What do you think of Elizabeth Warren announcing her candidacy?

I think it’s good. I don’t know if I want her as president yet, but declaring an intent to run means we can discuss what a Democratic presidency should mean, and that other candidates will be jockeying for policy positions relative to hers, and maybe a compelling vision will gel by the time of the primaries. A battle over what our government should do should sharpen the field…as long as it doesn’t descend into a contest over who hates Trump more.

Because I think I’d be a contender in that contest, and I’d be a terrible president.


  1. says

    Before she was a Senator, she was a regulator. Before that, she was a college professor. She knows how to explain things truthfully and with requisite detail and clarity. She is smart, thoughtful, curious, articulate and has empathy for those who are suffering. She is nobody’s pushover yet she can collaborate with others. The contrast between her and what we have now is absolute. I hate to think what the time and effort it takes to run for President would do to her, but I would be thrilled and proud to call her “Madam President.”

  2. rorschach says

    I do not like Michael Avenatti, in fact I’m somewhat suspicious of him. But he has a point in that a well-known, established, playing-by-the-rules that no longer apply candidate will not succeed against Trump in 2020. No Clinton, no Warren, no Sanders. Voters are sick of them. A term of Biden followed by a progressive like Beto or K Harris might work. As Amy Siskind pointed out on Twitter today, the damage done will not be repaired just by electing a Dem President, it will take years to fix the damage to institutions.

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I have no problem with her being a candidate. Very qualified and progressive. very easy to vote for her.
    There is speculation that over 20 democrats may start preliminary looks at running for President, so it’s hard to be overly excited about any one of them at this early stage, as many of them would also be easy to vote for.

  4. HidariMak says

    @rorschach I suspect that the Trump presidency will make it easier for somebody like Warren to become president. In 2016, Trump had the fake veneer of being a successful business tycoon going for him, and his complete ignorance on all things politics was not noticed by those who weren’t paying attention. Elizabeth Warren has shown more charisma in talking to the people and the press than what Hillary Clinton has shown, and as long as we don’t have another rift in the voting base like what we saw between Bernie Sanders and Hillary, 2020 should have a much reduced Trump bias. (The fact that Trump won’t be able to politically have his crimes publicly quieted will work against him, as well.)

  5. mnb0 says

    I think it one of the best examples of American stupidity that election fever already begins almost two years before the actual elections. I expect politicians to attend my interests, to govern the country and stuff, not to praise themselves for half of their serving time.

  6. rpjohnston says

    She’s at the top of my list oof candidates currently, though that’s all pretty fuzzy at this point anyway. Don’t think I’ve been following her on Twitter, I probably should.

    I’ve been trying to like Kamala Harris but her twitter account is a bot so I don’t really have much to go on.

  7. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Although I like her economic and consumer policies, I haven’t seen much from here that indicates she has a deep understanding of foreign policy. Whoever comes after the Trumpster fire will have a lot of repair work to do on our international relationships and standing.

    I also think it might be too late for Warren. The right has had 4 years or so to dig up dirt and generate lies–granted it ain’t the 25 years they had to assassinate the character of Hillary Clinton, but I fear a lot of rightwing men and Bernie Bros won’t take much convincing.

    Kamala Harris might be a better candidate if only because she has presented less of a target than Warren. Of course, with her, all the fascists will have to say is “But California!!!!!

    I like Cory Booker as well. But who I really want as a candidate is someone–anyone who can beat Trumplethinskin. If that’s a center-right goofball like Biden, so be it.

  8. rabbitbrush says

    What about Senator Amy Klobuchar? I’ve heard wonderful things about her. I recall her maybe perhaps possibly considering such thing, but I bet she’s too smart and reasonable to jump into such an unendurable goat rodeo.

  9. hemidactylus says

    I’m on the Michelle Obama bandwagon, even if she might not be. Oh ok, maybe she needs to run for something else, win, and gain experience first. And maybe I have nostalgia for the golden age of her husband’s tenure. But when we are at rock bottom all paths lead inevitably upward.

  10. robro says

    The more candidates at this stage the better, I say. This isn’t about a candidate’s qualifications for the specific office, or the realistic opportunity to thump Trump, or who I might vote for when it comes to primaries or the general election. What I’m hoping for is potential candidates, such as Warren, Beto, Sanders, and others, talking about goals and policies for the country like sensibly dealing with climate change, protecting the rights of all people, reducing the ability of the wealthy to fund operations to manipulate public opinion using sophisticated marketing techniques…and so forth.

  11. robro says

    heimdactylus @ #11 — Michelle Obama would be an interesting candidate, and she seems to have a ton of experience, although not as an officially elected politician, of course. As she said recently, she’s been at the table, understands the nature of the work, and clearly gets the ruses of powerful men. She just seems to have zero interest. Hopefully, she and Pres. Obama will participate in the conversation.

  12. springa73 says

    I’m just worried that it will end up being a bitter primary battle with one candidate winning narrowly and leaving lots of disgruntled supporters of other candidates who will refuse to vote for the Democratic nominee and thus let Trump win almost by default.

  13. says

    rorschach, Biden is too old. He’ll be 78 shortly after the 2020 election.

    mnb0, that’s one of the things that bugs me about the increasing prevalence of fixed election dates in Canada. The de-facto campaign season gets longer and longer.

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    My thoughts about potential 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates:

    Elizabeth Warren: OK, I can’t think of anything really negative about her. She has a pretty solid progress record. I’d definitely vote for her. Of course, the right will attack her over the Native American heritage thing, but I think anyone who’d make that a big deal wouldn’t support for her in the first place.

    Hillary Clinton: Ugh, no! Letting her run again would be handing Il Douche a second term!

    Joe Biden: I think he’s got too much potential baggage the Republicans can exploit. That and his age is a serious concern.

    Bernie Sanders: As much as I love the man’s ideas, the upper class Clinton-Cronies who currently run the Democratic party will never forgive him for interfering with St. Hillary’s ascension to the Purple. He should just stay out. That and like Biden, his age is a concern.

    Kamala Harris: Clintonista. Pass!

    Michael Avenatti: Quiet now, Mikey, the grown ups are talking. Go find an ambulance to chase.

  15. nomdeplume says

    I suppose announcing your candidacy this early makes sense in a political environment where Trump began campaigning again as soon as he put his feet under the Resolute desk. But in a non-Trump world announcing two years before the election is a further blot on the American electoral system. And Warren? Well, yes, fine I guess. I’m never sure why it is always said that the Democrats must have a “centrist” candidate (ie in practice a Republican-lite candidate). What is the fear – that a left wing candidate will send potential Democratic voters running screaming into the arms of far Right Wing Republican candidates? Did Trump’s candidature (or, say, Cruz or Rubio) send potential Republican voters off to the Democrats? To the extent that it is true though it marks a terrible failure of the DNC, and candidates for all positions, to clearly articulate what their policies and beliefs and, yes, dreams, are.

  16. MHiggo says

    mnb0 @7 — Unfortunately, your expectations are doomed to disappointment. Ours is a nation governed by telemarketers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylomy1Aw9Hk

    As for Warren declaring, good. Everyone who wants in the pool should get in the pool. Her initial polling is hardly setting the heather alight, which would worry me if I was part of her campaign, but she has name recognition, proven fund-raising ability, and progressive bona fides on her side. It seems like that should be enough to keep her in the fight for quite some time.

  17. dianne says

    I expect all the men who said, “I’m fine with a woman running, just not Clinton” will now discover that they meant, “…just not Clinton. Or Warren.” Including or possibly those who were all, “If only it were Elizabeth Warren” in 2016.

  18. microraptor says

    Of course, the real issue is that regardless of who the Democratic candidate is, the Dumpster Fire will never admit to losing an election and will instead claim that millions of illegal votes were cast. He’s been priming his supporters for this move since 2015.

  19. says

    She’s already shown that the orange one can get inside her head and drive her into terrible unforced errors like that genetics test; that alone is a huge red flag.

    And that failure to stand with Standing Rock only looks shittier after that fiasco. She’s gone from a reasonable choice to a fucking clown.

  20. starfleetdude says

    Everyone has to declare earlier to run in 2020 because of how the Democratic primaries are so front-loaded, with California going on March 3rd, three months earlier than 2016. That wasn’t a DNC decision, that was California’s. Better to announce sooner rather than later then, and get started getting known.

  21. vucodlak says

    I think Warren is one of the few candidates I could vote for without an enormous clothespin for my nose. She’s smart, progressive, and doesn’t take crap from Republicans or corpers. I would be very pleased to vote for her.

    On the other hand, I have absolutely zero interest in voting for Biden. He’s a buffoon, way too far to the right to begin fixing the damage being done to this country, and he comes with oodles of baggage. I’ll grit my teeth and vote for him if he gets the nomination, but I won’t be pleased.

    At this point I’m completely baffled as to why so many people seem to want Michelle Obama. She has no experience as an elected official, and her inspiring speeches give me flashbacks to another Obama who took 6+ years to get it through his head that the Republicans could not be reasoned with. I’ll need to see some evidence that she’s learned from the mistakes of Democrats past, and “when they go low, we go high” is exactly the wrong lesson. I’ll vote for her if she wins the nomination, but at this point I’m not thrilled with the possibility.

    Oprah… no. Please don’t run. I’ll vote for you to stop Trump if I must, but just please don’t.

    Bloomberg… I’ll set myself on fire. I mean it. I can’t vote for him, I won’t vote for him, and self-immolation sounds like a treat compared to a choice between Donald godsdamned Trump and Michael fucking Bloomberg.

    I don’t know enough about Harris to form an opinion.

    Cory Booker would be alright, probably. I’m not super familiar with his record either.

    Maxine Waters would be (and is) awesome, but I doubt she’ll run.

  22. Ragutis says

    Let me make clear, I’m a fan of Sen. Warren. But I don’t think she’s a good candidate for Prez. Her tenacity is unquestionable, but I just don’t think she has the … I dunno… “charisma”, “IT factor”, “chops” to face off against someone who, despite his MULTITUDE of faults and failings is rather accomplished at commanding media attention and manipulating the news cycle. That is such a bullshit metric to consider in an election, but look back at 2016 or think about how women are portrayed in the media. Like Hillary, she’d own Trump in every debate, yet be portrayed as “shrill” or a shrew. I love that she speaks sharply and forcefully about important shit, because important shit calls for that. But it would just be twisted and used against her.
    Secondly, while I believe she would be more than capable of the job and could accomplish quite a bit, I think that Sen. Warren could be more influential and effective in the Senate. (Schumer’s going to retire one of these days) I feel similarly about Sen. Klobuchar. If she’s going to get a new job, I’d rather see her on the Supreme Court than in the Oval Office. The Chief Executive job just doesn’t, IMHO, play to either of their strengths of allow them to maximize their potential influence on policy and the nation’s future.

    As for who I believe should run? Fuck if I know. Biden is certainly qualified, and would be a good, middle-of-the road transition, but there is so much that will need to be done (or undone) post-Trump, that I don’t think we can afford the luxury of 4 or 8 years of a moderate.

  23. says


    I still haven’t forgiven her entirely for throwing access to trans health care for prisoners under the bus.

    Completely understandable. If she ends up being a major player in the primary, I hope she repudiates this. While we can and should hold old positions against people unless and until they’re disavowed, 6 years (8 by the time of the presidential election) is a long time in the evolution of public perceptions of trans* rights. I hope it’s been long enough that she can get her crap together.

  24. grandolddeity says

    I’m sad that the Dems don’t have an obvious strong suite against the Reps.

    Maybe Jerry Brown.

  25. says

    Not a huge fan of Warren, because she’s unimaginative and far too fond of “safe” positions (which suggests that, like the Clintons, she will try not to do anything about climate change and will continue with the US’s ever-increasing military budget), but she’s 100 times better than Biden — he basically let Clarence Thomas into the Supreme Court, made student loan debt undischargeable in bankruptcy, and has been a drug warrior to rival any Republican, along with sundry other objectionable flaws — or Beto (“now with 100% fewer stances on the issues!”). Assuming that the party doesn’t try to put a thumb on the scale again, and that she doesn’t seriously blow anything, I’d be willing to hold my nose and vote for her. I’d prefer Sanders to her, all things considered, but I would mind neither a Warren-Sanders nor a Sanders-Warren ticket.

    I’d prefer Michele Obama to any of the other “dynastic” candidates who are always waiting in the wings (I’m told there’s another Kennedy trying to build support, any number of the Bush brood out there hoping to worm their way in, the awful, awful Clintons, and I’ve even seen Malia Obama has been suggested in the long term) but on the whole, I’d be much happier if we all just agreed that the idea of political family dynasties is terrible and conceptually against democracy and should be strongly discouraged.

    And the next time we need a candidate after 2020, whether it’s in 2024 or 2028, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, again presuming there’s no big screwup waiting.

  26. Ichthyic says

    it will take years to fix the damage to institutions.

    the damage done by those institutions with Trumpski in power is already irreversible.


    that you all STILL think you can vote your way out of this is truly pathetic.


    history will mark most americans as complicit, accurate or not.

    but hey, it’s too late to do anything about it now right?

  27. brucegee1962 says

    I’m going to be looking for whichever candidate has the strongest credentials on global warming. No other issues matter one eighth as much.

  28. rpjohnston says

    Sure, the Right will attack Elizabeth Warren over her Native American heritage.

    Just like they attacked HRC over her basement pedo ring, and Obama because of his Marxist Kenyan Communist Muslim Atheist Gay america-hating jihadi heritage.

    Obviously our candidate can’t have any of those stains. No, it’s clear that we can only select a candidate who the Right will never, ever attack.

    It’s too bad that literally every single Democrat appears to be a cannibal or pedo or reptilian space alien or conspiring with Atlantis to drown Florida or something. We just don’t have a single squeaky-clean candidate, so might as well shrug and let the Right win.

  29. khms says

    @Ichthyic #31

    that you all STILL think you can vote your way out of this is truly pathetic.


    but hey, it’s too late to do anything about it now right?


    No comment.

  30. Ragutis says


    1 January 2019 at 11:14 am

    I’d be a terrible president.

    If only everybody had that much self-insight.

    Who was it that said anyone wanting the job should immediately be disqualified?

  31. dianne says

    @36: Douglas Adams said that about being the president of the galaxy. Who else may have, I’m not sure.

  32. says

    @#33, rpjohnston

    It’s too bad that literally every single Democrat appears to be a cannibal or pedo or reptilian space alien or conspiring with Atlantis to drown Florida or something. We just don’t have a single squeaky-clean candidate, so might as well shrug and let the Right win.

    It’s only of concern to Democrats who think that it’s a winning strategy to chase Republican voters, rather than to energize the base and seek people who are eligible to vote but usually don’t. For the last 30-odd years, the party has been trying to appeal to people whose main criterion for voting is “don’t vote for a Democrat”, the one thing they can’t change, and in the process have — unsurprisingly — constantly lost ground, whether it Bill Clinton trying to appease Newt Gingrich, Al Gore running so far to the right that people in his own party couldn’t see any difference between him and Bush (which cost him Florida), Obama — having run for office on a ticket of standing up for the base — spending eight years looking for “bipartisanship” which was never under any circumstances going to materialize, or Hillary Clinton desperately trying to move far enough right to steal voters from Trump, it’s a losing strategy. Time to try something else.

  33. Kagehi says

    Sadly, I am kind of skeptical that the public will, somehow, change their tune, and start electing based on, “Everyone played by the rules of debate, and she had a better explanation.”, when the current bunch of lunatics in power got there more or less with the winning strategy of, “Never tell them how you will do something, until you are elected, if possible. Never play by the rules, or stay on topic. And, above all else, use any attempt of the other side to explain anything as a jumping off point into irrelevant topics, discussions of the tone of ones allies, or other side lines, which don’t directly address anything they said, or which was asked. In short, never look like you have nothing to say, the opponent may be right about something, that you don’t have your own explanation, or that you are ever, otherwise, on the defensive.”

    Its.. unclear how, without a massive change in the way the general public observes, and bothers to pay attention to the details, of debates, that we can expect a serious change in how elections go, by one side trying “harder” to be clear and detail oriented, while the other side is still not playing the same game by the same rules.

  34. says

    I am a Canadian, so I am both speaking as an outsider and as one who doesn’t perhaps have the same view of the day to day. I spent a lot of time prior to his leaving hoping for either Franken/Warren or Warren/Franken. Biden is the wrong choice for the long haul as well as the short. He won’t get anything of note accomplished in four years, and it’ll be an opportunity for some new Bush or similar to point to the entire party as being unable to accomplish anything, making all those precious swing voters lemming their way across to the GOP again. The comment about Warren’s Native American heritage is a sign of the way of modern politics. Like it or not, people get an excite every time insults fly, and I fear that a female candidate is in a no-win in that regard. If she bites back, she’s shrill and crazy and the worst ever, and if she rises above, she’s afraid of confrontation. Neither scenario applies to men, who either stand up for themselves or rise above the name calling.

    I live in the frosty Canadian province of Alberta. For almost unbelievable long, we’ve had various Conservative leaders in the province. In our last election, for the first time since I think 1935, a non-Conservative was elected. The fact that she has not immediately solved all of the historical problems from bad Conservative budgeting, not resolved the world’s economic situation (I kid you not, people are upset that we’re in a recession, as if the local leadership could actually change things), and not found a way to get oil to market has most people sharing obnoxious memes and planning to vote for the United Conservative Party in the next election, a party who’s sole claim to fame is the word “Conservative” in the title. The leader of this UCP is a toadish monster of a man named Jason Kenney, and he is a bundle of awful with sharp edges. But he’s going to win because four years just isn’t enough time to resolve the entire world.

    So it would be with Biden. Even more so, as he’s not likely to make any lasting impact in his time in office.

  35. says

    Incidentally: Warren’s messaging since declaring candidacy is much better than I expected. She’s still kind of lukewarm on some things, but — unlike Hillary Clinton — she gets the fact that a Democratic candidate who wins an election is emphatically not going to do so by converting Republicans but by energizing the base and convincing Independents to turn out. The idea that Republicans are worth courting is a delusion that the DLC Democrats have held for decades, and it hasn’t worked at all. So right out of the gate, Warren is several times smarter than Hillary Clinton, which is a good sign as long as the party doesn’t decide that it wants somebody dumber but friendlier to the 1%.