Elizabeth Warren

Warren snaps back at Trump

The election in the US is going to be awesome.

Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked Elizabeth Warren with some pretty awesome sledging including calling her Pocahontas.

Now Warren has retaliated and it is pretty brutal.

Elizabeth Warren is taking her war with Donald Trump to a new level, and it goes well beyond her usual 140-character Twitter attacks on the likely GOP presidential nominee.

The Massachusetts senator on Tuesday night dedicated a speech to rallying opposition against Trump — calling him a “small, insecure moneygrubber” who she said is “kissing the fannies of poor, misunderstood Wall Street bankers.”

“He inherited a fortune from his father, and kept it going by scamming people, declaring bankruptcy and skipping out on what he owed,” Warren said in prepared remarks, calling into question Trump’s bona fides as a populist champion.

The assaults on Trump are becoming Warren’s signature contribution to the Democratic Party’s attempt to retake the White House. The speech was the second time Tuesday that she stepped into the national political fray, a sign that she’s becoming increasingly vocal in the presidential race, positioning herself as a power player for the progressive left. Warren is expected to play a big role in uniting the party after the presidential primary.

Read more »

So why isn’t National doing this?

The Atlantic

The Republicans have a stack of candidates lined up for 2016, and the primary will be bloody good. On the other side there is just doubt.

“Whew, man, that’s a tough one,” said Jeanette Baust, a 55-year-old educator and activist from Denver who was attending the progressive conference along with her partner, Evelyn Hanssen. “I guess I’d have to say Elizabeth Warren if she can get elected.” What about Colorado’s Democratic senators, Michael Bennet* and Mark Udall, and governor, John Hickenlooper? The women didn’t think they had national potential.

The bench of up-and-coming talent in the Republican Party is an instructive contrast. A recent straw-poll ballot for vice presidential choices at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago featured 22 names, from retreads like Newt Gingrich to fresh faces like Rubio to newly minted political stars like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Nine major Republican candidates participated in this year’s presidential primary, and while it was seen as a weak field overall, Republicans dismayed by the spectacle of Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain as momentary front-runners comforted themselves by contemplating the party’s many future stars in the Senate, House, and governorships. Many of those rising stars, like New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Virginia’s Bob McDonnell , have already begun building relationships with their party’s national base by appearing at party events outside their home states or on the busy circuit of conservative activist conferences.

The Democrats might have a shallow talent pool in 2016 but they are building.

Many Democrats acknowledge the looming talent gap and give the GOP credit for its candidate recruitment and training in recent years. They are trying to match that effort down the line: Numerous sessions at the Take Back conference focused on candidate development at the minor-league level, informed in part by state-level controversies that have recently made national news, from the recent Wisconsin recall to numerous states’ abortion-ultrasound bills. Even as they had trouble coming up with names for 2016, many at the conference were eager to tout up-and-coming candidates currently incubating at the state legislative or congressional-contender level.

The big thing is the Republicans have invested heavily in “down ticket” or “farm” candidates, the people that do the work getting elected at local or state level, and are training to take the step up. The last twenty years has seen a massive number of Republicans get elected on school boards, local councils, to their state congress or senate, other state positions, and build name recognition, campaign teams and donor networks that let them take a step up. More farm or down ticket candidates coming through mean more potential governors, senators or congressmen.

The Republicans have spent twenty years doing this.

So what has National done? Anything at all to help people win down ticket races? Training up local government candidates? Supporting the de facto National C&R and iCitz? Stopping stupid rebrands that mean nothing because organisations are competent to begin with? Helping these organisations become competent to get more good down ticket candidates?

Another Great Play by Elizabeth Warren

For those who don’t know Elizabeth Warren is the woman that gave the great campaign speech defending taxes on the wealthy.

She also knows how to be a good retail politician. It is hard to think of anyone on the left that could have dealt with this question as well as Warren does here.

I said: “I’d like to talk about the issue that is most on the minds of Massachusetts voters. Were the Red Sox right to let Theo Epstein and Terry Francona go, and what do you think of theGlobe’s coverage of the issue?”

That seems snide, but it isn’t: Martha Coakley got tripped up on a question like this: she thought that Curt Schilling had pitched for the Yankees. I wanted to see how she’d handle it. She first said, “It’s terrible that Theo has left. The Red Sox are really going to miss him. He got us two world championships.” So she didn’t miss a beat. But notice: she didn’t criticize the Red Sox management. That’s not a fight she wants to get into. It was an excellent way to deflect the question.

Then I pushed ahead. “But what about the Globe’s coverage?” This was a tricky one, because the Globe figures to support the Democratic nominee, so she wouldn’t want to make more enemies. On the other hand, lots of people…think that the Globe has essentially helped the Red Sox management hang Francona out to dry, smearing him on the way out with accusations of alcohol use.

She paused. And then she said, “well at least they are holding someone accountable.” Everyone laughed.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a good retail politician. She didn’t defend the Globe’s coverage, but she didn’t attack it, and then she stayed on message with a question that had nothing to do with her message, i.e. holding Wall Street accountable.

Where is the Labour Party’s Elizabeth Warren?

New Zealand needs a strong opposition, and for it to be strong it needs some good, talented experienced women who can tell New Zealanders why they should vote for Labour in the kind of terms Elizabeth Warren does.

Looking through the Labour caucus there is perhaps only Clare Curran who could speak in the way Elizabeth does. None of the other women have the ability to reach out to middle New Zealand with a simple message that resonates. Mostly they just screech “scumbag” at the Prime Minister like a bunch of drunk harpies.

In 2014 there is going to be a big clean out in Labour, and Labour needs to start recruiting vote winning high fliers, not just union hacks.

No hat tip?

12 days ago I posted a video and wished out loud that someone in Labour would speak plain like  Elizabeth Warren. Last night Rajen Prasad made a feeble attempt and today John Pagani re-posted the speech.

It is a great speech that would have most sensible people at least considering her argument rather than switching off like they do to Goff.

That’s the problem with modern MMP era poll and focus group driven politics, it is so bland that it is easy to ignore. It is a rare politician who is willing to put forward an argument based on principles, and who also manages to make sense of the principles in a way that appeals to voters.

Elizabeth Warren is going to be attacked for being a harvard elite in her race against Scott Brown – if she wins the nomination. This should not stop her putting forward her arguments. Politics needs good people who want to contest important ideas on both sides of the political spectrum, and Elizabeth Warren appears to be a lot better than the average politician. She may be on the opposite side of the spectrum to this blog but she still can be respected and admired.

I expect Labour’s best thinker on language, Clare Curran, will be paying careful attention to Warren’s campaign, and we will see some of Warren’s messages in Labour’s next election campaign. For the good of New Zealand it is important that Labour promote Clare and get rid of Trevor Mallard from any strategic capacity after his total failure to achieve anything in the past three years.

Phil couldn't but Rajen did

On the 17th of September I posted a video suggesting that Labour would do better if Phil Goff could say what Elizabeth Warren did.

Well Phil Goff couldn’t or wouldn’t but Rajen Prasad just did on Red Alert.

How sad is that, Labour is running the lines suggested by a right wing blogger.

UPDATE: Labour’s online push-blogger has now followed the Whale as well.

John Key is lucky he doesn't have an opponent like this