Is Elizabeth Warren ready to be president?

There’s been increasing chatter of late about the prospect of US Senator Elizabeth Warren running for president. Many progressives love the idea of a Warren presidency, but the question arises as to whether Warren yet has the experience to be president.

I make no bones of my appreciation for what President Obama has accomplished on gay rights during his two terms. The President made a series of promises (and policy pronouncements), and for the most part he’s followed through, grandly.

But there were some bumps along the way. And I suspect some of those hiccups occurred because Barack Obama came to the White House little governmental managerial experience — the kind of thing you’d find in, say, a governor.

elizabeth-warrenIn my younger years, I spent five years working in the US Senate as a legislative aide to the then-senator from Alaska. One of the things I found hardest to navigate in the position — it was my first job out of grad/law school — was how to manage a staff (of 1) and an office. I had, for example, no idea how to file things (back then, we were much less electronic than we are today). For example, did that new aviation report get filed under A for Aviation, T for Transportation, S for Safety, or something else entirely? You could only pick one — this was the analog world, after all — so which one was it?

Now, I’m not worried as to whether Elizabeth Warren has a good system for filing reports. I do worry, however, about what kind of experience it takes to be an effective president. And that experience goes far beyond simply having the right positions on policy matters. You have to know how to make a government apparatus work for you; and you also have to know how to fight the political baddies, and win.

I always get a chuckle — or perhaps not so much a chuckle at all — when some folks on the left bash the “beltway.” We’re told we have an “inside the beltway” mentality. And, it’s explained to us, that said “beltway” experience somehow makes it more unlikely that we can do our job effectively, be that job journalism or running the country.

I’ve tended to sit back and watch while my liberal brethren bashed Washington — and ancillarily (if that’s a word; if not, I’ve just made it one) the media. But in retrospect, I worry it’s been a mistake. All we accomplished was a furthering of two (or more) key Republican talking points: that Washington — and all government — stinks; and that the media “elites” can’t be trusted. As a result, we handed responsibility for arbitrating the “truth” over to Fox News, and we reinforced the GOP message that government is worthless and should be defunded.

When my peers question “beltway experience,” I ask them how well they think the local 7-11 manager in Topeka would do with Lehman Brothers’ demise and the ensuing near-meltdown of the entire global financial system.

While I find the idea quaint of Mr. Smith going to Washington, I would never choose an inexperienced, but earnest, man to be my doctor, lawyer, mechanic, or even dog sitter. There’s something to be said for experience in any field. And while in some people experience can jade, in others it hones.

I don’t know if Elizabeth Warren has what it takes to be a good president. But I think it’s worth asking if “outsiders” make the best presidents. As someone who cares fervently about civil rights, I think President Obama has done a stellar job on the issues I care most about. But I also recognize (and believe) that some of what made the path to victory so difficult these past several years was an Oval Office learning curve that, say, Governor Obama would have never needed to surmount.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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84 Responses to “Is Elizabeth Warren ready to be president?”

  1. sc s says:

    OMG People were dying before and they aren’t now!! Nice completely unsupported, emotional appeal.

    The facts: average individual premium is $380 per month for bronze plans with a $5000 deductible. For those of you who can do math, that means spending about $10K a year before you experience any Obamacare benefits. Google it.

    SInce $380 a month is a car payment, Obamacare is like the government mandating that you have to buy a car but can’t drive it unless you need to drive 5000 miles.

    So now they get free birth control and a free checkup every year. Whoopie. If they don’t expect to pay more than $10000 per year on healthcare, they are better breaking the law, paying the $1400 fine, and fronting the office visits and birth control out of pocket.

    Then when the government has to pay the insurance companies for lost revenue, another great feature of Obamacare, the fine will be increased, wage garnishment or jail time will added.

    By “mandate” the government means “by full force of law.” Eric Garner got choked to death for selling loose cigarettes. The cops confronting him because he broke a little law and didn’t pay the sin tax on the smokes. That is the root cause of his death. Full force of law. I don’t need to define “force” for you, do I?

    That is what your great Obamacare will bring the US.

  2. sc s says:

    You have a very simplistic view of history. In fact, Saddam Hussein started the war in Iraq. As a little refresher for you, in 1991 he invaded Kuwait and the world, led by GHW Bush drove him from Kuwait. The hostilities ended with UN Resolution 687 aka the Gulf War Cease Fire. Hussein was in breach of the cease fire throughout Clinton’s presidency with the culmination coming at the height of the Lewinski scandal when he expelled all inspectors from Iraq. Clinton was powerless to do anything about it so he made regime change the official US policy toward Iraq in 1998. GW Bush asked the UN to find Iraq in material breach of the ceasefire, which they did, and he resumed hostilities. And, unlike Obama in Libya, he had Democrat support for the effort. It wasn’t until the Democrats voted to put Soldiers in the field that the Democrats withdrew support for the effort for political gain (which obviously worked like a charm on you.)

    As far as the previous Republican presidents which you leave unnamed yet besmirched, I will respond that our weak LIBERAL presidents are the source of our largest problems. As another refresher for you, in 1979 Jimmy Carter withdrew support for a nominal ally and brutal dictator, the Shah of Iran. US policy in that region has been for years to support the “best bad guy” since they are pretty much all bad guys. After we lost our nominal ally, the Ayotollah took over and that was the true beginning to our current terrorism problem. In Bin Laden’s own words, the weakness Carter showed during the hostage crisis exposed the US as “paper tigers” and he was able to glamourize the fight with the West as winnable…much as ISIS has now done.

    In fact, after the Hostage Crisis, it was Carter who turned to no other than Saddam Hussein as a counterweight to Iran which was the true start of the Iran/Iraq War during the Reagan years. So was it really a Republican president who started all the wars? No. It is Republican presidents who have to undo the damage done by weak liberal presidents.

    Look at Egypt. President Obama withdrew support for a nomiinal ally and dictator, Hosni Mubarek. Al Sisi has made an extraordinary speech on Islam but he still has more armor in the Sinai than was agreed to by Isreal (troop limitations being a condition of the return of the Sinai to Eqypt.)

    Look at Libya. I don’t notice you burping up the “War of Choice!” bumper stickers that you stuck on Bush with this one. Obama violated the War Powers act and, oh wait, didn’t you Democrats always accuse Bush of having a War of Choice! with no plan on how to run Iraq in victory? I think you did. Now the CIA calls Libya a failed state, “Somalia on the Mediterranean” I believe its called now. I don’t recall any US Ambassadors being killed by terrorist mobs in Iraq.
    Then there is Syria. The reason we have always supported “the best bad guy” in the Mideast is because the Muslim world rallies behind the “strong horse.” When Obama failed to act on his “Red Line” he became a weak horse, just like Carter.
    Plus, he willingly weakened the US position in the region by pulling troops from Iraq. So you accuse Bush of not having a plan for victory, Obama didn’t have a plan for peace. Hindsight is 20/20 except when foresight was 20/20. No one thought leaving Iraq when we did was a good idea, except for liberals like yourself who were so easy to lie to that they never figured out for themselves that we needed to stay.
    Couple a power vacuum with a weak horse and you have the rise of ISIS, Obama’s equivalent of the Ayatollah.
    Even Russia recognizes a weak horse. Another refresher for you, under Clinton the Ukraine got rid of all their nuclear weapons and signed a treaty with the US where we guaranteed their border integrity. After the Red Line debacle, Putin saw how weak Obama is and pushed into Crimea. Consequences? None. Treaty enforced? No.
    If the extent of your knoweledge of current and past wars is “Bush bad. Obama good.” You should probably keep your opinions to yourself.

  3. cleos_mom says:

    I’ve often wondered how long McCain would have survived if he and Palin had won in 2008.

  4. cleos_mom says:

    The Lizbern Sandwarren vote will give us a Republican in the White House in 2016. And said voters won’t learn a damn thing from it.

  5. patb2009 says:

    JFK had no executive experience, he made mistakes but he also had successes. Ike had no State level experience, but he also had successes. LBJ had no state level experience, Same with Nixon. The real issue is can you make good decisions and can you hire good people. GWB had state level experience but he was a rolling disaster. I have great confidence in Sen Warren’s instincts.

  6. ECarpenter says:

    Yes indeed, it’s all Obama’s fault, that’s clear – he started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (back when he was a Republican president) and brought the economy to it’s knees (back when he was a Republican president). He supported the Saudi efforts to spread radical Wahhabism, which led to the theology behind ISIS (back when he was several different Republican presidents) – oh, yes, Mr. Obama brought all of this about. Oh, and of course he made sure that millions of ill Americans can now get health care instead of dying for lack of it – a truly despicable act. You’re absolutely right.

  7. ECarpenter says:

    Presidents have uniformly found that they didn’t have the experience needed to be President until they had been in office for awhile. It is so dramatically unlike any other job (including Governor of a state) that there’s just no predecessor job that prepares you for it.

    I think Warren is smart enough to know what she doesn’t know, and smart enough to pick staff and advisers who will fill in her weak points. What she has that no one else in the field has is a clear and honest view of where we are and where we could be, and the courage and drive to push for a more reasonable, responsible and ethical country.

  8. Finn says:

    Concern troll is concerned about Elizabeth Warren’s experience. The election season must be ramping up.

  9. Steve Cotton says:

    The world is on fire because we elected a nothingburger in 2008. With Putin rising, the mullahs refining, ISIS raping and enslaving, the failed states of Egypt and Libya (Libya an illegal war of choice!), China flexing its military, Japan changing its Constitution to allow them offensive capabilities for the first time since WW2, hoardes of unaccompanied minors storming our borders, a health care law that the country didn’t want and that benefits so few at the expense of so many, a Unitary Executive changing immigration law, a Unitary Executive illegally normalizing relations with a long time foe….are you really stupid enough to think America is so foolish as to elect another smart sounding progressive?

    You need to wake up. Obama killed liberalism for at least a generation. Maybe more…look at all the Republicans Michelle Obama’s school lunches are making. #thanksmichelleobama

  10. Silver_Witch says:

    One of her many gifts “Corporatist War Hawk”, others abound. I will not vote for her – nope won’t…really – no matter what they say or how they package her. I know who Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is….

  11. Silver_Witch says:

    Evidenced by the Yelp that brought down Howard Dean, they played it and played it and played it and promoted his “craziness” and the American People fell for it hook, line and sinker…I never understood why.

  12. Ryan says:

    Her lack of the particular type of experience would hurt her like it did Obama, but I think that in Obama’s case, it wasn’t enough to offset his positive differences relative to Clinton.

    Furthermore, there is value in her running just to pull the Democratic Party in her direction even if she doesn’t end up winning.

  13. BosGuy says:

    I LOVE Elizabeth Warren. I think she is smart, gutsy and has ideas to bring to the table. I also don’t think she has any interest in running for President. I think she relishes her role as watch dog and unofficial leader of a liberal populist message; not unlike Teddy Kennedy or Barney Frank. MA has a long history of liberal leaning Congressmen who have played this role very well and I think Sen. Warren is continuing in those steps. If she has aspirations beyond Senator, I think it is more likely to be in the form of a Cabinet seat or possible Secretary role — now wouldn’t that just scare the crap out of Bankers if that happened?

  14. Naja pallida says:

    The most depressing part is that Jeb Bush thinks that he has any chance at all in becoming President. The poor guy must have so many sycophants up his ass, it must hurt to walk.

  15. Butch1 says:

    Thanks; I wonder if this case, like all the rest of the two-tiered justice system where the rich and the powerful get off and the rest of us are judged in that “other system” will find the good governor not guilty of any wrong doing.

  16. Rick B says:

    GWB had a perfect job as governor of Texas. The state Constitution was written after Reconstruction so the governor is the least powerful in the U.S. A retarded squirrel could look good as Texas governor. Rick Perry is a case in point.

  17. FLL says:

    OK, I’ll take you at your word and say you’re not thrilled about Jeb’s candidacy. I’ll also condense my comment and yours for everyone’s convenience:

    I look forward to reading puff pieces about Jeb Bush on Americablog’s comment pages along the lines of “He’s certainly no worse than anyone in the Democratic primaries.”

    …I would think it would be depressing — much like a Hillary candidacy…At the end, at least for the average person, it doesn’t matter which one of them wins.

    Our two excerpts complement each other (and I guessed that they would), but since we can’t predict the future, we don’t know if Jeb’s candidacy will be “much like a Hillary candidacy.” We can, however, compare the track record of George W. Bush and Obama in terms of:
    (1) signing civil rights legislation or threatening to veto it
    (2) the votes of their respective Supreme Court nominees concerning civil rights

    I don’t know whether that affects what you call “the average person.” I’ll leave the readers to judge.

  18. nicho says:

    For the record, I don’t think Jeb’s running would be “exciting.” Quite the opposite, I would think it would be depressing — much like a Hillary candidacy. But that’s the scenario we seemed doomed to endure. So, we might as well enjoy the spectacle. It will be much like the Wars of the Roses — two factions of the same house battling each other for the right to rule. At the end, at least for the average person, it doesn’t matter which one of them wins.

  19. nicho says:

    Warren will not be Hillary’s VP for the same reason that brides don’t want bridesmaids to wear flattering dresses. All eyes will need to be on Hillary — all the time.

  20. nicho says:

    No worries. My sister is still rooting for Sarah Palin.

  21. Naja pallida says:

    It’s waiting for the judge to rule on whether it should be thrown out or not. Probably won’t happen until a couple weeks after the new year.

  22. FLL says:

    Yes, I did forget Barack Obama because I think that Obama’s case was the point of John’s post, in which he pointed out the disadvantages of a one-term senator, disadvantages which have been illustrated by Barack Obama. I read John’s post above and more or less agreed about the learning curve of one-term senator Obama, and I was trying to think of any other examples. The only one I could think of was Bobby Kennedy. But the two cases of Obama and Warren are not quite the same because Obama was a two-term Illinois state senator before he ran for the U.S. Senate. Thank you for pointing out inaccurate writing. Writing is always open to improvement. My response to your own comment above does not involve inaccurate writing on your part but writing that is unusually animated and excited, which is… um… interesting.

  23. FLL says:

    Thank you, Nicho, for your comment just below reminding people of the way the media stabbed Howard Dean in the back in 2003. I’m sure Dean would have been one of the best presidents. Has American society and the American media changed since 2003? Oh, maybe just a tad. Military cadets are getting married at the chapel at West Point Academy. Do Americablog commenters think that’s cool or uppity? I suppose it varies from one commenter to the next. In any case, thank you for reminding readers what a sterling candidate Howard Dean was.

    Now on to your comment immediately above this reply. “NEWS FLASH.” Well, that’s dramatic, seeing as most folks have known for quite some time that Jeb Bush was the Republican front runner for 2016. That’s not really news, but your announcement has a real air of excitement to it. I suppose it’s exciting for Jeb Bush fans, who believe that he’s the most “electable” Republican and, therefore, the best hope to put those uppity liberals or queers or whatever in their place. Apologies if I just insulted the politically conservative sister that you mention from time to time. Since you and Jomicur so often “like” Bill Perdue’s comments, the three of you might be in a position to explain why Jeb Bush’s candidacy is so exciting. I mean, why post a completely unnecessary “NEWS FLASH” about the Jeb Bush presidential campaign, something the entire nation already understands. “Let the games begin.” Yes, I’m sure that does generate excitement in certain circles. I look forward to reading puff pieces about Jeb Bush on Americablog. I don’t think I’ll have long to wait.

  24. Butch1 says:

    What ever happened to that law case against the governor? It’s been awfully silent for the past few months.

  25. nicho says:

    Bobby Kennedy is the only candidate I can think of who was only a one-term senator before running for president.

    Are you forgetting Barack Obama? Or did you overlook him because he was a partial-term senator before announced for president.

  26. nicho says:

    His attendance at Yale is irrelevant — because he was a legacy student. He was guaranteed to get in and get out with a degree and without accomplishing anything in between.

  27. 2karmanot says:

    But he’s so light, it’s a two second transit.

  28. nicho says:

    Oh, yeah. As a last resort, they would. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

  29. 2karmanot says:

    True that, and most Yalie alumni choose to overlook and forget the Bush embarrassment.

  30. 2karmanot says:

    Only one problem—-Hills is NOT a centerist. She’s a corporatist war hawk.

  31. A_nonymoose says:

    Yep. No doubt. In the end, though, if they had to . . .

  32. nicho says:

    They have much easier and cleaner ways. The corporatist media can create any reality they want in about three weeks of concentrated effort. The NSA can do marvelous things. Anyone who gets in their way could end up with kiddie porn on their computer.

  33. tom2 says:

    Not even president of Russia.

  34. A_nonymoose says:

    Frankly John, if Elizabeth Warren ran for President, I would be in fear of her life. You can give me all the tin foil you want to, but I don’t think the Oligarchy would allow her to be president.

  35. nicho says:

    Well, she’s better learn how to “chase after campaign donations” since she’ll need about $2,000,000,000 to launch a presidential bid. She’s not going to find that in the couch cushions.

  36. nicho says:

    She will never be “ready” to be president until she learns to knuckle under to Wall Street. The Street will never let anyone within a mile of the White House — except as a guest — unless they’re willing to play ball. Let’s not kid ourselves. Without the Congress, SCOTUS, the lobbyists, and the agencies working with you, the presidency is just an honorary post. If Elizabeth looked like she was gaining momentum, they would Howard Dean her in a heartbeat.

    For those who don’t remember, in December of 2003, Howard Dean was the “unbeatable front runner.” In late December, the corporatist media began an artillery barrage of anti-Dean messaging. Every media outlet big and small began the message. “Howard Dean is unelectable.” Over and over and over and over. Three weeks later, caucus goers were telling pollsters that they voted for Kerry because “Howard Dean is unelectable.”

  37. And George Bush went to Yale, so going to a good school is a bad indicator of…. something. (And Hitler was a painter, so better arch out for those artists :-) I’ve just never bought these kind of analogies.

  38. Buford2k11 says:

    I agree very much…we need strong Dems in places that count…I used to think the Presidency was more useful…it is if’n you are a banker…Boehner and McConnell showed us the “Path” to obstruction…we will need obstruction in the defense of sanity… the gop used obstruction as an offensive weapon, and it freaking worked…

  39. Buford2k11 says:

    Come on John…one word for ya…GeorgeWBush…that should end all worries about Liz Warren being able to handle the Presidency…

  40. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Except Al Gore won the popular vote. If SCOTUS hadn’t intervened, he may well have won the electoral college.

  41. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s true that Obama was the better liar with his pretense of being a right centrist. Democrats usually are. (The Republicans problem is that they don’t seem to have a clue about how unpopular their more candid admission of their right wing politics makes them.)

    Obama was methodically and thoroughly bribed.

    We’ve already seen that he got lots from the oil industry and that it had a bearing on federal decisions not to blow BP out of the water and not to prosecute them for negligent homicide. “While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years. BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html

    And he was heavily bribed by insurance and pharmaceutical compaies. “President Obama received a staggering $20,175,303 from the healthcare industry during the 2008 election cycle, nearly three times the amount of his presidential rival John McCain. McCain took in $7,758,289, the Center found.” http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2014/02/aca-obama-received-20-million-healthcare-industry-2008-campaign.html

    In addition Obama got huge bribes from entertainment conglomerates, brokerage houses, banksters and their lawyers.

    Goldman Sachs $1,034,615

    Microsoft Corp $854,717

    JPMorgan Chase & Co $847,895

    Google Inc $817,855

    Citigroup Inc $755,057

    Time Warner $617,844

    Sidley Austin LLP $606,260

    National Amusements Inc $579,098

    Skadden, Arps et al $554,439

    WilmerHale Llp $554,373

    IBM Corp $534,470

    UBS AG $534,166

    General Electric $532,031

    Morgan Stanley $528,182

    (I ommitted contributions by the Feds and from universities. And as Open Secrets says, “The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families.”

  42. Stanley_Krute says:

    Unfortunately, for show biz reasons (she sounds, when public speaking, like a college professor to many voters), Sen Warren would most probably lose an election for President. Call it the Al Gore (sounded like an irritating sunday school teacher to many voters) Problem.

  43. AdmNaismith says:

    If we are ever to get away from the Plutocracy we are evolving into, we desperately need someone like Warren (or Sanders, or Dean). In this climate, Warren cannot do more good where she is- just look at the f-ing CRomnibus Bill…
    I hear what you’re saying about governing experience, but that 7/11 clerk from Topeka gets more actual training than a governor or a president or a senator or a congressman. People in this position are surrounded by a hundred advisors. We just need a President that picks good ones.
    None of this matters so long as ‘centrist’ candidates like Hillary or Obama are OK with the corporations that are actually running this country.

    And BTW- from where I stand, Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming (and nudged by Joe Biden) into doing the gay rights (and immigration) stuff he promised the FIRST time he ran.
    I feel like Warren would be ready to do the right thing from Day One. I also feel she would not continue to make the same mistakes for 6 years.

  44. mark_in_toronto says:

    ” . . . doomed to replay the same scenario.”
    THAT singular phrase totally sums up U.S. politics.

    And yes, Jackson did fight the temptations of corrupt business/government relations. And . . . go figure . . . he was a pretty popular guy.

  45. mark_in_toronto says:

    Interesting . . . the experience you mention would have made George Bush the most experienced president ever. How about changing ‘experience’ to ‘positive achievements?’ And by achievements, I don’t mean creating a Jesus Day in Texas.

    All the experience in the world doesn’t mean shit if that experience is used to destroy a nation. I don’t think someone like Senator Warren could do that even if she tried.

    I know George Bush is a bad example, but you also said that Obama has done a stellar job. OK – I agree. But, imagine how different his reign might have been if he had the ‘experience’ of a system that is methodically evolving into a Plutocracy.

    At this point, I think the more outside the box (Beltway) the better – which makes me tend to agree with others here who think Senator Warren would do more good remaining a senator.

    Nothing to worry about though . . . outsiders have never had a chance in presidential politics. And by the looks of things, (e.g. – the latest budget bill) that is even less likely to happen now.

  46. pricknick says:

    Do you mean incompetent? Look…..a deer.

  47. pricknick says:

    House and senate experience?
    All that has shown us is misery on both of the major party sides.
    We need new blood. Not the same old blood.

  48. Drew2u says:

    If Sen. Warren surrounds herself with a like-minded staff, I have no hesitancy at her nomination. With that said, what’s the field on either side looking, right now, for 2016? Hillary vs. Bush? Sanders vs. Perry?
    Let’s face it, there’s really nobody so far that’s generating quite a bit of excitement for either side. And with Clinton, all the Right has to run on is, “Stop the Coronation” and they could make even Ted Starnes president.

  49. Jimmy says:

    Sometimes being president isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Perhaps Warren can do more in the Senate than she could ever do as president.

  50. FLL says:

    I agree that Warren is most effective in the Senate. I don’t think Hillary would choose Warren as VP if only because Hillary has spent so much of her life with the Democratic Leadership Council/Wall Street crowd. Warren’s populism seems to go against Hillary’s natural proclivities.

  51. BeccaM says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘managerial’ experience and why you don’t think Senator Warren has any, John. She’s been a professor, including with tenure at Harvard Law school — the kind of position where you’re likely to have a small staff to manage. Former VP of the American Law Institute. Chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel to mange the emergency bailout in ’08.

    What exactly are you looking for? The only ‘hole’ I’m seeing in her resume is Warren didn’t hold elected office before and didn’t spend most of her adult life chasing after campaign donations. Which to my mind is a good thing.

    We need more citizen legislators and fewer professional ones.

  52. FLL says:

    I don’t think it’s the primary process which is in need of fixing. Part of the problem may lie in the individual candidates. After all, Obama’s record before he became president was not especially populist, either as a U.S. senator or as an Illinois state senator. He never defied monied interests in the way that Warren is doing. I think people were just mesmerized by the prospect of the first African-American president, and it blinded everyone. Another part of the problem lies in what happens to more well meaning candidates once they get to the White House. (JFK? Truman? FDR?) There have been presidents who’ve stood up to the big banks and conglomerates, but they are certainly the exception rather than the rule.

  53. robintyler says:

    Elizabeth Warren was born in 1949. So she will be 66 in 2015. This is not really relatively young with lots of time to gain ‘executive experience.’ (I am in my 70’s, so this is not being ageist.) Like President Obama, Warren was a Professor. Obama said he spent the first 2 years on the job ‘learning’ it. It is difficult to see being the President of the United States as an intern position. So, I hope that Elizabeth Warren stays in the Senate. She is very effective there. Of course, If Hillary runs, I personally would like to see a Hillary/Warren ticket. Yes, I know I’m a dreamer, but it has not been a shock to see 2 men in these positions, so why not think out of the box?

  54. BeccaM says:

    I’m actually agreeing with you. I do not believe Warren will run in ’16. After that? Who knows?

    It’s also to early to know who might challenge Hillary, because it could still happen. The Hillary Clinton primary juggernaut in ’07 was considered all but unstoppable…until it was, by an upstart junior Senator from Illinois.

  55. BloggerDave says:

    She’ll be ready after she’s VPOTUS for 8 years….

  56. Bill_Perdue says:

    Warren is not a very geed speaker. This is a great speaker

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVd4rfBXtF4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBhtbVvJXfQ

  57. FLL says:

    I agree. Obama deceived the 2008 voters by feigning to be populist. He certainly didn’t make any 2008 campaign pitch about “big business is good for America.” The whole tone of his 2008 campaign led voters to believe otherwise. The question is whether all candidates of either party (and throw in the Greens if you want) are doomed to replay the same scenario. In 2016, it may be only an academic question since, as I said, I suspect Warren won’t run. I think the primaries remain a series of more or less popular elections. I really don’t know if all candidates who get to the White House will automatically be corrupted by big monied interest. I like Warren’s example of Teddy Roosevelt who did, in fact, go after the “too big to fail” entities of his day. Didn’t Andrew Jackson do something similar?

  58. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s not a matter of mistakes. What Obama did was deliberate warmongeriong, deliberate attacks on the Bill of Rights, deliberate union busting, deliberate attacks on the environment and deliberate pandering to the .01%. And lets not forget his deliberate, extra legal, racist murders of four Arab Americans, including a 16 year old boy. He’s shredding the Constitution.

    It’s not his personality, it’s his politics, which are as right wing as those of Jeb Bush, Warren or Hillary Clintons Bush will be.

  59. BeccaM says:

    I explain Hillary Clinton’s primary loss in that Obama has turned out to have been just as cozy with and bankster-coddling as she likely would’ve been. He was just more willing to pretend to more of the progressivism the country was craving (after two terms of Prezdint Dumbya and VP Torturemeister) than Hillary was. “Hope and Change,” remember?

    Let’s not forget how Obama was the one who appointed the committee and kept pushing for the Simpson-Bowles ‘Grand Bargain’. The plutocratic class wanted austerity measures to protect their vast (and increasing) wealth — and Obama gave it to them with six years of austerity measures, along with tax cut extensions.

    In other words, the bamboozlement is they pretended like we were being given two distinctly different Dem candidate choices, from an economic and policy standpoint, when in fact the two ended up being not all that different in practice at all. Existing ‘connections’ aren’t what’s important. What is important is a willingness to do whatever Wall Street and the moneyed interests want, and so far they’ve gotten everything.

    And for proof, I can just point to the fact that not one banker, CEO, or investment firm official has been prosecuted for their roles in crashing the economy in 2008. Not one. Hell, there hasn’t even been an effort to shut down the blatantly illegal MERS or to go after mortgage firms for repeatedly filing fraudulent foreclosure docs.

  60. Butch1 says:

    Like Clinton’s NAFTA, Obama’s Pacific Trade agreement will completely ruin our workers and their ability to get a decent working wage in this country. They will be competing with the wages of third-world countries in Asia as well. This president thinks he’s making such a great deal, but it’s only great for the business owners who hire the slave labor overseas. He’s always been a friend of Wall Street. If Clinton wins in 2016 she will carry on the tradition.

  61. Butch1 says:

    Gov. Perry continues to come to my mind.

  62. Butch1 says:

    Exactly so. It seems as though all the candidates from both parties have been vetted by Wall Street before they get on the ticket or they do not make it. It’s unfortunate that these two parties have become the “Parties of the Rich.”

  63. Butch1 says:

    She doesn’t have the Wall Street money backing that the Democratic Party would afford to give her if they were interested in her as a candidate for the presidency. They are already interested in Clinton and she is the darling of Wall Street as it is. She will get no help from them to run even if she wanted to do so.

    She has wisely chosen already to say that she is not going to run for the presidency and I think she does more good right where she is for the left wing of this party in the Senate. She is a leader and has earned her spot as one for the liberals. She is very intelligent and not afraid to take on Wall Street. They are afraid of her which is good to see. She would need a lot of money to run and even though many say this is her time to do it, I think she would lose against the stronger candidate and power of Clinton who has been through this process before and vetted. Warren hasn’t been tested and there isn’t the Wall Street money to back her or the Democratic Party money. She’s wise to stay out of the running.

  64. Jafafa Hots says:

    She might manage one of her new wars better. Or one of her new international trade deals. Or a nice deal for the banks.
    She’d make sure those went through smoothly.

  65. FLL says:

    I’m inclined to take Warren at her word when she says she’s not running for president in 2016. Actually, that makes sense since she is relatively young with lots of time to gain executive experience in a Democratic administration. If Warren doesn’t run for president in 2016, your prediction may be accurate in the specific case of the 2016 presidential election. But the statement in your comment is much more general:

    The Dems won’t nominate anyone for president but Wall Street-humping Grand Bargaining neo-liberals.

    Did Hillary’s coziness with Wall Street backers guarantee her victory in the 2008 primaries? Apparently it didn’t. I was under the impression that the primaries were popular elections, and the results of the 2008 primaries seem to support that.

  66. Jade says:

    I said, HELL YES. If Warren becomes president, we’ll get exactly what we got with Obama: milquetoast. She’s a great speaker, but she doesn’t fool me.

  67. FLL says:

    Bobby Kennedy is the only candidate I can think of who was only a one-term senator before running for president. However, during JFK’s administration, Bobby Kennedy had already served as U.S. attorney, which is an executive post, so he did have executive experience at the federal level. Your previous post, John, was titled “The speech that may make Elizabeth Warren president,” but I actually think it was the speech that may make Warren the leader of the Senate’s progressive wing, or even someday Senate majority leader. We need a leader like Warren in the Senate, and the math of senate terms disproportionately favors the Democrats in 2016, just as it favored the Republicans in 2014. There’s every indication that the Dems will retake the Senate in 2016. Warren would be a phenomenal voice in the Senate.

  68. S1AMER says:

    I dearly love Elizabeth Warren. I really do.

    But I see two great roles for her, and neither is in the White House: (1) She should continue to be forthright and upright in speaking out in the Senate. Let he be a thorn in the side of every slacker, Caver Democratic senator. Let her speak out, loud and often, for the people of America. (2) She shuld continue to campaign for other good Democrats, and speak at rallies and fundraising events. Nobody’s a better cheerleader for the party than she is!

  69. emjayay says:

    I think Warren would do fine as president. But not as well as she would do if she had been a governor for a term or two first, or say a state legislator for twelve years or something. It does seem that former governors – like Carter and Clinton in his early days as president – may come to DC with the wrong assumptions about how it will work. Probably the ideal is to be a governor first and then a term or two in Congress. Any of those around?

  70. emjayay says:

    After six years of on the job experience, Obama is still making the same kind of mistakes. I think it was always a matter of personality and life experience. The same things have enabled a lot of success as well.

  71. emjayay says:

    Idiot fucknut GWB could have been governor for 100 years and he would still be an idiot fucknut. Particularly being the governor of Texas, which fit pretty well with his entire job experience of schmoozing with other entitled rednecks.

  72. caphillprof says:

    A president is not hired to manage much of anything. He/she are hired to be the number one polltician. To know how politically, to manage the Congress as well as, politically, the bureaucracy.

    Hillary also has a problem. Are the Clinton folk young enough and energetic enough to survive another White House term? I doubt it. They are all 16 years older and were not too young to begin with.

  73. Good question. I will say that Hillary’s experience with State over the years, and her White House experience (and Senate experience), combined would help a lot.

  74. Feels like a non sequitur. Being a governor doesn’t guarantee that you’re qualified. But a lack of managerial experience is a serious problem, IMHO, for someone who wants to be an effective president.

  75. BeccaM says:

    Presidential candidate for which party? The Dems won’t nominate anyone for president but Wall Street-humping Grand Bargaining neo-liberals.

    The ethical and moral damage done by the gushers of money in politics was not limited to just the Republicans.

  76. dommyluc says:

    After having that idiot fucknut G.W.Bush in office for 8 years, you have to ask if Elizabeth Warren is qualified to be President because she lacks “managerial” experience? John, please send me some of that sinsemilla you are smoking. I’d love to have some for the holidays.

  77. Bill_Perdue says:

    nicho is absolutely correct.

    Obama is an active union buster. He ended all hope of getting socialized medicine for a generation. He’s appointed banksters to run the economywhose goal is to drive down the standard of living or workers. He wants to gut Social Security and has already gutted Medicare. Warren will do the same.

    Obama appoints another union buster as his chief of staff: In these Times 01 29 12 “Obama’s Union-Busting New Chief of Staff? Jacob Lew Helped Destroy Grad Students’ Union at NYU When Obama’s new Chief of Staff was NYU executive vice president, school ceased recognizing the grad students union” http://www.alternet.org/story/153935/obama's_union-busting_new_chief_of_staff_jacob_lew_helped_destroy_grad_students'_union_at_nyu?page=entire

    Obama attacks airline and rail workers :LABORnotes 02 15 12 “Two years after President Obama and Democrats abandoned labor’s much-anticipated Employee Free Choice Act, they have refused to block Republicans intent on making life miserable for airline and rail workers. A bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, voted up 75-20 in the Senate, changes federal labor law to make organizing more difficult for railroad and airline unions. New rules will make it easier to decertify unions and harder to win elections when employers merge.” http://labornotes.org/2012/02/obama-democrats-deal-setback-airline-workers

    Obama attacks the UAW HuffPo 09 03 2010 “The White House is forcefully pushing back on former (Obama) car czar Steve Rattner’s upcoming book about his time in Washington, specifically the allegation that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once blurted “Fuck the UAW” when told that tens of thousands of autoworkers’ jobs were at stake in the restructuring of the auto industry.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/24/steven-rattner-interview-_n_737966.html

    Obama attacks federal workers and postal workers LABORNotes 03 06 2012 During the Obama administration, and especially during its first two years when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, the alliance between unions and their political patrons began to wither. The Employee Free Choice Act, the law that would have eased union organizing drives, was shelved. When the administration bailed out the auto companies, it dictated wage cuts, plant closings, and tens of thousands of layoffs, and stripped workers’ right to strike. The health care bill attacked union-negotiated plans. A green-job transformation for the economy stalled. … Then Obama announced in December 2010 that salaries for federal workers, already low compared to those of private-sector workers with similar education and longevity, would be frozen for years into the future…http://labornotes.org/blogs/2012/03/labor-overlooks-bipartisan-attack-

  78. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrats and Republicans represent the a tiny minority – the .001%, the ruling classes, the rich, the banksters and no one else. None of them are in any way qualified to represent working people. They’re our enemies and they proved with by voting for the House budget, anti-worker, anti-environment, pro-insurance company, pro-bankster and pro-war House budget.

    Warren is a clear example. She’s doing what Clinton and Obama did – marching right and occasionally pivoting to the center (never to the left) to fool those easily fooled, which includes a dwindling number of people who are either boycotting the elections of voting for socialist or labor candidates.

    Warren voted Obama’s choice of banksters and war criminals and she’s a racist who opposes Palestinian independence. In the 1970’s and 80’s she’d have been a moderate Republican but in the meantime Carter, the Clintons and Obama have moved Democrats far to the right.

  79. Indigo says:

    I don’t know that he’s done the harm so much as allowed the harm to happen by looking elsewhere . . . Squirrel!

  80. Indigo says:

    No. She’s better off in the Senate. She can be a career Senator for as long as the Democrats will have her. But to lock her away in the White House is a sentence of futility, damaging to both physical and mental health, and a target for random trash-talking, redneck verbal shootists. Maybe worse.

  81. nicho says:

    A bump? You mean like Obama’s latest “bump,” his strong support and lobbying for the spending bill that allows the banksters to gamble with your money and will bail them out — but not you — if they lose all your savings? That’s quite a bump. Did we get some bones thrown to us on social issues? You betcha! But Obama has done irreparable harm to the working class.

  82. Demosthenes says:

    Excellent article, Mr. Aravosis. Mr. Obama made some huge errors early in his presidency that could have been avoided if he had a stronger level of experience. I actually believe Sen. Warren’s oft-repeated denial of interest in becoming president. She lacks the monomaniacal ambition and sociopathic tendencies of most candidates. I hope she stays in the Senate.

  83. arleeda says:

    But who among the few Democratic Governors could get elected president? Perhaps the key is in President Warren selecting a staff with good management experience.

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