Last September, had you calmly explained that my opportunity to vote for Elizabeth Warren would expire well before the Illinois presidential primary, after the laughing fit faded, I would’ve asked you to put your money where your mouth is.
But here we are!
Warren was at the pinnacle of the polls, she had the kind of quiet charisma SNL’s Kate McKinnon perceptively picked up on, she was the smartest candidate at a time the electorate was longing for “smart,” her U.S. Senate accomplishments were many, and she’d perfectly positioned herself between Bernie’s implausibility and Biden’s perpetually fascinating old white maleness.
She’d even managed to overcome her Tom-Cruise-jumping-on-Oprah’s-couch moment after sprinting through a New Hampshire crowd to the tune of ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’ For references purposes, 2004 presidential hopeful Howard Dean did not survive his!
So, In the words of that great philosopher Bertie Higgins, “She had all,” until, to quote my sainted mother, “It all went to hell in a handbasket!”
And that precipitous plunge commenced with Warren’s beyond bizarre decision to respond to a Trump slur by trying to prove her Native American ancestry. When the DNA test didn’t turn out quite that way, not only were progressives unamused, but she became a conservative and late-night TV laughingstock.
There’s a reason attorneys warn against asking a courtroom question to which you aren’t assured of the answer. Then, just to make matters worse, when goaded, Warren released her Medicare for all plan.
Voters may say they want the details, but they really don’t! They much prefer platitudes. And that Poly Sci 101 lapse led directly to a larger second problem, and that is, if you put the specifics of a proposed program out there, someone’s bound to be disappointed.
And sure enough! Progressives went after Warren’s not-quite single-payer solution just like a Yankees’ pitcher throwing at a hapless Astros’ batter. The sad truth is, “Mexico will pay for the wall” works, while the facts don’t!
But instead of confidently declaring, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! My progressive brothers and sisters! Rome, and the revolution weren’t built in a day. Difficult political propositions always take time and compromise,” Warren decided to double down by endeavoring pass the kind of far-left purity test that Jesus Himself would’ve failed.
She wouldn’t go on Fox News, she wouldn’t take money from non-woke entities, she embraced non-binary drivers licenses, she advocated for trans women playing women’s sports, and my personal favorite, she told the alphabet people she wouldn’t appoint a secretary of education without the express written consent of a trans student.
And people have the nerve to question my capacity to make friends!
What Warren and her “advisors” never seemed to comprehend is, once she was the nominee, progressive voters would automatically be hers, but it would take working class Democrats to get her there. Meanwhile, positioning herself as Bernie-lite alienated absolutely everyone, and particularly the voters she needed most.
Had she somehow still managed to prevail, Trump woulda made mincemeat out of her in the general. SNL should’ve done a cold open with an enthusiastic Alec Baldwin Trump taking notes on her latest leftist pronouncement. “Oooo! Calling accidents as ‘traffic violence!’ Write that one down Mike!”
Then there was the preponderance of very simple but dire political miscalculations.
Again, Bernie-lite appealed to no one. As the great former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown once stipulated, “If you can’t take their money and screw them, you don’t belong in the game!” Convinced she’d rise above the incessantly infighting primary rabble, Warren spent no money on Super Tuesday, and her team was utterly unprepared for Buttigieg and Bloomberg dropping out to endorse Biden.
Though, I do have to give Warren credit for quickly concluding he could not recover from that poor showing by dropping out.
But Warren’s biggest blunder, bar none, was going after Bernie Sanders for being sexist! That “strategy” topped the day that Michael Dukakis’ thought it was a good idea to climb into that M1 Abrams tank hatch.
Given his consistent public commentary to the contrary, no one, from Poughkeepsie to Pasadena, believed Sanders said a woman couldn’t win the presidency, and this magnificent error only served to enrage progressive voters Warren had so desperately courted.
All I can say is, her campaign manager owes her a full refund!
The tragic truth is, all Warren’s team had to do was continue to do what they’d been doing for the previous ten months. But no! Suddenly enamored of their own political reflections, they got cute, and, trust me, campaign “cute” always comes around to bite you in the ass.
Ask any NFL coach, and they will tell you that, while innovation tends to be a good thing, the second you start thinkin’ you’re smarter than the game, it will smack you down faster than a social justice warrior catching a conservative referring to Caitlyn Jenner as “he.”
Per the piece’s title, Elizabeth Warren enjoyed the exceedingly rare privilege of becoming a presidential frontrunner only to blow it through no fault but her own. And how many people get to say that?
So, what really frosts my cookies are all the teeth-gnashing pundits who summarily stated that Warren was brought down by an acute amalgamation of sexism and misogyny. Yes! Both social maladies certainly exist, by what’s exponentially worse than either is the kind of patently poor and sycophantic patronization that subverts this blatant truth and replaces it with a false narrative.
The 2020 Democratic presidential race saw more qualified female candidates – Warren, Harris, Klobuchar, and Gabbard – than any previous primary in history. That means Biden’s likely VP pick will be a woman well-positioned to run in 2028. Not to mention that Hillary Clinton trounced Trump in the 2016 popular vote.
So, whether it’s that vice-president or the next female senator who has White House aspirations, having learned from Warren’s mistakes, they’ll have a far better shot than they would if they fell prey to those who think a smart woman never had a shot to begin with.
Have I recently asked progressives to grow up?