mentioned above is very important. Warren needs to make sure that ‘one problem’ is well publicized.

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  136. 136
    artem1s says:

    Until we change the way donations are reported, this is pretty moot. Every small donor who works for a bank is counted as being part of the banking industry in the FEC reports. If Warren is gaining traction with smaller donors who happen to work for big industries, are those donations going to be read as breaking her promise? I’m not saying she doesn’t want big donors, I’m saying the media and Wilmerites have spun this against candidates before. I hate for Warren to step into that trap. Also, one of the reasons the GOP hated the Clinton’s so much is because they appealed to big money donors who understood that income disparity is a huge problem for this country. And they were better at raising a lot of money from a pretty broad spectrum of donors. Some big employers want reform of their industries and want a candidate who understands their industry. The Dems are the only party that has shown any interest in working with all parties to reshape our economy for everyone. I don’t think Warren wants to tear it all down. But she’s in danger of being painted as a sell out if she is getting support from smart reasonable business people with big money. It’s going to take a lot of negotiation with the healthcare industry to make health care reform a reality. Working with people isn’t the same as selling out, but I’m not sure if most swing voters who are responding to this pledge are going to understand that nuance. People who have good jobs aren’t going to donate to or vote for a candidate who they think is going to burn down the sector they are working in.

    This could go very wrong for her. It could mean a swing back to Biden in the polls. It could be the opening Harris has been waiting for.

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  137. 137

    @Kent:

    Obama was wrong on the financial bailout

    How so? According to the head of the Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP, a senator named Elizabeth Warren, it was a success. https://www.businessinsider.com/elizabeth-warren-surprise-tarp-ended-up-working-2009-12?IR=T

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  138. 138
    Yutsano says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I thought the Braves were playing tonight but it looks like the Falcons showed up instead

    You poor schlub. :P

    Speaking as a Seahacks fan with a team that should NOT have won last Thursday.

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  139. 139
    cain says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It may be that EW does not want to get hit with charges of “hypocrisy, hypocrisy” when she speaks out against big money in politics. Because our careerist media may not be able to analyze or know much history, but they can (to some extent) count.

    That likely won’t happen. The media thrives on big spends. So, speaking out about that means they get less money.
    I never understand what happens to the money that we spend on all these ads. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. Does it just go into people’s pockets? How come people don’t get raises and other things. These campaigns have all become huge money makers for the media that they don’t have to work for.

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  140. 140
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    This is so depressing. I wanted to support her, I really did. She doesn’t seem to get the fight we’re in.

    I think Biden gets it much more than she does.

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  141. 141
    Kent says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m using the term “financial bailout” more broadly than just the TARP program. He was wrong by: (1) not holding any financial firms or executives accountable for nearly destroying the country, and (2) allowing treasury to funnel all the public dollars to big banks and not mortgage holders who were defrauded. Basically this: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/obamas-failure-to-mitigate-americas-foreclosure-crisis/510485/

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  142. 142
    Hungry Joe says:

    Voter reaction to Warren’s declaration (sample size: 1): As soon as I read it I re-calculated how much I could donate to her campaign. The new figure is roughly double the old one.

    I suspect I’m not alone.

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  143. 143
    Kraux Pas says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Saying that they are going to fight corruption is the oldest message in the politician handbook. Now you can argue that she is serious about it and for T it was just a rhetorical strategy and I would agree. She may be earnest about her message but her message fighting corruption is standard politician boilerplate.

    Well let’s see if voters can discern between proper identification of specific corruption with a plan to address it and “LOCK! HER! UP! DRAIN! THE! SWAMP!”

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  144. 144
    Kent says:

    @zhena gogolia: You mean the Biden who raised only 1/2 as much as Warren by going the “big donor events” route and who thinks he can get shit done because Republicans are going to sit down and work with him like Tip&Ronnie?

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  145. 145
    Kent says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Saying that they are going to fight corruption is the oldest message in the politician handbook. Now you can argue that she is serious about it and for T it was just a rhetorical strategy and I would agree. She may be earnest about her message but her message fighting corruption is standard politician boilerplate.

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was the single biggest accomplishment in the fight against corruption in the past decade. That was Warren’s baby.

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  146. 146
    JanieM says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    I suspect I’m not alone.

    You are not. I just did the same.

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  147. 147

    @zhena gogolia: We are just supposed to clap louder because Warren can do no wrong according to her fans here.

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  148. 148
    Cacti says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    This is so depressing. I wanted to support her, I really did. She doesn’t seem to get the fight we’re in.

    I think Biden gets it much more than she does.

    Until recently, I would have disagreed. But the criminal conspiracy against his family by the current executive branch seems to have awakened him to the gravity of the situation.

    The fascists have their hands around the throat of the Republic. Cutting ourselves off from resources to fight them is madness.

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  149. 149
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Bullshit.

    Actually, the issue is too many here who think she can do no right.

    I don’t blame Baud for taking a time out.

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  150. 150
    cain says:

    It’s always somewhat amusing watching y’all fight with each other over the candidates. I recall the many fights in previous times. I don’t particularly care who gets it as long as it isn’t Tulsi or Modi.

    Otherwise, we got fine candidates, all fine, good folks.
    I’m saving my energy for the fucker in the White House who is destroying this country. I’m more interested in seeing his ass arrested than the election.

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  151. 151
    Ksmiami says:

    @Yarrow: exactly it’s an unforced error at a time that we can’t afford – it makes me really uncomfortable because she’s taking a risk that a lot of little people really can suffer from and the few people this appeals to will be fine.

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  152. 152
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elizabelle: I disagree. I think the big problem here is that too many people are locking in one one candidate far too early in the process.

    If WI’s primary was today, I would vote for Harris, but, by the time the primaries actually start, I could end up changing my opinion based on any number of things.

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  153. 153
    Betty Cracker says:

    @JanieM: Me three.

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  154. 154
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I am for Warren or Harris. But I am tired of seeing EW absolutely eviscerated here. That is uncalled for.

    This place is boring and sour.

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  155. 155
    Ruckus says:

    @Marcopolo:
    She is inspiring. I still think Harris would be a better president on a day to day basis, but I also like Warren simply because she is laying out ideas to bring back the country for everyone, not just big money. I think Warren would better in the senate where she is. Of course we need to win the senate for that.

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  156. 156
    JanieM says:

    @Elizabelle:

    This place is boring and sour.

    For me, it does require a lot of informal pie-ing to 1) keep up, even as partially as I do; and 2) avoid the sour layers. On the other hand, there are a lot of commenters I enjoy (never mind the OPs), and I get a lot of both laughs and news here.

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  157. 157
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Elizabelle: it’s downright inspiring and upbeat compared to the chat over at Talking Chop right now

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  158. 158
    Ruckus says:

    @Elizabelle:
    I find that often I read something different than someone intended and I stop and go WTF? I didn’t use to do this and I got the same idea you expressed. I think we are all so wound up, what with the constant barrage of shit coming at us, that we are all just a bit round the bend and playing self defense.

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  159. 159
    Mnemosyne says:

    @artem1s:

    If Warren is gaining traction with smaller donors who happen to work for big industries, are those donations going to be read as breaking her promise?

    Good point. The way I knew David Sirota was a dishonest clown was when he insisted that Beto’s accepting campaign donations from private citizens who work in oil and gas was the same thing as getting paid by the corporations.

    It was a little scary to see how many of his followers insisted that private citizens whose salaries are paid by the “wrong” employers shouldn’t be allowed to make political donations, particularly since the Giant Evil Corporation I work for is not well-loved on the left.

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  160. 160
    Mnemosyne says:

    FWIW, I’m kind of on the fence about this. Big donors are less important than they used to be in the age of Act Blue and other ways to aggregate small donors, but I hate to leave any weapon behind that we might end up needing. Especially if we’re doing it to placate a tiny group of Twitter assholes who will never vote for Warren anyway. They’re already coming up with excuses for why they would TOTALLY vote for a woman, but not this one. 🙄

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  161. 161
    J R in WV says:

    @guachi:

    It’s clear Democratic voters as a whole aren’t pushing for Civil Rights first in their voting decisions. Black voters heavily approve of Biden and “Civil Rights” isn’t really front and center when anyone thinks of Biden.

    So the idea that Warren is concerned with economic issues and somehow that’s a BAD thing doesn’t hold water at all.

    Recent Economist/YouGov poll shows these are the what Democratic voters rate as the “most important” issue:
    Health Care – 27%
    Environment – 20%
    Economy – 11%
    Social Security – 10%

    Ranking of what Democratic voters rate as an issue that is “Very Important”:
    Health Care – 87%
    Medicare – 78%
    Environment – 77%
    Gun Control – 76%
    Social Security – 71%
    Economy – 68%
    Education – 67%
    Taxes – 57%
    Foreign Policy – 56%

    It’s abundantly clear that issues related to money and economics are right at the top.

    I’ve eliminated lots of low items here, and like always, I’m amazed that no one — NO ONE — asks about voting rights and anti-gerrymandering as issues. What if that was part of the question on these polls? I don’t even see that choice on polls from Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren !!!

    Equality of the right to vote isn’t important to Democratic voters???

    An end to gerrymandering districts in state voting law isn’t important to Dems???

    Not Democratic issues???

    Get fucked if they aren’t~!!

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  162. 162
    Amir Khalid says:

    @germy:

    the women with whom I had extramarital relationships

    Matt Lauer speaks of them in the plural. Maybe he should take time to re-examine himself before returning to the public spotlight..

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  163. 163
    Cameron says:

    It was worse than a crime; it was a blunder!

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  164. 164
    billcinsd says:

    @schrodingers_cat: and an unprinciplded stand would not cost “us” the election?

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  165. 165
    JGabriel says:

    Betty Cracker @ Top:

    This is just pure speculation on my part, obviously, but maybe Sanders is going to drop out and endorse Warren, and a no big donors pledge is a condition of that endorsement. And maybe Warren is willing to accept that condition because she believes she can win without big donor events.

    Late to the party, but I have an alternate theory. It doesn’t contradict your theory, they could both be true.

    I’m thinking maybe Warren ran the numbers and determined that she doesn’t need the big donors. Specifically, a lot of small donors means a lot more votes than a few big donors – and those small donors are more committed to voting for her, encouraging their friends, manning phones, etc.

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  166. 166
    chopper says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    she’s not just appealing to the purity left. lots of people are wholesale disgusted with the amount of money corrupting politics, and with politicians who say ‘we need to get the money out of politics! now excuse me, i’m due at a 50,000 dollar a plate lunch with a bunch of fatcats’.

    whatever your feelings on warren, this decision doesn’t seem like a gimmick.

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