Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks about her two-cent tax plan during a campaign event, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in Hampton Falls, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
The Des Moines Register’s editorial board has endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses.
Needless to say, Warren was delighted to hear the news.
— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) January 26, 2020
The editors write that this was an especially hard call to make because “the outstanding caliber of Democratic candidates makes it difficult to choose just one.” I would argue this was a tough decision for the opposite reason. Given the unimpressive, weak field of current 2020 hopefuls, I would be torn over having to decide which candidate is the “least bad.”
In a separate article, one of the newspaper’s editors, Lucas Grundmeier, wrote that their first meeting ended without having reached an agreement. “Subsequent conversations and more thought and reading led to selecting a candidate we could all support.”
Right off the bat, the editors note that any of the candidates would make a better president than Trump. They write, “Each would be more inclusive and thoughtful than the current occupant of the White House. Each would treat truth as something that matters. Each would conduct foreign policy by coalition building rather than by whim and tweet.”
Okay, it’s only natural that a group of newspaper editors would be anti-Trumpers, but did you all happen to catch one of the reasons they cite?
Each “would treat truth as something that matters?” Biden’s dubious history with the truth is well-documented and beyond the scope of this post. But, Warren? I bet if members of a focus group were asked what word first comes to mind when they hear the name Elizabeth Warren, it would be “liar.” If one had to choose the least truthful 2020 candidate, it would likely be Warren.
Her claim of Native-American ancestry, of course, is the most notorious. Frankly, that was so egregious and so personally humiliating for her, I thought her presidential ambitions were over. I was wrong. But that was only one of many. Most recently, she told supporters, “My children went to public schools.” They went to private schools. One of her favorite anecdotes to share on the campaign trail is that she was fired from a teaching job in the 1970s after the principal of her school found out she was pregnant. Not true.
She is also a shameless panderer. All politicians are to some degree. Still, after receiving the all important endorsement of Black Womxn (not a typo) in November, Warren proclaimed, “Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy!” Please.
As I said, it was a tough choice, but keeping with tradition, the editors felt they had to made a decision.
Please scroll down for the full text of the endorsement.
.@ewarren’s competence, respect for others and status as the nation’s first female president would be a fitting response to the ignorance, sexism and xenophobia of the Trump Oval Office, the Register’s editorial board writes. #IAcaucus https://t.co/hLkImNiU2a
— Des Moines Register (@DMRegister) January 26, 2020
No wonder Iowa Democrats are unsettled.
Each of the remaining candidates campaigning across Iowa ahead of the caucuses could make a fine president. Each would be more inclusive and thoughtful than the current occupant of the White House. Each would treat truth as something that matters. Each would conduct foreign policy by coalition building rather than by whim and tweet.
The outstanding caliber of Democratic candidates makes it difficult to choose just one.
But ultimately Iowa caucusgoers need to do that. Who would make the best president at this point in the country’s history? At a time when the economic deck has become so stacked against working Americans that the gap between rich and poor is the highest in more than 50 years? At a time when a generation of war has stressed military families and sapped the treasury?
The Des Moines Register editorial board endorses Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses as the best leader for these times.
The senior U.S. senator from Massachusetts is not the radical some perceive her to be. She was a registered Republican until 1996. She is a capitalist. “I love what markets can do,” she said. “They are what make us rich, they are what create opportunity.”
But she wants fair markets, with rules and accountability. She wants a government that works for people, not one corrupted by cash.
A former Harvard professor and expert in bankruptcy law, she helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency was specifically designed to prevent a repeat of the banking crisis and look out for little guys swindled by lenders and credit card companies.
She believes government should actively work to prevent and respond to abusive practices that jeopardize individuals and the country’s economy.
Warren doesn’t measure the health of the economy by looking at the stock market or an unemployment rate that doesn’t count the longtime jobless or chronically underemployed. She measures it by how working families are doing. Many are not doing well, and Warren seeks major reforms to help them.
A qualification: Some of her ideas for “big, structural change” go too far. This board could not endorse the wholesale overhaul of corporate governance or cumulative levels of taxation she proposes. While the board has long supported single-payer health insurance, it believes a gradual transition is the more realistic approach. But Warren is pushing in the right direction.
She believes access to health care is a human right.
She would make climate change a top priority and use her executive power to roll back Trump administration policies that prop up fossil fuels.
She says corporations should have less Washington influence, children should be protected from gun violence, child care should be affordable, immigrants deserve compassion, mass incarceration should end and the wealthy should pay more in taxes.
Those ideas are not radical. They are right. They would improve life in America, and they are generally shared by the other Democratic candidates, who bring their own strengths to this race.
Former Vice President Joe Biden would restore credibility in the White House and respect among allies around the world. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg brings refreshingly smart, youthful optimism. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota offers a track record of bipartisan achievement. Much like Warren, Bernie Sanders champions the working class.
But at this moment, our country needs more. We need a president who can work the levers of government to translate ideas into signed laws and effective regulations. We need a president committed to bringing our troops home from open-ended foreign entanglements. We need a president who understands that the American dream itself is at risk: the ideal that someone who works hard and plays by the rules can get ahead, and that their children will do even better. With Warren, the Oval Office will be occupied by someone who has made rebuilding the middle class her life’s work.
These tall tasks will require resilience and courage in the face of inevitable attacks from the GOP — both during the campaign and while in office.
Warren has proven she is tough and fearless.
But toughness can also be perceived as divisive, as can rhetoric that vilifies the wealthy, lobbyists and corporations that employ millions of people. Relentless attack mode threatens to further fracture a country riven by party, income and racial divides.
Unifying the country may not be possible, but to gain the support required to govern, she must show that her vision will lift people up rather than divide them.
Warren’s competence, respect for others and status as the nation’s first female president would be a fitting response to the ignorance, sexism and xenophobia of the Trump Oval Office.
She is a thinker, a policy wonk and a hard worker. She remembers her own family’s struggles to make ends meet and her own desperation as a working mother needing child care.
She cares about people, and she will use her seemingly endless energy and passion to fight for them.
At this moment, when the very fabric of American life is at stake, Elizabeth Warren is the president this nation needs.