The Lionization of Elizabeth Warren

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign event, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Grimes, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

We have previously noted the strange fascination with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) now that her presidential hopes have been dashed, and we barely scratched the surface of the paeans to her sexistly denied greatness.

Now that the left have accepted that she will not be President, things have changed. From The Washington Post:

Elizabeth Warren could be the lioness of the Senate

by Jennifer Rubin | March 9, 2020 | 9:00 a.m. EDT

In 1980, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) ran an insurgent presidential campaign against the incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter. He lost and delivered a convention speech that has become iconic among progressives. “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,” he said.

Forty years later, another progressive idol and Massachusetts senator, Elizabeth Warren, ended her campaign for president. She delivered a speech to her staff and supporters, which ended, “Our work continues, the fight goes on, and big dreams never die.”

I cannot think the similarity was coincidental. No progressive worth her salt, let alone one from Massachusetts, cannot recite the Kennedy phrase by heart.

Kennedy, who came to be known as the “Lion of the Senate” for his prodigious output of legislation, his bipartisan dealmaking and his fiery rhetoric, may be a perfect role model for Warren, whose talent and passion have always been in the nitty-gritty of policy. On Kennedy’s death, President Barack Obama said, “For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.” Kennedy was a continual thorn in the side of the right, infamously demonizing Judge Robert H. Bork, but that turned out to be incidental to his legacy.

There’s much more at the original, with much of it seeming strange coming from Mrs Rubin, ostensibly a conservative who is supporting Democrats right now because she despises President Trump, but whom we should expect to retain conservative positions once Mr Trump is out of office.

But there are a few things which pretty much trash her comparisons. Mr Kennedy was 48 years old when he lost that primary contest to President Carter in 1980, and he went on to serve another 29 years in the Senate. Mrs Warren will turn 71 this coming June, and she won’t have another 29 years in the Senate unless she wants to tie Senator Strom Thurmond’s (R-SC) record and serve until she’s 100 years old. More, Ted Kennedy had something Mrs Warren simply doesn’t: a boatload of charisma. When Mr Kennedy spoke, whether to small crowds or on television to millions, people listened, listened in a way Mrs Warren’s appeals failed in Iowa, in New Hampshire, in South Carolina, and, in the end, even in her home state of Massachusetts on Stupor Tuesday, where she finished well behind front runners former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The feminist left loved Senator Warren, because she was a policy wonk, who appealed to their policy wonkishness on feminist issues. She had all sorts of detailed position papers and could explain them in great detail; Mr Kennedy was never a policy wonk, and was very famously unable to put into words why he was challenging an incumbent President of his own party, but when he was at his best, he won people over with his oratory. For the feminist left, Mrs Warren’s words sounded wonderfulo, because she was preaching to the choir, but she lacked the ability to bring in those who were not already sold. Most tellingly, she was unable to bring in from Senator Sanders’ column the people who would have mostly agreed with her positions.

E J Dionne,¹ also a columnist for the Post, in his OpEd piece “Elizabeth Warren isn’t finished. Her ideas won’t go away, and neither will she,” said:

Yet it would be a shame if Warren’s failure obscured what her candidacy actually achieved. When she was riding high, her popularity reflected something important: a widespread appreciation for her as a solutionist. She was willing to build a candidacy on detailed initiatives aimed at solving problems voters care about.

A “solutionist.” There it is, in as plain a terms as one could expect from anyone: he sees the policy wonk, and not the woman who was not able to bring in others who were not already sold. Mr Dionne said that sexism had something to do with Mrs Warren’s failure, noting that her top of the polls in October of 2019 was disproportionately from women, but that when her stock fell, her support among women was but two percentage points higher than among men, 16% vs 14%, something within the margin of error.

The editors of the Post continued further, prominently linking this story from The Lily, Why 2024 is the year we’ll elect a woman president. It assumes that, if elected, Mr Biden would choose to serve only one term, and his Vice President, whom he has already promised would be a woman, would have the inside track to the 2024 nomination.

All of this supposes that American women desperately want a female President, but the truth is that while feminist women certainly want that, women in general don’t really seem to care. The famous statistic of 2016, in which 52% of white women voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, and, less well known, thanks to third party candidates 57% of women voted for someone other than Mrs Clinton, is indicative of that. But in 2020, in which the primary vote was (mostly) restricted to registered Democrats, Mrs Warren finished behind Messrs Biden and Sanders, by a significant margin, among women.

Apparently, Democratic women are sexist oppressors of Senator Warren!

Given that the voters in the Bay State simply do not elect Republicans to the United States Senate, Mrs Warren will be able to keep her seat as long as her will and her health allow. But by the time the 2024 election rolls around, she will be 75 years old; unless she is the Vice Presidential nominee and Joe Biden croaks, she will never be President, and the feminists, being able to count, know it. So they are lionizing someone who has shown no reason to be lionized, because it seems to soothe their hurt feelings.
¹ – I have very little respect for Mr Dionne, who purports to be Catholic, and writes for the liberal Catholic journal Commonweal, is very much a supporter of abortion, and Democratic candidates who are all-in on an unrestricted abortion license, as Senator Warren is. I will put it very plainly: you cannot be both Catholic and a supporter of abortion.
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