Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Bernie killed Liz. Plus: The VP question.

I love Elizabeth Warren. I have supported her bid for president. Amy Klobuchar was my second choice. But I don't agree with Jessica Valenti, who says that women should support a woman simply because she's a woman. My pro-Warren attitude always came down to the three Ps: Policy, personality and practicality. I'll happily support any male with a similar "three P" score.

Valenti contends that sexism killed Warren's candidacy. I don't fully agree. My theory: Bernie killed Warren's candidacy.

Of course, that sentiment runs 180 degrees counter to the BernieBro party line.

If Sanders had not run, Warren would have been the Democrats' left-wing standard-bearer. The race would have devolved into a two-person contest between Biden and Warren -- and Warren would surely be in a stronger position than Sanders is in right now.

Several factors make Warren the better choice for "leader of the left": She eschews the dreaded S-word, she offers plans to pay for her proposals, she's in better health, she's witty and likable, and she's civilized. She would never have let her supporters and spokespeople alienate the rest of the Democratic party.

Warren is Bernie's superior in every way. So how the hell did Bernie pull so far ahead of her? How did he get to be King of the Progressive Hill? I blame a ceaseless smear campaign. I blame the trolls and bots -- some of whom are no doubt of Russian origin.

If Warren drops out soon (as she likely will), will her voters march in lock step toward Camp Sanders? I don't think so. The BernieBro penchant for mudslinging aroused too much rancor. Here's Newsweek's Charlotte Alter:
If Warren drops out, I’m not so sure Bernie can necessarily count on those voters. Many are educated liberals who like Warren because they’re attracted to her *practicality,* alienated from Bernie’s sometimes-aggressive base, and want Trump gone more than they want revolution.
Put another way: despite their ideological similarities, if you're still voting for Warren at this point, it means you have deep reservations about Bernie.

And the way many high-profile Warren supporters have been treated by the Bernie base doesn't help.

Anecdotally-- I'm hearing from Warren voters saying they now plan to vote for Biden, and that the mistreatment from the Bernie base is a big part of that calculation. They use words like "rude" and "negative" to describe the vibes coming from Bernie camp.

This is another example of how lefty "theory" conflicts with campaign reality.

It's fashionable to scoff at civility politics, and many (rightly) point out the ways civility is used to crush dissent.

But: voters like people who are nice to them and to others. Period.
Biden will pick up all of Bloomberg's voters and (I'm guessing) at least half of Warren's voters.

I would love to see Warren as VP -- but from a regional standpoint, what does she bring? It's not as though Biden needs help winning Massachusetts.

Klobuchar can help Biden win in Minnesota. On the other hand, Beto is helping to paint Texas purple. Choosing Beto as VP might force the Republicans to spend money in TX.

In many ways, the ideal Veep candidate would be Stacey Abrams -- a black female who knows how to communicate with white males, even with those of a somewhat conservative bent. She's brilliant, she's eloquent, she's ambitious, and she's the right age. Many believe that the state of Georgia has been developing a purple-ish glow, which means that placing her on the ticket could force the Republicans to spend money in a state they otherwise take for granted.

I think she's wonderful. Unfortunately, she did not win her bid for Governor, and her resume remains far too thin. Barack Obama did not go directly from a state legislature to national office; he won a Senate seat first.

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