When Elizabeth Warren Attacks
In Freudian terms, if Hillary Clinton represents the ego of the Democratic Party, Elizabeth Warren has staked claim on the role of unabashed, unrestrained, unrelenting id.
The headstrong Massachusetts Senator, a liberal firebrand and favorite among the anti-Clinton caucus for her ideological purity, spent the last three days campaigning with Democratic candidates in three key Senate battlegrounds—Colorado, Minnesota and Iowa—verbally hurling roundhouse punch after roundhouse punch at her opposing party.
“The game is rigged, and the Republicans rigged it,” Warren declared to a room of 400 boisterous supporters in Minnesota on Saturday while campaigning with Senator Al Franken.
“Republicans believe this country should work for those who are rich, those who are powerful, those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers,” Warren put it in Colorado the day before, her arm around embattled incumbent Senator Mark Udall.
In both cases, Warren followed the rebukes with some variation of the same rile-up-the-troops pep talk. “We can whine, we can whimper or we can fight back," Warren challenged her audiences.
Warren took that same message to Iowa on Sunday, making two stops for Senate candidate Bruce Braley, who needs her help mobilizing the Democratic Party base in a midterm race that couldn't be closer.
Some Warren supporters have been unwilling to accept the Senator's “no” answer to the question of whether she will challenge Clinton for the 2016 presidential nomination. While polling shows Clinton miles ahead against any potential Democratic competitor, there remains unrest within the party among liberals who see Warren as a truer Democrat on the issue of income inequality who is more ready to pounce on anyone or anything that falls short of the party's values, and more willing to deliver the kind of political tongue-lashings that a calculated presidential frontrunner can only dream about.
To wit, Warren's three-state tour comes a week after she accused Obama administration of being to cozy with Wall Street.
“They protected Wall Street,” she said in an interview with Salon, published last Sunday. “Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. Not young people who were struggling to get an education. And it happened over and over and over.”
Regardless of what she’s saying about her 2016 intentions, Warren’s trip to Iowa, the nation’s first caucus state, still marks an an important must-do if she decides to mount a presidential run; recent polling suggests growing support for Warren among liberals in the state, which has never been a hub for Hillary backers.
In a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register survey released this month, Clinton trounced Warren (52-10 percent) in a hypothetical 2016 primary match-up. That gap shrinks, however, when likely Democratic caucus-goers are asked which candidate their political beliefs are more aligned with—Clinton gets 52 percent again, but Warren jumps to 26 percent. Forty-four percent said they were concerned with Clinton's ties to Wall Street, while 36 percent said those connections were an advantage.