Embrace the lunacy!…
Hat tip to commentor Mnemosyne for an interesting analogy from Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight. “Elizabeth Warren Wouldn’t Be 2016′s Obama, But She Could Be Its John Edwards“:
… Edwards, of course, didn’t win. But he did appear to move the conversation, highlighting the issue of inequality though his “Two Americas” trope. He filled the populist gap and, in doing so, forced the field to the left. The rest of the field came around to Edwards on the economic stimulus, the minimum wage and his reservations with a free-trade agreement with South Korea.
OnTheIssues.org, which ranks candidates’ ideology based on their public policy statements, shows that Clinton and Obama saw their economic liberalism scores rise between January 2007 and January 2008. On a scale of 0 to 100, Clinton became more liberal by 18 points, while Obama’s became more liberal by 10 points. By the end of the campaign, both of their absolute scores matched Edwards’s.
If Warren runs in 2016, she could have the same effect. Like the vast majority of Democratic voters, Warren believes in “equality [and] opportunity” for the middle class and how difficult that would be to achieve. Three-fourths of Democrats think the current economic system is unfair. Just 49 percent of Democrats believe most people can work hard and get ahead. And two-thirds of all Americans say corporations pay too little in taxes.
In other words, Warren would have a receptive audience. She probably wouldn’t win the nomination, but — like Edwards — she could help to shape the policy debate.
I was an Edwards supporter in 2008, precisely because he was the only one talking about economic justice. I sincerely hope Warren won’t leave her senatorial duties to run for president in 2016, not just because she’s my senator but because that’s where she has the greatest scope for her professional expertise. But if she can shift the Overton Window of “acceptable economic discourse” for the eventual Democratic candidate(s), that would be a win-win, IMO.
With all due honor to Brazil making the first goal, an own goal, of the 2014 World Cup… what’s on the agenda as we wrap up this week of weirdness?