Elizabeth Warren’s increasingly dramatic proposals reflect a campaign struggling to stay relevant

What is left for Warren to propose? Public flogging of executives? If her fundraising numbers come in weak, she may have to go there to keep in the news cycle.

Elizabeth Warren’s campaign is stuck in neutral at best, in reverse at worst.

She just isn’t getting any momentum despite assembling a high-powered campaign team before anyone else, and announcing before any other major candidates. The DNA rollout was an unmitigated disaster, and compounded Warren’s original sin, her false claim to be Native American.

In an attempt to reboot, Warren held a bizarre New Year’s Eve beer-drinking livestream campaign launch, mimicking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ cooking livestreams.

Whatever else she is, Elizabeth Warren is not the cool kid, and it flopped.


Warren is stuck in single digits in polling despite trying so hard for so long. Liberal New York Magazine had a roundtable on Why Hasn’t Elizabeth Warren Caught Fire in the Primaries?

A test of whether Warren can get momentum is whether she can assemble an army of small donors like Bernie and Beto.

In the past several days several of the major candidates were quick to announced their numbers, with Bernie blasting out $18 million:


But Warren sat back, releasing only a campaign statement that she had met her goals, but no numbers. That generated some headlines focused on Warren meeting her goals, but of course those goals were developed to me met. The real test would be how Warren compared to others, and for that we have to wait until she releases the numbers.

Warren can transfer $12.5 million from her Senate campaign account, where she faced no serious challenge in 2018 but kept fundraising anyway, but even that money will run dry unless replenished quickly. And a financial transfer hardly reflects a swell of support.

There were warning signs that Warren was struggling. The NY Times ran an article Elizabeth Warren Loses Finance Director as She Struggles in Early Fund-Raising:

But as the first fund-raising deadline arrives at midnight on Sunday, Ms. Warren — who last year was widely considered a would-be front-runner — finds herself in a political vise. Her rivals on either ideological flank will raise substantially more money in the first quarter than she does, and her focus on policy has not yet translated in the polls.

Ms. Warren’s early troubles reflect the broader challenges confronting the vast Democratic field, all vying for money and attention as they seek to dethrone President Trump. Harvesting online donations does not come easily to noncelebrity candidates, and the party’s longstanding fascination with youthful charisma — along with its current, Trump-driven fixation on electability — can outweigh qualities like experience or policy expertise.

The decision of Senator Bernie Sanders, Ms. Warren’s longtime friend and fellow populist, to run again has cut into her money and her potential share of the vote on the left. And Democrats like Mr. O’Rourke, Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., have offered a party eager to find fresh faces a handful from which to choose.

“If Warren says, ‘I can’t raise enough money, so my way to win is through an aggressive field operation because I have fired-up volunteers,’ well, Bernie and Beto can say, ‘O.K., well, we can do both,’” said Rufus Gifford, the finance director in former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

New York Magazine noted that Elizabeth Warren’s Big-Donor Ban Isn’t Paying Off — Yet:

Senator Elizabeth Warren is already getting out-raised by many of the other Democrats vying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination. Now, her finance director has reportedly resigned over her pledge to not raise money from big-bundling donors and big-dollar fundraisers, even though she could probably use the money. The New York Times reported on Sunday that campaign finance director Michael Pratt resigned after being unable to convince Warren and her advisers to avoid the big-donor ban, which she announced last month as a way to spend more time engaging with voters on the trail….

In the meantime, it’s not yet clear how much Warren will report having raised in the first quarter, but it does seem clear that she will dramatically lag her rivals, to the point that her campaign is warning supporters and using the gap as a fundraising pitch.

We noted that Warren’s online email pitches were becoming increasingly desperate, and she was lowering expectations, Elizabeth Warren warns on fundraising: “we’re a little behind where we hoped to be”.

Perhaps Warren’s numbers are good, but if so, why is she holding them back? More likely, the numbers are bad in comparison to others, and Warren is waiting to the right moment to release them, i.e, that moment when they will cause her the least damage.

As Warren’s campaign has stalled, she shifted from trying to be the cool kid to being a policy wonk as a campaign theme. Hardly a day passes that she doesn’t roll out some huge proposal to reshape the economy in her image, or to take vengeance on the enemy.

Here is a partial catalog of Warren’s increasingly dramatic proposals just in the past three weeks:

‘Full-blown Conversation about Reparations’ for Blacks and Native Americans

Eliminate the Electoral College

$700 Billion Free Childcare Plan

Expand Government Oversight of Credit Reporting Bureaus

Break Up Big Tech

Break Up Big Corporate Agricultural Businesses including Seed Companies

Jail Executives for Negligence if Company has a Fraud Scandal

Jail Executives for Negligence if Company has  a Consumer Data Breach

End the Senate Filibuster

These proposals have kept Warren in the short-term news cycles without any obvious positive impact on her popularity or fundraising. Warren is approaching the point where even the sympathetic liberal and mainstream media will grow weary.

What is left for Warren to propose? Public flogging of executives?

If her fundraising numbers come in weak, she may have to go there to keep in the news cycle.







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