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I’ve Got A Plan For That: Why Elizabeth Warren Is A Candidate To Watch Out For
The Democratic primary for the 2020 presidential election has become more than a little crowded. There are over 24 candidates running in total including former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN), former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and many, many more. In the realm of American politics, a lot of those names are very recognizable ones.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is seen as a moderate throwback to the Obama administration, Senator Bernie Sanders made his political breakthrough in the last presidential election cycle in 2016 against the eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been named as the “breakout star” of the 2020 election cycle like former Congressman Beto O’Rourke was in the 2018 midterm election. With a field this massive, distinguishing yourself from other candidates is a problem every presidential hopeful faces. Some candidates pander more towards the moderate wing of the Democratic party (examples include former Governor John Hickenlooper, former Congressman John Delaney and Senator Michael Bennet) while some try to excite the progressive wing of the party (Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Cory Booker and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand). Arguably, the candidate that stands out the most out of all of them is Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Why do people think that? It all comes down to one simple sentence, “I’ve got a plan for that.” That exact sentence has become something of a mantra for the Warren campaign. As the candidates travel around the country, they voice their disdain for the Trump administration. Warren definitely does this but where she goes further is that she consistently churns out plans to combat various issues that she disagrees with the Trump administration about. The other candidates do create plans as well, but not the extent that Warren does. This is a massive asset to her campaign and it can be incredibly helpful as she tries to snag the Democratic nomination. With this mindset, she doesn't alienate upset Trump voters who feel frustrated by the current President’s lack of favourable results, she also proves that she's a “change-maker” rather than a politician who makes empty promises and most important of all, she's giving voters a reason to trust her. All of these qualities are important ones, especially as she goes up against big Democratic party names like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
Contrary to what you might see, there are some Trump voters who are upset over what the administration has done thus far and have rescinded their support for the President. At a town hall in Indiana moderated by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, a voter named Renee Elliott described how she “felt duped” by the administration and that she no longer trusts politicians. In response, Senator Warren stood up and said, “The thing is, you can’t just wave your arms...You’ve really got to have a plan – and I do have a plan.” That seemed to be enough to ease that voter's mind, but Warren’s response spoke to more than just Ms. Elliott in Indiana. It was a response to every Trump voter who feels the same way as Ms. Elliott. She's bringing them into the conversation and proving to them (as well as the Democratic party) that she takes her work very seriously and that she wants to fix problems effectively.
Other candidates tend to bash the President which angers his supporters. Where Elizabeth Warren is different is that she points out where she disagrees with him and brings a concrete plan to back up her argument. It's come to the point that even Fox News hosts can't argue with her. While describing Warren's plan for “economic patriotism” (as she would say), Fox News host Tucker Carlson remarked, “She sounds like Donald Trump at his best.” That kind of praise is surprising considering Warren’s public dislike of the network, but it could be enough to make upset Trump voters curious about what she has to say.
Speaking of what she has to say, she's proving herself to be a politician who takes her job seriously and isn't all talk. She's showing that she wants to make substantial change in the system. Love her, loathe her, or if you're somewhere in between, you cannot deny that she wants to change the American political system. There has been an uprising in this mentality and a number of “progressive candidates” like Warren have successfully run for office. Where a lot of these young, energized candidates fall short is that they don't have plans to back up their ideas.
Senator Warren is proving that her new “radical” ideas can work and she has it all planned out. When politicians want to change the political landscape in a massive way, they usually make big promises but don't deliver on their promises which angers their supporters. Elizabeth Warren is making sure she doesn't fall into that trap by having intricate proposals to tackle various issues. Some news commentators have joked that due to her vast amount of proposals and plans, it's hard for them to keep up with her!! For a presidential candidate, that is a very good problem to have.
Lastly, it gives voters a reason to trust her. Lots of people are feeling like the American political system isn’t working for them anymore and that their elected officials have become greedy for money and power. All voters see are shattered pieces of trust, and this doesn’t just apply to Trump voters. After the Bush administration (Bush 43 by the way), then Senator Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election by a landslide against veteran Senator John McCain. The reason for this stunning victory was an overwhelming disapproval for the Bush administration and the Republican party at the time. The Republicans were on a roll at the time, right off the heels of almost removing a Democratic president and having a 2 term Republican president but this was a major wake up call for them. However, President Obama’s tenure was anything but smooth sailing. The 2010 midterms proved to be detrimental for him and the Democrats as he realized that voters in key states weren’t happy with the job he was doing and that he needed to change in time for the 2012 presidential election.
Back to the present day, the shattered pieces of trust still remain on both ends of the spectrum. As I detailed before, a number of Trump voters are feeling dissatisfied but on the left, support for “establishment candidates” has been slipping as voters have been wanting fresh faces to fix the toxic political climate and to deliver “real change”. Senator Warren knows this, and her policies are falling right in line with the progressive wing of the Democratic party. However, she is also appealing to moderate voters by showing them exactly how her ideas are going to be carried out and forcing them to consider new policies that they could get behind. For voters, having all these plans helps them picture what an Elizabeth Warren presidency could look like and what she would do as President. As Warren reveals more details on what she hopes to do as Commander In Chief, the vividness of the image in voters' minds could be enough to tip her over the edge to clench the Democratic nomination.
In conclusion, Senator Warren is not “just another candidate” in this abnormally crowded field. She has successfully distinguished herself by creating and publishing detailed plans and proposals to combat various issues. While she does attack the current President and his policies, she usually uses these instances to introduce her own alternate plans to tackle the same issue. These issues can hit home for a lot of people, especially Trump supporters. With this approach, she is actively listening to them and including them in the conversation this election cycle. She’s proving to them that she actually has a solid plan to make their lives better, which is all they want. She’s also proving that she can talk the talk as well as walk the walk when it comes to policy and that she doesn’t make empty promises. She’s showing that when she sees a problem, she doesn’t whine and complain about it. She’ll think of a plan to fix it and show it to the American people. To a lot of voters, that is an admirable and rare trait in a candidate, something that can really elevate her during the primaries. Lastly, it gives voters a reason to trust her. Trust is something that has become very fragile in the world of politics and the bond between an elected official and their constituents is becoming weaker. When she says something, she’s showing that voters can count on her to deliver her promises. However, the Democratic primaries are around 8 months away and anything can happen. As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow would say, watch this space.