Why I Was Wrong About Elizabeth Warren

And her growing popularity suggests others are coming around, too.

Comments: 252

  1. The issue is not polling but electability.

  2. @gerry Warren is one of the smartest, most articulate, toughest members of our Congress... but yes, her "electability factor" worries me. She needs to do more of what Hillary failed to do... smile more (in a genuine manner), make more jokes, show some "warmth." I've seen Warren on talk shows, and she is genuine and funny... but can she show that to the wider public?

  3. @gerry The most electable candidate is the one who can run the best campaign. Candidates resting on their laurels and name ID will probably not fare as well in the general. Senator Warren is running the best campaign so far.

  4. @Tom No one talks about how Bernie needing to be "warmer," do they?

  5. Elizabeth Warren has the unique advantage that she was raised Republican in a deep red state. She knows the language of conservatives because it was once her own, and she can describe the journey to her political beliefs now.

  6. @NM Bernie is everything we want in a candidate. Except he's too old. Sen. Warren is still past the age when most of us retire, but she's still got a few miles in her. And she's smart and she thinks.

  7. @myfiero As an academic for much of her stellar career, she has had the opportunity to influence and be influenced by generations of bright curious young adults. I'm sure these experiences play a large role in her interactions with the public. Unlike Trump, apparently the hoi polloi don't repel her.

  8. @myfiero Bernie is also Not a Democrat.

  9. Or you could support Bernie-- very similar proposals, but he understands that it will take a MOVEMENT to actually get them passed into law.

  10. @Jay Of course EW knows that change takes more than one person! I also love Bernie, bu EW has the specifics to get things done and, that can mobilize people in the first place. This go 'round, it seems as though people have already set their (not greatly positive) decisions on her, based on 2016, Native American bumbles or whatnot, but even as NK writes, her platform merits a second look. Whether she'll get it in a country as male/charisma/ star obsessed as the US is another matter altogether. I like the work she puts into her work; with K Harris or B Sanders beside her, she'd get things done.

  11. @Jay I'd bet that most of the swing voters in the "battleground states" do not want a "Socialist Movement." That's the difference between Warren and Sanders. She doesn't NEED an hyperbolic "movement" to reform the Executive office. She proposes to do it one healthy policy at a time without invoking Marxist ideology, which scares the bejeezus out of a lot of voters.

  12. @Jay: It takes two houses of Congress and a President to make law. You get to this via politics, one candidate at a time. Movements can help, or hurt.

  13. She seems to resonate well with voters when she is out on the campaign trail -- because she has lived through difficulties like they have. If she can keep that narrative going she will win over a lot of centrists and never-Trumpers. That is why I'm betting she is very high on the GOP "hit" list.

  14. @MarkDFW Between Elisabeth Warren an Bernie I would stand behind Warren, because I think she is more electable by the mainstream than Bernie. We need a democrat who can win. Bernie could not amass 5 % of the votes in the regions of the country who gave us Trump. I like Warren, but in the primaries, I will vote for the person who has the best chance to vin against Trump

  15. I've liked Elizabeth Warren since the first time I heard her speak. I would choose her over any of the current candidates, including Bernie Sanders -- whom I totally respect.

  16. @Pajama Sam How 'bout a Warren-Sanders ticket? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. @Slipping Glimpser that will be a ticket I will get behind. Two authentic human beings.

  18. @Pajama Sam Thanks for commenting on my column. There's an interesting comparison between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. I have a lot of admiration for Sanders speaking up about conditions of Palestinians and the starvation of Yemen; both are issues that will win him no votes, and to me they suggest profound authenticity. But on economic policy, I find Warren substantially deeper on policy. She has top-notch advisers who have carefully crafted proposals whose numbers really do add up; Sanders's numbers don't always add up so well. Or if you take their college debt proposals, both have important debt relief plans, but Warren's strikes me as the better one because it is targeted to lower- and middle-income families who most need the help, rather than a sweeping policy that benefits rich kids who don't need the help. So in terms of pure policy wonkishness, Warren is hard to beat.

  19. To recollect, very "electable" candidates were: Gore, Kerry, Biden and Hillary. All landed in the pile of heap called the swamp and defeated by "jokes" like W and Trump. For once let's give intellect a chance and put a candidate there with substance not rhetoric. We may still lose, but I am tired of the same old (really old) "electable" insiders.

  20. @Theni, Yes, the perennial hopeful that I am voted for McGovern (1972) Carter (1976* & 1980) Mondale (1984) Dukakis (1988) Clinton (1992* & 1996*) Gore (2000) Kerry (2004) Obama (2008* & 2012*) Clinton (2016) In the years marked with an asterisk, I "won." That's 5 out of the 12 presidential elections in which I voted. Winning with Clinton and Obama was disappointing because in the first instance we got GOP-lite and in the second Obama channeled FDR but gave us Bush-lite: Guantanamo, drones, continuing Afghan and Iraqi snafus, among other ugliness. On the domestic front we got the ACA and avoided the second Great Depression. So, yeah, Theni, I care not much about electability and would love to vote for someone with some backbone and real ideas. I'd vote for EW in a heartbeat.

  21. @Theni Sorry--but electable is the keyword--not lose. Win, and then make the necessary changes--just like the current-liar-in-office does, but without the lying.

  22. @Theni you hit this nail on the head, I am tired of all those who came unequipped but had good profiles. Really good summation.

  23. I like her a lot better than Bernie, because she works with other people, whereas Bernie is more of a go-it-alone kind of person (check the number of bills he has written that have passed). What is concerning is her lack of political managerial experience. Former governors and mayors have political managerial experience, senators don't usually. It doesn't guarantee a good presidency (Carter & Bush), but it usually is very important in order to work with Congress effectively.

  24. @Habakkukb The point is not whether the POTUS has managerial experience -- how much did Obama have when we elected him? The main thing is the moral framework and judgement one brings to the job. That speaks to the person's character. One can hire a Chief of Staff and other people with the relevant managerial experience. We need a person with the capacity to be self-reflective and understand her/his deficiencies and compensate for it. Character is what counts in a leader. All other things can be learned.

  25. @Habakkukb - She just needs to make good Cabinet appointments and to appoint a good chief of staff. I have full confidence she will do that.

  26. @Habakkukb This is my concern as well. Not just about Warren, but about any nominee. Management skill is the most overlooked requirement of the office in my opinion. It needs to be questioned as much as any policy. We have had plenty of lousy managers in the White House. Carter was one example. As an analogy, I am a performing artist, a dancer. The ability to dance well on stage comes from 2 places that are completely different: technique well practiced and ability to display your contribution in a very tense and dramatic environment. A president needs to be excellent at policy proposals and communication with all others. But they must also be a fantastic manager or all the good goes down the drain. You can be the best dancer but if you don't develop the skill to show it in such a stressful situation then your great technique means little.

  27. I am with you: I began a bit dubious but the more I pay attention, the more I am impressed by Warren. She is my top pick with no one else as a close second. And whether or not she becomes the Dem's top pick, she is already changing the discussion in ways I've been longing to see. And though I'm no Warbucks, I give with the hope that my little sprinklings of dollars will encourage her to keep launching policy proposals.

  28. @Renee " . . . she [Warren] is already changing the discussion in ways I've been longing to see." Very much agree. But Bernie did, too. How do we overwhelm the 1% propaganda machine? When the 1% controls the message? And the masses prefer the FOX message.

  29. We keep trying, LynnBob. We work at it. We already outnumber them, and we can unite to win a new decent leadership for our land.

  30. @LynnBob The masses prefer FOX: that's silly. Hillary got more votes than Trump. Trump's opponents greatly outpolled him.

  31. I see a great administration among the candidates, I wonder though which is best suited to manage their work in concert, to be President. Ideas are necessary, but there is still more needed to lead. Mayor Pete perhaps?

  32. @Gerard Is he a better leader because he's a he? I was not impressed with him under fire recently. Granted it wasn't an easy situation but he was unimpressive.

  33. @Gerard No, he has much to learn. He is talented but we cannot afford a president or VP who cannot listen and is racially tone-deaf.

  34. @Jenifer I don't think so - though I infer you think that being a she is an advantage

  35. I have found myself leaning toward Warren. She speaks with confidence and delivers the details without putting us to sleep. I would like Bernie - sorry, too old - and Biden - too 50's - to go home. I used to see Warren as ranting rather than delivering her message. She is delivering plenty and I hope she wins.

  36. Warren has well-thought out plans for everything. Emphasis: restoring financial balance for workers. She reminds me of the many women who work harder and better to "succeed" with male piers. Shoot from the hip? We have Trump - no matter how badly he shoots, even felonies, he gets a pass while we rake very credible candidates over the coals. I just hope people take the time to read her policies.

  37. @kat perkins Handling the "male piers" is easy--just thrown a bridge on top and call it good.

  38. @kat perkins. Most people won't read her policies, but fortunately, she is really skilled at boiling them down to their essence and explaining them in memorable ways. If she can keep going and getting the message out, that will be enough.

  39. Elizabeth Warren would make a fine president, and is the right person to begin healing the profoundly cynical damage done to our democracy by he who shall not be named.

  40. If I'm a centrist, I can't find any issue with her proposals. If I'm a left winger, I can't find any issue with her proposals. She is simply talking sense, the sense we need knocked into us. Highest priority for me is the climate emergency. She can turn the aspirations of the Green New Deal into working proposals (I am so pleased that this was put forth; thank you AOC and Markey). Second highest priority is the climate emergency. OK, third as well. Fourth highest priority is income inequality. Everything she proposes in this space makes sense to me. It would have made sense to Eisenhower. We need to get on with this, and right now. Right now. I don't know who comes out on top, but I want whoever it is to adopt all her proposals.

  41. @Incontinental Warren's numbers don't add up. The cost of her proposals would almost equal the current Federal budget. Some would be paid for over 10 years but others like the student debt crisis, which is over a trillion dollars would be addressed immediately. The key to paying for all of this is the Wealth tax. Sen Warren unveiled a plan to tax the wealth of the richest 0.1 percent of Americans. The proposed legislation to tax households with a net worth of $50 million or more draws on analysis by Emmanuel Saez of UC Berkeley. But this same economist, as well as other respected economists, say Sen Warren’s proposed wealth tax would be more difficult if not impossible to enforce than existing federal taxes because of the ways which the wealthy can under-report their true assets. Plus the current make -up of Congress makes it highly unlikely that any of these proposals would ever see the light of day. Her administration would be buried in litigation if they did pass and she would have to defend he plans before a very conservative pro-business appellate and Supreme Court. I have no real animus towards Sen. Warren. I think she has more to offer this country as an academic than as a politician. Her opposition research that delayed the Bankruptcy Act of 2005 was great. The passage of this law made federal loans more difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. But when her solutions start to exceed the size of the Federal budget I have to question how effective she would be as POTUS.

  42. @Incontinental....Yes, many Warren proposals would have made sense to Eisenhower. the GOP president who supported social security, labor unions, and a huge govt infrastructure project--the US interstate highway system of the '50s. And the top marginal tax rate on the highest incomes of the wealthy was --- 91%. Our 2020 candidates must use that comparison for today.

  43. @Incontinental Any candidate who rejects nuclear power as an important part of the solution loses all credibility with me and any other informed citizen.

  44. Having been an early supporter of Elizabeth warren for Senate in MA, having gone door to door campaigning for her, having attended many fundraisers and donated beyond those events, too, and having been a fan of hers since before the Great Recession, I, too, had serious reservations about her candidacy for president, but for very different reasons than yours, Nicholas. I was concerned about the Native American heritage but not because I thought she might have benefited from it, but because I thought she mishandled the questions, resorting to a DNA test. It was never about DNA. It was about her family’s story, and for that, I don’t think she had anything to apologize for. Or defend. And I like her shoot from the hip style. She’s genuine and has the courage of her convictions. And she is brilliant, so I never worried that she was a one trick pony. I think she’s demonstrated depth in her thinking about how to restore our decimated middle class that goes well beyond Wall Street and banks and financial services. My worry was that she might be too polarizing. Like Hillary. People either love her or are turned off by her. And, if I’m being honest, she needs some fresh material on the stump. But what I’ve seen is that her ideas have resonated, especially in middle America, and possibly in the south. And her material on the stump is getting better, more varied, more wide ranging than during her two senate campaigns. Most important, her ideas are Compelling. She’s the one to beat. IMHO.

  45. @Oscar Trump said he would give $1 million to her favorite charity if she would offer proof through a DNA test. She did. He didn’t pay. And universally among Republicans and Democrats, she is the one who did something wrong? Was Obama wrong to release his birth certificate? It’s a tough world out there where you are attacked, and are not allowed to offer the truth as a defense.

  46. @Oscar She benefits from a generally weak field of competitors. That's not a recipe for victory. And if I'm fair, she's a bit on the old side.

  47. @Roger: 1/1,000th native ancestry that could be hispanic or South American? uh-uh. Trump won that bet.

  48. Warren's political evolution from doctrinaire Republican to socially aware Democrat distinguishes her from the other candidates. Decades ago, when I first encountered her, she was whip-smart, but not at all hip to what was going on in the lives of average Americans. Now she is the smartest candidate out there, and has realistic and workable ideas to help the poor and preserve the middle class against the depredations of the uber-rich. If I could appoint a president she'd be the one.

  49. @hop sing...it seems a rather unique transformation from Repub to Dem by Warren. I would like more explanation of that. Of course Hillary Clinton started out as a Repub too, way back. But I don't think Warren at any time got millions from speechs to Wall St banks, as Hillary did before asking for our 2016 votes. Warren set up the Consumer Financial Protection Board for Obama. Her books show her 1st concern---the rights and well being of average citizens, not of elites. 3 book titles: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class. The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are (Still) Going Broke A Fighting Chance. America badly need a fighting chance to restore American ideals and 'the meaning of our creed'.

  50. @hop sing Most multi-millionaires (that is having more than 1 or 2 million like Elizabeth Warren) have no idea how the working class is or what they face. Since her Indian fiasco I question anything she says or remembers about how she grew up.

  51. Warren is not my top choice, but I’ll happily campaign for her if she’s the nominee.

  52. I will happily vote for her, but I think her electability is up, in part, because the establishment is so afraid of Sanders. ( How many at his rallies? Can’t find out in the Times.) Biden will start tanking after the debate tonight (too close to big money) and then Warren and Sanders will give us the debate over policy that many are hungry for. I hope the format allows for more than sound bites.

  53. Sanders is much less intelligent than Warren, and much less likable. He's really the textbook definition of a mansplainer. I don't think he can win. Sanders = empty slogans Warren = policies

  54. @Dr. J. Yet he was the most liked and trusted candidate last election. He was rated as the most respected and liked working politician. He's easily the largest small donor candidate. A 3 time elected mayor and decades in the House and Senate with an enviable record and history. The Amendment King. But right...he's not likeable. /s His assistance in Fight for $15. helped 10's of millions of workers win their struggle to double their wages. NOW. Not with a *plan*, or a maybe promise. But NOW~! Empty slogans? Seems like not only does he talk, be backs it up with his walk. I'd love to see Warren get some of her ideas enacted. Key word; enacted. Dislike all you want, but at least tell the truth.

  55. For years the Democrats have wasted their time by defining their politics as whatever is the opposite of the GOP. Almost a Republican Light if you will. Continually trying to frame our arguments based on meeting the right somewhere in the middle. Because of that we have failed to move forward. Finally Elizabeth Warren is articulating specifically what we can do to fix multiple problems. Problems that are real instead of manufactured. Americans have felt helpless watching our representatives pedaling their stationary bikes and obviously getting nowhere. It made us all feel that it was because there were no solutions. She has given us hope by saying clearly and articulately that there are solutions and here they are. What a breath of fresh air.

  56. I met Elizabeth Warren at a house party when she first ran for the Senate in Massachusetts. She was on time, and thanked every one of us on the phone banks, in this home, at the time. She stayed after most had left, to talk and listen. She's now seen as an effective Senator here in Massachusetts; which is not easy. I left that evening, broadly thinking this person could change how women run for office. I was correct. She is running for President with the same wisdom, care, and tenacity. Good luck, Elizabeth. You will have my vote in the primary.

  57. @purpledot My only hesitation about Elizabeth is that I deeply regret the idea of losing her as my senator.

  58. @purpledot It's reported that at her events Warren takes a lot of time with people after her talks. And takes the most 'selfie' photos with fans of any candidate. NBC article: "She's spent more than 90 hours snapping some 28,000 photos, according to her campaign. " It’s part of Warren's message --- she enjoys it, and as she notes, she has the time to do it because she doesn't hold high-dollar fundraisers or do 'call time' with major donors." We need an article on this for each candidate----the amount of time spent in fund raising from wealthy donors vs visiting with average citizens to explain proposals affecting their lives.

  59. @Meredith Sen. Warren is going to need an asterisk next to this claim of not holding high-dollar fundraisers or "call time"...$10 million of her $16 million primary campaign, was a carry over from her senatorial campaign. She has already stated if she makes it into the general as the nominee she'll drop the small donor populous shtick and take any and every $$$ offered. Whether that makes her a sell out or just a wily politician is your judgment call to make. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrMA9Rnmx1w&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2elZBhdnw21Ff-DxmEJEqq_f5PZ63e4CVi_jlUqmFrjS5bDvLi_hRd120 Yes, an article on this for each candidate would be enlightening.

  60. Good to see that you're seeing what a whole lot of other folks saw all along. Professor Senator Warren is the real thing. Whether she becomes President or not, she must be in the Administration as someone akin to George Marshall - learned in method, experienced in fact.

  61. A am 86. Many years writing about the success of the Scandinavian countries. Our Nation is on the decline. Time for Warren. If not ?

  62. @David Anderson Our country is much larger and more diverse, so it doesn't seem like a fair comparison.

  63. @David Anderson maybe we would be better off if we were more like these Scandinavian countries you like. That is a basically homogeneous white nation.

  64. @Sandy T. - Our country is basically 50 nations under one flag.

  65. As a fiscal conservative and social liberal my biggest concern with just about all the past and current candidates both Republican and Democrat is how do your promises and plans deal with and / or positively impact the harsh reality of a ridiculous national debt and the fact that we can’t pay for social security. The D’s are proposing all kinds of utopian ideas while the R’s talk about tax cuts. Most of them are selling unrealistic foolishness And ALL of us are buying it. And then there’s the harsh realities of crumbling infrastructure, homeless unsupported vets. We have fundamental issues with our budget. How do we fix THAT so that maybe we can truly become capable of reaching utopia. What ever that is.

  66. @Lamar Johnson As a fiscal conservative and social liberal, you should be 100% Democrat. Fiscally, the GOP has brainwashed the public into thinking they are fiscal conservatives while promoting huge tax cuts (and subsidies) for the upper class and big business. Socially, I don't need to say a thing.

  67. @Lamar Johnson Here's how I see it, Lamar. I am like Senator Warren, a liberal capitalist. I want to see a vibrant, innovative economy that isn't rigged for the rich. I know my business can survive, because we are on the balls of our feet. But let's face it: soaking the top 1% is not going to do the trick. We are going to have to increase income taxes, and substantially eliminate loopholes that have been developed at the wage-earners' expense, for the top 20%, and brother, that includes an awful lot of influential Democrats. That is where the rubber meets the road. It is the ultimate hot potato. Senator Warren knows this already, I can assure you. Let's see how she handles it. I am rooting for her. She can handle the Donald in debate.

  68. Should Warren fail in her policy-rich Presidential bid, I wonder what would be the next best outcome? As a Senator from (normally) Democratic Party leaning MA, she might give up her seat to become a leading light in the next administration (assuming a win for whoever is the eventual Democratic nominee). Perhaps even as the Veep? Alternatively, should her bid fail and the Democrats take back the White House she would still be doing the nation good service by continuing to represent the Bay State in the Senate. Like many others, and a growing fraction of Democratic voters, I’d prefer her bid to win out, all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Should that not happen though, of this I’m sure .. Sen. Warren will have a plan for that.

  69. Warren makes every other candidate look like a shallow dilettante. She is amazing: phenomenal ideas, intelligence, relevant knowledge, commitment, and unshakable concern for people. She would be a fantastic president. I do think she should further apologize for the Native American claim. I have some sympathy since almost everyone I've ever known with roots in Oklahoma has told me they had some Native American heritage. It seems to be part of the culture there. (We should bear in mind Oklahoma's uniqueness as former "Indian Territory.") Still, Warren could admit that she over-stated her heritage. She would have to do this without looking like she's apologizing for being white. An apology would have to be EXTREMELY carefully thought-out, but it might help to further confront the issue.

  70. @Linda:This is the problem with Democratic politics: if there is a single person or group who has taken offense, feels put-upon, or is less than self-actualized by something a candidate has done or not done, there are unending and often cynical demands for apologies, explanations, and promises of redress. She has apologized for her error in judgment in characterizing her heritage. It wasn't a lie, as the test showed, but given the sensitivity of the matter, she handled it poorly. When will the fault-finders be satisfied? Never, I feel.

  71. @Linda It appals me that this could be such a huge concern. Biden is carrying a lot of baggage, but he doesn't get hammered as hard. Warren seems eminently electable, if Democratic voters would stop all the nitpicking and get around to ensuring the nomination of a smart, capable person able to lead the US back into the real world -- like Elizabeth Warren.

  72. @Linda Warren did in fact apologize to the Chief of the Cherokee Nation. It seemed a satisfactory one. I think for her to go back and raise the issue again would be counterproductive and only keep this gaffe alive. Remember we have a president whose strategy is to never apologize - and who has so much more to apologize for than she ever will.

  73. Ever since I was a kid, the standard in politics was to be vague about your positions, and attract votes from those on all sides of an issue. Then, you spend a good chunk of your time meeting with wealthy donors, who expect access to the White House if you get elected. She has been more specific on policy, by an order of magnitude, than any others major candidate in my lifetime. And she holds no private fundraisers, even for individuals who will make the maximum contribution. She is running a campaign the way it should be done in an ideal world. I’m for her. I admire her commitment to ideals. She has a winning strategy for the world that should exist. I’m just not sure it will work in the world that actually exists.

  74. @Roger "I’m just not sure it will work in the world that actually exists." I agree with everything you wrote except for the last sentence. She's the very person to deal with the world as it actually exists.

  75. @Roger...if that world doesn't exist, it's because so many politicians have as you say, been vague about their positions to attract voters from all sides. Then spend too much time meeting with wealthy donors---who then call the shots in their interests, not ours. Then we the people stand in long lines voting for whoever will hurt our interests the least. We can't restore a 1st rate democracy until we reverse Citizens United, and fund campaigns with public funds with limits set by law. Then all candidates will be subject to the same funding limits. Eliz Warren is a step in that direction.

  76. @Roger Sorry Roger, not totally true. $10 million of her current $16 million primary funds came from her senatorial campaign. Which she raised with wealthy donors and corp. PAC's et al. She has also publicly stated she'll gladly ditch the small donor populous shtick if she gets into the general as the nominee, and again take all donors; corp, wealthy...anyone. Still think "she is running a campaign the way it should be done in an ideal world"?! That's a judgement call only you can make for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrMA9Rnmx1w&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2elZBhdnw21Ff-DxmEJEqq_f5PZ63e4CVi_jlUqmFrjS5bDvLi_hRd120

  77. I believed in Warren from the moment I started reading what she was explaining about problems in government, corporations, and society. it really doesn't take much to understand where she stands. But Democrats have strong biases and are afraid to make a big change--so they gravitate to the likes of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris-- that's the hurdle that Warren's up against.

  78. @Alex Bernardo Joe was an old time centrist appropriate during the Clinton era. Sure there is a great place for him - as Ambassador to one of our allied countries maybe. Its really not hard for most humans to accept their expiration date. Even my dog enjoys his senior status. Get with the program Uncle Joe! Elizabeth is chronologically senior but that means little as she has incredible energy, yes many women outlast men and she has a very unique history and great qualifications leading directly to the potential presidency.

  79. I hope for three things. First, that if Joe Biden is not the nominee Elizabeth Warren wins the Democratic nomination for President and unites all factions of the Democratic Party and not just the progressives. Writing off the moderates will guarantee the re-election of Trump. Secondly, I hope that Senator Warren chooses a woman as her running mate and someone with charisma and toughness like Kamala Harris. Why? The Republicans lost the midterm elections because Republican women deserted the Party fed up with Trump's vulgarity and mean spiritedness. Trump's staff knows this and it's likely they will encourage him to dump Pence and replace him with Nikki Haley. The Democrats will need someone who can be her equal on the debate stage and that will not be easy. Why else Kamala Harris? The fact remains that too many African American voters decided to stay home in 2016 and will not come out in record numbers for an all white ticket. If this scenario does not happen and Biden is the nominee he will need Senator Warren or Senator Harris to debate Haley. Lastly, as a sixty-nine year old Jewish American I remember tears rolling down my face the day Barack Obama was sworn in. America is a hundred years late in having a woman President and the Party has a handful of women running who are superbly qualified. Before my time comes to leave this earth I want to see a woman sworn in as President. I want to see civil discourse and unity restored and be proud of our President.

  80. @Mark Jeffery Koch Amen to every bit of this, and I am so pleased to hear this coming from a man - who shares perceptions and my hope.

  81. @Mark Jeffery Koch...many other countries have had women leaders already, going back decades. What in their politics has allowed this progress, and what in our politics has blocked it? The Times should do an analysis of these countries as role models. For the 21st Century, this is a critical election in many ways.

  82. @Mark Jeffery Koch - Sorry but its time for a gay guy to run the country. Heterosexuals keep starting wars whether they are male or female. If you think for one moment that Ronald, Bill, George (senior) or Barack ran the country then you have never been married. And Elizabeth Warren is no Barbara Bush or Michelle Obama.

  83. Count me among those who have come around on Elizabeth Warren. Previously, I didn't like her for some of the same reasons listed in this piece, especially her announcement on the genetic test results. But recently, I have a very positive reaction to her TV appearances. And I really like her "I've got a plan for that" strategy. Her plans and proposals seem reasonable. She might not be able to implement all of them but at least she knows where she stands and what she wants to accomplish.

  84. Having a plan for everything is the lefts blind spot. We don’t need a government solution to every perceived problem. Let the free market sort it out and grow up enough to understand that the outcome need not be to your liking. The fact is that some people will succeed in life while others fail. Some of them will achieve fantastic wealth while many more find catastrophic failure.

  85. I love Elizabeth Warren - nearly everything about her - the policy, the personality and I accept that candidates are'nt perfect - not even the women ones should be expected to be. But - as a professional woman - I well know she is not electable. First - women are judged by being perfect - and like all other humans Ms. Warren is not. Ms. Clinton was daily attacked by pundits and journalists left right and center for "not being perfect." That will happen to Ms. Warren. She's had enough gaffes to weaponize. Just as I see at work daily men get accolades for doing marginally above what's expected and women are criticized for not being perfect in all aspects of performance. The bottom line - is that as much as elements on the left like to delude themselves that they (and americans in general) weren't sexist for their contempt of Ms. Clinton - that they despised her because she deserved it - those same people will despise Warren - just tweaking the reasons. I hope I'm wrong - but I'm pretty confident that I am not.

  86. @Dana You are absolutely right. I too love Elizabeth Warren and go so far as to wish there were a male candidate as good as her. My one hesitation about her is that if she's the nominee Trump will be calling her Pocahontas for the entire campaign which will rile up his base and I'm afraid that's enough for her to lose.

  87. Clinton failed not only on the perfection scale but because she more than ignored a chunk of the population and had baggage going all the way back to Bill’s administration, including single payer healthcare and a two state solution in the Middle East.

  88. @Dana Clinton campaigned poorly. Warren is running a first-rate campaign. There is no comparison. Gender is not the issue.

  89. I too have come around to Liz, having loved her economic philosophy when she was a prof; then, when she ran for office, saw her as pandering, now thinking she is a female Ralph Nader when it comes to articulating policies. Go Liz!

  90. Many NY Times columnists have been writing about their concerns regarding the Democratic candidate (Joe Biden) who has been the front runner. The single most essential goal, by far, is to win the election. As the debates begin, we will see if Elizabeth Warren's growing popularity translates to electability.

  91. There is an important point that many Warren supporters are missing. The president does not have to be a policy wonk - ever. She would better serve the country in a cabinet post or as an advisor to Biden/Harris.

  92. @rab Well if you base your standards on the current president, then no. But how great would it be to have a president with great ideas, and ALSO the policy to know how to get it done. In the end, is that not what policy is, knowing how to follow through with an idea in government? Knowing how it will work? how it will transform from a platform promise to action?

  93. @rab yes, Trump has shown us that the presidency is an entry-level job. But we can do better.

  94. @rab Since when?

  95. I like Elizabeth Warren. In fact I like most of the candidates. My concern with her is she has a lot plans that need to be approved by the Senate. I want normalcy in the WH. I am voting for Joe Biden.

  96. @KLM Actually define normalcy for a change instead of using it as a meaningless buzzword. If normalcy is not addressing the needs of our citizens because change makes middle class moderates uncomfortable, then hard pass.

  97. @Eric W Critical question, what does Joe Biden mean by normalcy. Does he mean, let us not rock the boat so that Trump's policies remain intact, or does he mean, we should overturn Trump's policies, but in doing so we should keep the political discussion civil like Obama did? Time will tell. I am undecided, but I am very confident that Elizabeth Warren, win or lose, will have a very positive impact on the issues raised during the primaries.

  98. @KLM - A vote for Biden is a vote for weapons sales in the middle east, more war, watching N. Korea go nuclear, and a president who will let the Republicans walk all over him. Anyone remember Merrick Garland? If Biden couldn't make it happen with those Republicans how on earth will he work with today's Republicans?

  99. The problem of her claiming Native American heritage is not whether or not she actually benefited from it at Harvard or anywhere else, it is whether she *thought* it would benefit her. I will fully support her if she becomes the Democratic nominee, but her claims of NA heritage and subsequent clumsy handling of trying to clean it up is still a big negative to me. As far as the "gold standard" for policy driven candidates, check out Andrew Yang.

  100. @Tim Lomas As I long-time white female public sector employee, mostly in low-paid positions, I always supported Affirmative Action for historically disadvantaged groups. But when equally qualified candidates vie for a government job, bringing more diversity to the table can tip the balance. That's OK, but fair play's crucial. Did Ms. Warren identify as Native American in her past, in good faith? We may never know. That cloud was once a deal-breaker for me. No longer, as I like everything else I see about her.

  101. Anyone who knows anything about how preferential hiring actually works in academia could tell you that Warren had no expectation of benefit from listing herself as having native heritage in the specific places she did. That is, there are forms that 'count' and are known to hiring committees and Deans, and everything else is garbage, and Warren did not represent herself as native on those. What did happen is that _after_ she was hired, Harvard _falsely_ counted her in PR thing boasting of minority hiring.

  102. @SMG I agree with you in liking (almost) everything else about her, except the NA claim. However, the cloud from that has not completely lifted for me as it has for you. I will certainly support her if she is the nominee, but the Native American ancestry claim is going to be an ongoing problem for her. She needs to address that issue in a more eloquent way than she has thus far.

  103. Liz has my vote...and the vote of many other progressive Black women who I know (both young and old). I was proud to vote for her to become a MA senator, and I’ll be even prouder to vote for her in the coming primary and general election.

  104. Unfortunately, Elizabeth Warren rates a 3 out of 10 on the charisma scale where 1 is no charisma and 10 is perfect reality TV charisma. My impression is that 70+% of voters will decide based on the candidates charisma. I can not support Elizabeth Warren.

  105. Americans elected a reality star with “so called” charisma and look where that got us. I’ll take policy over charisma any day.

  106. @John G have you listened to her recently? I used to think the same, but after watching her speak a handful of times this year (mainly video clips i saw via twitter and youtube, but also once in person), I'd say she's improved greatly. While she's a long way from Obama, she's also got more charisma than most candidates running.

  107. @John G Compared to the other options, Warren is beginning to look like a Shining Princess. The Republicans really don't care about the healthcare of the American people, nor are they even remotely interested in beginning to take even baby steps towards Climate Change. Combine that with a reasonable program for student debt relief, and I'd say we have a winner.

  108. My worry with Warren is not what Kristof offers, but Warren's idiosyncrasies. Don't get me wrong, I love her and support her, but she flies around like a bird. It seems people are more interested in how people act and look, than their actual qualifications and thoughts. Her uptick is founded on her ideas, but will it be enough? I hope so, but am not holding my breath. People vote in strange ways.

  109. @Walter Ingram it seems you also are more interested in how she looks. You noted "she flies around like a bird." I don't understand what that means. Can you describe more? Thanks!

  110. I’ve long been a fan of Elizabeth Warren, and also a fan of people who candidly admit to a change in views. This column is refreshing to read on both counts.

  111. @Ed Suominen Well said.

  112. If Warren is the nominee I will vote for her. I will vote for any Democrat over Trump. But for once I would like to hear a politician running for President, or any high office, answer one question. Why do you want to be in power? And I won't accept any evasions. Do you think any of them can answer that with ruthless honesty?

  113. @paulyyamsYes, of all the candidates running, I believe she can.

  114. @paulyyams if they say ego and ambition, then yes, they are honest. But they are all like that.

  115. Elizabeth Warren makes sense. She has plans, good plans, not just ideas. And she has financial experience to get us out of the tangled up knots that have been created not just by Republicans, but by the idea that running the Executive Branch of government as an opportunity to profit. Her greatest drawbacks are probably personality and environmental issues. Choosing Pete Buttegieg as her running mate would take care of those. Warren/Pete 2020

  116. @Vanessa Hall Sorry, but Pete is a weak link, imo. The total antithesis to Warren.

  117. @Vanessa Hall Warran+Butegieg=Fail

  118. I'm impressed with Warren, have donated to her campaign and will happily vote for her if she's the nominee. I am concerned that her plans for free college and paying off up to $50K of student debt will turn off many voters. Why not $10K or $20K of relief? Why not low cost college?

  119. "Why aren't any bankers in jail, Elizabeth Warren asks" -Senate Hearing 2014 That's when I decided if Elizabeth Warren ran for President I would look hard and consider whether to vote for her. I have and now I will.

  120. I am so sorry that I bit my tongue and voted for Hillary, last time. This time I will do the right thing and vote for Warren, even if she isn't the ballet!

  121. @otto I appreciate your enthusiasm for Warren, but please don’t write her name in if your candidate doesn’t win. We need to defeat Trump. He’s a threat to Democracy. Please don’t waste your vote.

  122. @otto Please vote for Trump's opponent.

  123. I have voted Democrat for 55 years. I am not voting for Warren or any of the other Democrats whose basic thrust is to promise "free stuff." For example, forgiving college debt. What about all of those millions of us who paid off our debts? Who made wise debts instead of huge debts to private schools, for-profit schools, or graduate degrees? I am supposed to have paid for my college expenses, and helped my children by working an extra job, and people who were unwilling to pay the price get money? I'm paying for mine and for my kids' college. I'm not doing that and paying for other peoples' This race among the Democrats (including Sanders) to give away free stuff will ruin America even more than Trump could, if that can be believed.

  124. @Travelers This is the problem. People who don't want others to get something they didn't get. Fact is, things change. Good for you, you worked hard. How wonderful if going forward people didn't have to go through what you did. Why not be glad for progress for others? We all pay taxes, nothing's free, and helping folks move forward is a good idea. Bet if paying off your student debt and college tuition had been offered, you would have taken it, yes?

  125. @Travelers - Except you are paying for other childrens' educations: service academies, state universities, community colleges, and trade schools. If you're paying taxes, it all goes into the pot. I paid off my student debt years ago when the interest rate was still reasonable. My objection is that it's not only just another income stream from financial institutions, but it also amounts to economic slavery. Sure, wiser decisions may have been applied to avoid $100G in college debt, but a return to loans that match current interest rates, and the expansion of Pell grants, would be a better place to start than just saying 'no.'

  126. @Travelers Travelers dealt with problems in his life, therefore we shouldn't solve those problems - it would be unfair to Travelers.

  127. She is the most qualified. For the sake of this country I hope she wins.

  128. I have been hitched to her wagon since she first had a national platform. Just imagine- a brilliant candidate who cares about people and has moral fiber, and is not beholden to Corporate World. Don’t wake me up from this dream.

  129. At last, a candidate who can be supported as the best. Usually, we have to look at a bunch of candidates and try to identify the least flawed among them.

  130. She's my first choice. Smart, with good ideas, clearly presented. My only concern about the Native American (non) issue is that she was too apologetic. Never let your opponent frame the issue and force you to keep talking about it. Like Hillary's emails. Trivial is trivial. She's getting better at the job of campaigning. What that tells me is that she still has the capacity to learn and grow. A president is going to get blindsided from time to time and needs to be able to adapt. I think she can do that. I like Joe, but he's a day late and a dollar short on issues like women's rights (Hyde amendment) and despite a good environmental record, on climate change (He sees natural gas as a bridge fuel.) Of course, I'll back him if he's the candidate, but I think it's time for a woman and EW is that woman.

  131. @writeon1 The Native American thing is not a "non-issue." She lied, period, on her Houston application and likely her Harvard application. That will and should finish her. I say that as a liberal former Massachusetts resident. Trump lies, you may say; yes he does, bigly. Biden plagiarized; yes he did. But Warren's lie will hamstring her. Unfair? Sure. But it will finish her.

  132. If she doesn't get the nomination, I hope the nominee steals all her ideas.

  133. @HBG16 Her ideas stolen by another candidate will simply dilute the power of her plans. Only Elizabeth Warren, with her as the “real deal” with her intellect and “true grit” will have the passion to get the job done. I hope and pray she is the Democratic candidate in 2020. She has the smarts and the stamina to not only win ... but to right this sinking ship of state. GO,GO Elizabeth ... I’m 100% behind you!

  134. Yes Nicholas, you were wrong, which surprised me. I agree Elizabeth Warren has had some controversy in the past. But she has been a straight shooter right out of the gate, and will do exactly as she says. I think a strength in any person is to admit they were wrong and change their views - we all have the right to get smarter, don't we? She has my vote for sure!

  135. Universal childcare would benefit all working parents not just moms. I expect better than that from Mr. Kristoff. Childcare is not only on the mom.

  136. The question for Warren is electability. Trump will attempt to savage her in the campaign (pun intended to make a point, see next sentence). But that could also work against Trump because it would bring his racism and bigotry into full view. He just won't be able to help himself. With regard to electability based on her economic policies, Warren should appeal to the same blue collar voters that Trump won over in 2016. And unlike Trump, her pushing for the Consumer Protection Agency and then leading it shows she will walk the walk. Bottom line question is whether Warren hold up in what will likely be an even uglier campaign than 2016? Fortunately, Mitch McConnell has provided the answer: "Nevertheless, she persisted."

  137. She didn’t lead it, repubs wouldn’t confirm her. Richard Cordray led it.

  138. @Eric W Right, sorry, good catch.

  139. I’ve liked Elizabeth Warren since I watched her presentation on her book, The Two Income Trap, back around 2003-4. I was impressed enough to make a small donation to her first Senate campaign. In 2016, I told a colleague that I would love to see a woman become president, but I just wished that woman was Warren instead of HRC... for whom I did vote in the general, though I supported Sanders in the caucus/primary. Needless to say, I’ve supported Warren’s presidential campaign since she declared. I send my small donation every month plus extra donations when I can. She’s got my caucus/primary vote, and I can’t fathom any way I’ll change my mind.

  140. I am comfortable with Ms. Warren as one committed who knows enough to Care and cares enough to Know. I believe she would also work as a Public Servant. Our present “President” has manifested himself as one who serves primarily Himself. My Watch-stand is, at this time, on Elizabeth Warren. I lament the reality that Trump’s is allowed to maintain his main desire.... To Be Chronic Center Stage. I also lament that I consider Trump to be a bonafide Sociopathic Personality Disorder. He is beyond Treatment; we, the People, are in Need of it.

  141. I love Warren's wonkiness (of course, I'm pretty wonky myself) and the fact that she not only "has a plan for" most issues, and for the most part those plans are both eminently reasonable and bold at the same time, backed up by the best logical and scientific evidence currently on offer. Which, of course, is why in our delightful anti-intellectual, my-opinion-is-as-good-as-your-facts country, she probably has no chance of winning the Presidency. Not to mention that she tends to remind too many older misogynists of that all too bright girl who always had her hand up with the right answer in their middle school social studies class. Still, we owe her a great debt for actually trying to make this campaign about issues and policy before Trump's Pocahontas tweets tonight rile up the antediluvians who would never have voted for her anyway.

  142. Nicholas, Warren is running an ideas-oriented campaign, not a personality-driven one; and that's perhaps the primary reason why she is catching fire. At this dire moment in our national life, ideas matter like never before. We don't need a charismatic savior in 2020, we need a brilliant thinker capable of helping us to think our way out of our current national nosedive. Far from making America great again, the Trump presidency has made America the laughing stock of the world. The quality of our leadership, be it economic or strategic, has never been more doubted than it is today. Elizabeth Warren can, and if elected will, reverse our reputational decline - but she will do so in a way that doesn't leave our own people behind. America has been there for the world ever since its entry into the Second World War. We made our share of mistakes, and interfered in places where we clearly should not have. But ever since Reagan came to Washington, can it be truly be said that America has been there for its own people? I don't think so. Even Bill Clinton trumpeted that "the era of big government was over". IMHO, Elizabeth Warren would change all that, and not a moment too soon. We need a Marshall plan for America - and, yes, Warren has a plan for that; actually she has multiple plans to rebuild America, American families, and American communities. And she even has a credible plan to pay for all - unlike every Republican President since Reagan. Go Elizabeth, go.

  143. @Matthew Carnicelli That is a fantastic way to put it Matthew - "a Marshall Plan for the USA", well at least for those of us familiar with 20th C history. With economic security and basic fairness in society people make better decisions. The USA is a hollow desperate place now. Firm clear change needs to happen for survival of the democracy.

  144. I completely agree with Mr. Kristof. Senator Warren is proving that she is far more than a one-hit wonder. I want to hear specific plans from these candidates (even if those plans may need to be altered to be implemented by Congress). I don't want to hear excessive rhetorical blather, or candidates who feel entitled to the Presidency by virtue of having been around DC for 5 decades. I want a candidate with passion, energy, and most importantly - a plan for a better future in America. Senator Warren has all three.

  145. Elizabeth Warren does have Cherokee heritage and this is not in dispute following her DNA test. This is distinct from her status as a tribe member (she is not formally a member of the Cherokee tribe) but I am not aware of her having claimed to be a formal member of the tribe. Of note, there are many (impossible to put a number on it) members of the Cherokee Nation whose genetic lineage is only minutely Cherokee. A colleague of mine is ~ 1/64 Cherokee and is a card-carrying member of the tribe. This is not uncommon in Oklahoma.

  146. @Colin G About Warren believing that she is part Native American because her mother said she was: I knew a genealogist who was was conduction a workshop on family history and a student wanted to find out if he had 'Indiana blood". She asked where he was born, he said "Oklahoma" and she replied that everybody in Oklahoma thinks that they are part Indian and most of them are right.

  147. I have been a fan of Elizabeth's Warren ever since I saw her speaking about the financial collapse and advocating for consumers in the early years of the Obama admin. She has a lot to say about those kitchen table issues that all Americans, regardless of race or ethnicity, care about. She has her eye on the difficulties facing average Americans who are just trying to get to work each day. I wasn't sure she'd "make it" in Washington, because people like her are not usually rewarded--policy wonks often have trouble getting elected, and they're seen as not charming or sexy enough. I still have these fears. But even if she does not win the nomination, she's changed the conversation for the better. Her proposals are the ones people will be talking about.

  148. @MaryC Yes! I remember her appearing on a late night talk show back then (more or less out of the blue) to talk about what became the Consumer Protection Bureau. I have never before a since seen a smarter, more articulate American politician.

  149. I've warmed to Elizabeth Warren some too. My two main concerns still apply though. 1) She's not particularly charismatic. She's improved as her campaign has matured. However, she's not exactly an exciting candidate yet. We'll see how the debates go. 2) She seems to make a better lawmaker than she does an executive. If I had a choice today, I would want Warren as the Senate majority leader first and President second.

  150. @Andy She seems to fit better the "policy wonk" image than a "president". I would like to see her as vice president and get experience working with foreign governments first.

  151. @Andynot charismatic... I feel totally the opposite. She “grabs” me all the time.

  152. Maybe Hillary Clinton did wrong by us, wronged Democracy, was undeserving of our trust, and aided the currents that brought us here; and yet Clinton was left of left in her pre-Bill days (progressive). The political machine ate her up and spit her out time and time again. I still believe Ms. Clinton only sought to overcome the ivory towers - willed by will to power. Elizabeth Warren is not Clinton, she's been protected by data and the American stories in that data. From this I believe Elizabeth, not a wonk, but an impassioned Listener turned fighter - a fighter for all Americans!

  153. I've known since before Elizabeth Warren was first elected to the United States senate that she never used her Native American heritage to get a job. The story told to me (by someone who was closely involved with her campaign) is that Harvard human resources only asked about her ethnicity AFTER she was hired, when they were processing her employee paperwork. She told the truth, that she had some Native American ancestry-- and then HARVARD took advantage of her ancestry to add to their ethnic inclusiveness score. The fact that as respected a journalist as Nicholas Kristof assumed that the Republican smear campaign on this issue had even a shred of truth behind it is a symbol of just how much damage the endless lies emanating from the Republican party in general and the White House in particular are eroding America's ability to face our problems honestly and to come up with productive solutions.

  154. @Eleanor Late 70's the father of a friend, exec in big corporation, said he was always happy when 'Mary O'Malley' married 'Juan Rodriguez' because she became 'Mary Rodriguez' and moved from the 'white' to the 'Latino" column.

  155. @Eleanor I work in higher ed. Your account sounds right. Universities are neurotic about diversity.

  156. @Dissatisfied I'm sorry, but when she applied for a law license in Texas, she clearly marked her race as American Indian. There's a record of it. That did it for me.

  157. Here, here! Warren- Booker 2020. We still need "change we can believe in" and Warren definitely has "a plan for that."

  158. @Paul Wortman I think it's way too early to be discussing vice presidential candidates.

  159. Warren is the real deal. It's up to the "media" to educate the public to consider the reality and benefits of candidate proposals and issues. In 2015-16 Donald Trump got a billion dollars of free publicity. Bad or good and combined with foreign espionage, and citizens United it worked. Wrong reasons, but it was an essential reason Donald, the least likely or qualified person, got elected. The media will elect the next president as well. If sense had prevailed Warren would have been the Secretary of the Treasury the last 2.5 years. Warren would build an amazing stellar cabinet in 2021. We are electing a team. I think Pocahontas was best known for her compassion. I'd like to see her namesake debate Chief Bullinachinashop and bring in a new team.

  160. I too thought the issue of having claimed Native American heritage was a bullseye for Trump and his Pocahontas taunts. But I think Senator Warren is capable of taking on a bully. Her life story has much to consider. I don't anything was given to her. She has worked hard to achieve her academic and political status. Let's focus on the nation's needs and how best to address them.

  161. Thank you, Mr. Kristof, for owning and acknowledging your bias. I can only hope that your change of mind and heart will be an example for those in the middle of the country.

  162. Liz is tough, consistent and doesn't give up. These are extremely important qualities in a leader. The US needs her economic leadership wherever that position may be.

  163. Continue to be impressed by Warren. Really enjoyed the profile article in last Sunday’s NYTimes magazine. Thanks for your thoughts. Lookin forward to the debates.

  164. I would be thrilled to have Senator Warren as the Democratic candidate who wins the Primary. And I will definitely vote for her if she does. But I keep coming back to reality that her policy proposals are great, but are pretty much dependent on the House and the Senate passing these bills. We must have the Senate, and even then it will be difficult. But it's great to have it as a goal. I keep wondering if the NYT is doing the same to Pete Buttigieg as they did to Bernie Sanders last time. Buttigieg is high in poll numbers and often isn't mentioned - as in this article. He might not be able to win, but big numbers of voters like him - and I'm included in that group.

  165. @Pat Boice McConnell will block ANY democratic initiative and then claim they got nothing done when the next election comes around. This is as true of Buttiieg as it is of Warren - or Biden for that matter who still thinks he can work with them after eight years of Obama getting the same treatment. The answer is to beat them and beat them bad and to have good ideas that Americans can get behind. Warren has those ideas. I don't yet know what Buttigieg wants to do, but I don't care about having a beer with any of them. I want them to work for us.

  166. @Ken - You're right about McConnell, that's why I said "we must have the Senate". If Republicans maintain their majority in the Senate we're pretty much sunk in getting meaningful legislation passed.

  167. Thank you Nicholas for endorsing Warren. I worked for Bernie's campaign but now I am fully convinced that Elizabeth Warren is by far the best candidate. We need not only defeat Trump but to see significant systemic structural changes brought to our limping democracy. Warren's sense of societal equilibrium and fairness is her strong mark. Her plans keep getting more detailed are profound, for they will steer US towards the Nordic Model (aka Scandinavian Socialism) that produces great results. Emotionally, she's got it!, she can communicate well and with warmth without being scholarly to drive away folks who are afraid of the "elites". She is indeed the Kansas girl that is here to reshape our way of doing business with a heightened degree of justice and real hope that the future's most pressing issues will be addressed, be that the Climate Crisis, a fair tax system and steering the economy towards a dynamic, sustainable course. Warren is the one! She will be a formidable president!

  168. @Nicholas Warren was raised in Oklahoma but that's on the border of Kansas. signed, a Kansas girl

  169. Warren has gained momentum and rightly so. She addresses the concerns of a broad range of voters in a way they can see it would benefit them if she were elected. Not sure she has electability (a word too often used to undermine women) but she certainly has credibility. Her relative newcomer status could help her. If Biden were the candidate, how would he fight off claims successfully made by Drumpf against Clinton: nothing achieved in 20 years, elitist, member of the swamp. Besides, Biden would have a hard time exciting progressive voters, leading to lower turnout in critical states. For Drumpf, Biden would be the ideal democratic nominee.

  170. Warren has never filed bankruptcy, stiffed blue collar workers or relied on family money. Self made. Over-prepared. A terrific counterpoint to current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And she knows how to laugh. Has my vote.

  171. @kat perkins I have an ounce of faith in the electorate left for this election. I'm so afraid of all those old white uneducated males and their wives who just want someone "presidential" and for whom that means old, white, male, tall, deep voice. I think every other voting bloc would agree with you. I've never been more concerned for an election, never more concerned for our country. It would certainly be great to have Trump defeated by a woman. But I'm still terrified.

  172. @kat perkins. When Trump laughs, it is either in public when he derides his enemies, or in private, when he is laughing at all of us.

  173. Why do I love Liz? I love Liz because she has actual policies. As a country we should have learned our lessons about secret/undiscussed/unformed policies /plans - starting with Richard Nixon's secret plan to win the war in Vietnam up to an including Donald Trump's repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act with "a beautiful plan". Ultimately, some of Ms. Warren's policies may not fly, others may get changed in the horse-trading that is our form of government. But, Liz is the only - repeat only - candidate who has articulated actual policies that I, as a voter, can consider. Take a note, all candidates - this is not an election the electorate wants to hear "we need to have a conversation on that". Listening Kamala? Pete?

  174. I agree with what Kristof said. I admit I will vote for any of these Democratic presidential candidates that wins the primaries. I read Warren's autobiography, which convinced me she is "the real deal" (one of her favorite expressions). Her story is about struggle and overcoming one obstacle after another--a divorced young single mom with no money trying to get herself an education (starting at the community college level); a woman from a working-class Oklahoma background having to prove herself as a woman and a professor all the way up to Harvard Law School. Of course, she is smart as a whip, energetic, and serious about what she wants to accomplish--not for the rich but for the middle class, and she knows what she is talking about not only academically but personally. I like a lot of the Democratic presidential candidates, each for different reasons. Two weeks ago, I was for a candidate other than Warren. But then I watched her on the NY Times video interviews, and she is warm, funny, self-deprecating, and smart as a whip (unlike we know who). In comparing her to the other Democratic presidential hopefuls, I don't agree with all her policies, but decided she is the strongest in the most fundamental, crucial characteristics for a POTUS: genuine character, real concern about everyday people, a true sense of human decency, and deep respect for law, the fair treatment of all, and I think she may be the one to unite us more than most. She is good on the bully pulpit too

  175. @PB "The real deal" reminds me of that wonderful scene near the beginning of "The West Wing" when the character Josh Lyman (I think) said that about the future president, Bartlett, and became excited to work for his election.

  176. Thank you for your thoughtful analysis of Elizabeth Warren and her policy proposals for the American people. I am supporting Senator Warren for those very reasons. The more I’ve listened to Elizabeth and examined her ideas, the more impressive she has become.

  177. I want Warren as my president. She applies rational analysis to one public policy issue after another and does so better than anyone else. The reason she did not do this during the phase when she found it worth mentioning that she might have had a Native American in her lines of descent, no matter how far back in time, is now, something I now understand. Why? My 22 years of living in Sweden and digging deeply into the history of the Swedish Institute of Race Biology founded in 1922 and then looking back daily to my America taught me what I had never realized. What is that? All too many Americans, including even Times columnists and of course the Census Bureau, find themselves unable to think, talk, and write about human difference without using the concepts and language invented by ancient races. So too for EW during a phase. Still true daily in the NY Times. American exceptionalism in its purest form. Sweden learned that having an Institute of Race Biology was wrong. Perhaps Elizabeth Warren can learn from that lesson once she is president. I hope so. Only-NeverInSweden.blogspot.com Citizen US SE

  178. Turning Elizabeth Warren loose on the US economy would lead to disaster, and forgiving tuition debts would enrage the many who had paid/worked/saved to pay their own way through college. I am neither rich nor wealthy and, yes, I am envious of how much money US billionaires have. However, what Elizabeth Warren and her ilk are proposing is pure Communism: From each according to his (or her) ability, to each according to his (or her) need. While income tax is authorized by the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, nowhere does the Constitution nor any of its Amendments authorize government confiscation of accumulated wealth. Besides, not only will those affected fight such confiscation, they will also find ways to move their wealth offshore to places where such tax policies are not in place. As Margaret Thatcher so aptly put it, "The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." The same concerns apply to the corporate sector, which would surely suffer if Warren were elected President. Spending trillions on debt-forgiveness and free tuition is merely her way to buy the nomination and votes. Warren has such limited personal and political appeal that she is unlikely to gain the nomination and would, if made the Democratic candidate, virtually guarantee Trump's victory. Why is the Democratic National Committee so unable to develop and put forward a platform (and a candidate) that will appeal to a winning majority of US voters?

  179. @Mon Ray Like you, I am not a fan of debt-forgiveness and free tuition. I sacrificed and saved to pay for both of my children’s college expenses in full. However, as they say, “Houston, we have a problem here.” Most of the 44 million people who carry a student loan can’t afford them nor can they default. What do you think happens next? More protests? More riots? More violence? Our debts are growing faster than our economy. Total debt is growing at 4% per year while, since 2008, our economy has grown only 2.9% per year. The young and poor in America have no hope of affording the American dream: median incomes are $60,000 and average college debt is more than $30,000. Perhaps, as in Leviticus 25:8-17, we need to have a biblical-style Jubilee to make a fresh start where all debts are canceled and collateral property returned to “reset” the financial order. The last Jubilee in America was nearly 49 years ago in 1971 under Richard Nixon when he repudiated our nation’s debt by abandoning the Bretton Woods gold-standard.

  180. @Mon Ray: Communism, socialism, it seems to all the same for some who don't trouble to become informed on the basic differences between them. When the US government bailed out financial institutions in 2008, the free marketers were very silent on the socialization of private business debts to be paid for by American working people. Banks never run out of other people's money. As for the Constitution, the 16th Amendment was needed for an Income Tax Act because the Constitution expressly prohibited indirect taxation. Wealth is not protected in the Constitution, which is why inheritance taxes, i.e., a tax on wealth, is "Constitutional." Business firms that invest get all kinds of tax breaks. People who invest in their education (and lose potential income while in school) perhaps should also get public assistance with their burdens. Then the US might have a better educated population who might advance critical thinking on serious issues.

  181. @Mon Ray I know many people who paid off student loans... for bachelor and graduate degrees... and they want to see student loan debt relief. This includes myself (who paid out-of-pocket for an associate and bachelors degree and paid off a lot of student loans for a masters and ph.d.) and my adult child (who paid off a ton of student loans for her bachelors and doctor of veterinary medicine degrees). We’d prefer that others not have to struggle so much, especially when they’re starting their families and careers. As far as communism goes, you couldn’t get any further off base. No one is advocating that the government completely take over the means of production/business; nor is anyone advocating taking everyone’s wealth and redistributing it to the masses. Not Elizabeth Warren. Not Bernie Sanders. None of the democratic candidates are advocating such nonsense.

  182. It has long been apparent that the qualities needed to be a great President are almost the opposite of these needed to become President. Some may think I am too cynical but when I consider recent history, I think I am realistic. Unfortunately I see no way out.

  183. She's the one, Mr. Kristof! My early prediction is that she will become our president and the country will be able to breathe again. I also think there are so many great candidates that she will ask many of them to fill cabinet positions. We need her and we need Inslee, Mayor Pete, Harris, Booker, et al, and the passion and patriotism they will bring back to our democracy. I'm feeling hopeful.

  184. @Nancie Kamala Harris as Attorney General Jay Inslee Climate Czar.

  185. A fair and balanced piece which explores both a candidates policies and their personality in an objective way. Not a hit piece, not an act of abject worship. Real facts presented with straightforward analysis. No short circuiting the discussion of policies and the big picture by resorting to holy "electability", or dwelling hard on the single most un-presidential thing they ever did. Well done Nick - at least today you're ahead of most of the pack at the NYT. One point I feel is missing in Warren's platform is the link between Climate Change and decline of US mfg. We import a lot from counties that don't have stringent air quality of CO2 controls - what good does stringent controls have if mfg just continues to move abroad. My main misgiving about Warren's platform is the blunt emphasis on taxing corporations. "Blunt" here is the keyword. Say a corporation buys out employees to lay them off and move production overseas. Compare that to a corporation who invests in a new US factory to move production from overseas to the US. Both corporation have one time costs that could be used for tax exemption, but which one SHOULD be?

  186. I'm all in for Warren as well. Will ultimately vote for whomever gets the nomination, but after study of the candidates, I think she's what we need right now. I'm glad she toned down the academic and wonkishness in her bedside manner as well. That was a major mistake Clinton made. Women cannot 'sound' like politicians. Men can, but alas, women can't. It's not what people are comfortable with.

  187. This is a rather careless column, Mr. Kristoff. My biggest complaint is how easily you resolved, to yourself at least, the very legitimate concern that Sen. Warren tried to game affirmative action, to advance her career. You dismiss this, and you shouldn't. To quote your column “'The Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools,' the newspaper concluded." First, and most importantly, it doesn't matter whether Sen. Warren's repeated false statements about native American ancestry actually helped her. The evidence and timing strongly suggests her intent was to game the system. We can't read minds, but it likely the case she was behaving dishonestly in the zero-sum process of academic faculty appointment and promotion. And it is her intent that matters here. Second, it is rather naive to believe without question the analysis of the Boston Globe and Harvard faculty absolving her. Both are highly liberal institutions, and a bit of skepticism is entirely appropriate. Perhaps this is not a deal breaker. But there is a lot of unscrupulous gaming in the world, none of it good, and frankly Sen. Warren's behavior should bother us all. Finally, I applaud Sen. Warren's frequently policy proposals. Problem is, when one looks below the surface, most are impractical.

  188. Suppose, by a stretch of the imagination, Warren 'gamed the system.' So what? Warren is the one going around explaining that no one got rich on his own. Trump continues to lie, insisting that he is a self-made billionaire, despite his father's evasion of estate taxes and The Donald's multiple bankruptcies.

  189. @Alex "Problem is, when one looks below the surface, most are impractical." Without explanation and specifics, this remains fiction. Similarly, without explanation and evidence, also fiction is your suggestion that Warren's exoneration concerning Indian heritage is also fiction

  190. @Alex Warren listed herself as Native American in a directory that has zero relevance to her own professional success. The issue of a lack of women of color on the Harvard law faculty was hugely prominent throughout the 90s and 2000s. It caused no end of student protests, Crimson editorials, etc. If the faculty of HLS considered Elizabeth Warren to be a Native American when they hired her, you can be darn well sure they would have made a BIG deal of it. But if you look back at the campus and broader news coverage of her hiring, this is not at all the way she was presented or understood by the faculty or community, which is pretty good evidence that she *didn't* make such a claim. (Warren critics have seized on one comment made by one HLS staff member to the Crimson several years later, trying to reply to critics by saying "wait, but Elizabeth Warren is actually Native American," but even that comment explicitly says that neither faculty or students thought of her that way and that her heritage was little-known.) Lani Guinier is and always has been universally described as the first woman of color to join and be tenured on the faculty (she came several years after Warren), and Jeannie Suk as the second (about 15 years later).

  191. It will be hard, but I believe Warren will be our next president. I believe Bernie is the moral foundation of our coming progressive revolution, and I believe Warren is its political future. No matter who wins the nomination, all the top ideas of each candidate should be combined into a policy statement guiding the next presidency. Which will be Democratic.

  192. @Murray Bolesta I certainly hope you are right

  193. A concern - if Bernie and Elizabeth continue to split the progressive vote, Biden wins - this was how Trump continued to win against lesser opponents. Will Bernie Sanders at any point work for the greater good and support Warren, I fear he will stay in the race too long.

  194. @Frank Roseavelt You mean the way Warren supported him during the last campaign? She prevaricated when she could have come out strongly for him, and then pursued her own "greater good" by deciding to run on Clinton's ticket. I see no reason why Sanders should support Warren, but perhaps he is a better man than she.

  195. @Frank Roseavelt Bernie has shown himself to be a destructive narcissist. He will not work for the common good. He shafted Hillary and helped Trump win. Hopefully, people will see Warren's positive progressiveness and take heart and see in Bernie Sanders what he is: a relic of the 60s, whose vague socialism will be shot down in the general election and lead nowhere.

  196. Warren would mop the floor with Trump’s “do” in a debate. She would be an excellent President because she is smart, cautious, graceful, eloquent, and truly cares about people, in addition to form opinions based on facts.

  197. "She is a believer in a market economy, regulated to keep it from being rigged..." Whaaaat? It's regulation that's rigging. A truly free market is just that: one driven by market forces, such as people exercising free choice over what to buy and from whom. Warren wants to break up Amazon because it's a monopoly. No, it is not a monopoly. Nobody is forced to deal with Amazon, nobody. Apparently she's never heard of Walmart, with sometimes better prices and faster delivery. Nor has she heard of Target, or of eBay, whose deals often outclass Amazon's. She wants to break up Google on the same ground. Ever heard of Bing? Microsoft? Apple? There is only one genuine monopoly in this country, and it is the Federal government. No way to avoid dealing with it. If you're against monopolies, then reduce the size, scope, power, and authority of government. And by all means reduce regulation, not increase it.

  198. @Eddie If you believe in fully unfettered capitalism then by all means remove all regulations. But remember our founding fathers believed in checks and balances. I believe this principle applies also to capitalism - let it run but don't let it run unregulated. Government is not 'bad'; it's messy and inefficient but it's also necessary. Visit a country where government has failed: rich people live behind barbed wire, the poor are uneducated and there is no middle class.

  199. I had the same epiphany a few weeks ago regarding Elizabeth Warren but mine came from slightly different place. I think the heart of the Trump/Republican disaster is the collapse of the American middle class specifically in the midwest and industrial belt but elsewhere in the country as well. The American Dream has been shattered in the last few decades and people are angry, hurting, and disenfranchised. Trump tapped into this anger and, unfortunately, Clinton didn’t address it at all. I call it ‘The Problem’. I’ve said repeatedly over the last few years that the Dems control their own destiny – they only have to directly face and prioritize ‘The Problem’. When I heard EW speak a few weeks ago she was focused directly on The Problem but with real ideas and commitment. Then I learned more about her Nebraska upbringing, single mom story, etc. I also noted that she is fearless, she doesn’t hesitate and she doesn’t back away. 8 Million 2012 Obama votes switched to Trump in 2016 – EW can pull them all back and swing the whole discussion back to the left where it ultimately needs to be solved. She has to keep pounding this populist drum, navigate left of center and not fall into the scores of rabbit holes that Dems fall into. She can win it all and nudge the Dems onto a new governing path.

  200. Thank you Mr Kristof, for emulating Ms Warren by owning up to your mistakes. I've already made up my mind, I'll be voting for her in the primaries. Her policy proposals go right to the heart of every problem she grapples with. In 40 years of voting I've never seen a candidate specify such a detailed platform and eschew platitudes. She has evolved into a truly impressive politician who can captivate a room and connect with people. If anyone can take on Trump-and do it on her own terms-it's Elizabeth Warren.

  201. I consider myself a little right of center and a Bill Clinton democrat. I liked Obama and Hillary and I thought that Hillary might be the last Democrat that I would support. However I am encouraged by this batch, including Amy Klobucher and Deval Patrick. I am also liking Elizabeth Warren more as I hear her speak, which was not the case with Bernie, I liked him less the more he talked. This shows her grasp on fiscal matters and capitalism in general and this inspires trust. I am happy to say that there are Democrats I support and Elizabeth Warren is foremost among them.

  202. She was the first out of the gate after the Mueller report was issued to correctly call for an immediate impeachment inquiry. She won my vote that very moment.

  203. You worried about her tendency to "shoot from the hip" based on one incident, which she later apologized for?

  204. I just read an opinion piece in the Washington Post that asserts that the NYT does give preference to negative news about Joe Biden as it did for Hillary Clinton. It reminds me of the negative stories about Warren's Indian heritage. The NYT informs me and how they weigh their articles impacts my thoughts about a candidate. I fear that the NYT in progressing their need for fair reporting is giving too much weight to irrelevant flaws of a candidate; e.g. the claim of her Indian heritage. It is obvious that E. Warren (perhaps with Buttitieg and as Obama was) are the intellectual super stars in the Democratic party. The real question is how they apply that skill to excite the masses. An they cannot do it alone. The press plays a major role in that.

  205. In her book "This Fight Is Our Fight," Warren describes an anti-Trump rally with a little girl sitting on her father's shoulders carrying a sign that said "I Fight Like a Girl." Warren comments "So do I, sweetie; so do I." That's the essence of Elizabeth Warren. May she get the chance to fight the good fight for us.

  206. Exactly my feelings. I have always loved Liz since her days of going after wall street thugs, but was wary of her voice. Her voice! It seemed screechy and I thought she would not come across well to the general public. I cringe myself, listening to myself say that, but she sounded shrill. My wife would say, "Because you don't like strong women." "Nonsense! "I married you!" But lo and behold, LIz doesn't sound screechy anymore, and I'm not sure if she's toned it down or just toned up the content of her message, but it's working on me. She has substance, ideas, policy, and compassion, and you can't ask for much more out of a president.

  207. @dave beemon Maybe she worked with a voice coach because she thought men might be annoyed to listen to her. Just last night I talked with my 81-year old cousin, who is kind of a Democrat. He has had some good things to say about Warren's ideas, but last night he said she sounds "strident." I refrained from asking whether he had ever used that term about a man, but I suspect not. Many men also refer to women who speak out as "shrill." Despite what the dictionary may tell you about these two words, they basically mean the same: someone is hearing something they don't want to hear, and they find it uncomfortable to hear from a woman. Instead of arguing with what the woman has to say, they complain about her voice.

  208. An elegant mind

  209. Just like many of us were wrong about trump: “he could never be elected!” so let’s not take him seriously.

  210. Warren's motto (based on what she has said) should be "We are all in this together". This is what it means to be an American.

  211. Yeah, I read the Magazine article and have listened to past interviews. I’ve come around too.

  212. I took student loans to go on vacations and buy expensive mountain bikes. If Senator Warren wants the taxpayers to pay my loans, Go Lizzy!

  213. While I like Warren, I predict that Trump's behavior--his middle-school name-calling--will reach an all-time low, especially if her poll numbers start looking good. The truly unfortunate thing is that his puerile, lowest-common-denominator attacks actually do appeal to so many of his base. People think it's just so clever, hysterical, and "honest." After all the lies Trump has told, Warren's Indian background, whatever it is, is small potatoes.

  214. Elizabeth Warren seems the strongest candidate to me. But this comment from the author shows part of what's wrong with our politics these days: "More broadly, Warren has improved tremendously as a politician. Early on, she sometimes came across as a stern Harvard professor eager to grill you about an obscure tort case. She’s now much better on the hustings. Forget the tort case and Harvard Law; she’s an Oklahoma gal who wants to have a beer with you." That kind of argument helped get George W. Bush into the White House, though he was not elected.

  215. Elizabeth Warren is impressive because she has intelligent, clearly articulated, useful positions on many complex issues- (unlike Bernie Sanders). This should accord her great standing with approximately 1% of American voters. Too bad she wasn't the host of a reality TV show or a compulsive liar and fantasist like Donald Trump- then she'd really have something going.

  216. I hope to witness the debates that pit Elizabeth Warren against trump. Her clear syntax versus his word salad. Her thoughtful proposals versus his shots in the dark. Her mental toughness versus his notoriously thin skin. Her justified criticisms of his administration versus his schoolyard taunts. Her compassion versus his cruelty. Her depth versus his shallowness. The contrast couldn’t be sharper, and only the willfully blind wouldn’t see it.

  217. @Drusilla Hawke I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, considering the nightmare that has been the past 2.5 years, the willfully blind just so happens to be Trump's base. Scandal after scandal after scandal- and they still treat him like a messiah.

  218. @Drusilla Hawke Bravo! Very well stated.

  219. @Drusilla Hawke: "The contrast [between Trump and Warren] couldn’t be sharper, and only the willfully blind wouldn’t see it." Okay, but what about the 62,979,636 severely visually impaired Trump voters?

  220. I was praying for Warren in 2016, because I thought Hillary Clinton could not win the presidency. She had already attempted and lost to Obama, and I for one wondered what happened to the Democrats by basically pushing everyone but Hillary out. Warren's autobiography, "A Fighting Chance" is a really good read, believe it or not. She understands working folk, plus she's educated and intellectual enough to come up with the plans to fix our problems. Even better, those plans don't include a tax cut for the rich!

  221. Mr. Kristof, Please keep your opinions to yourself regarding United States politics where you have caused damage in my opinion. I will never forget your column imploring Bernie Sanders to drop out of the race and not stand in the way of Hillary Clinton. Where did that get us? I voted for her in the Primary because she appeared to be the most electable. Where did that get us? I think you should stick with your efforts to specifically help those disadvantaged internationally where you have done so much good.

  222. @Mark G she won the popular vote. Russia misinformation would not have spared Bernie if he had been the candidate.

  223. First and foremost the Democratic candidate must be able to defeat the President. Warren is considered a socialist by the right. I have a wait and see approach to her candidacy because Warren quite frankly doesn't inspire excitement in young people and that is who will be needed to win in 2020.

  224. @MikeC Yesterday talking to good friends, husband and wife, Trump supporters. They were complaining that their kids have good, expensive education, but aren't doing anything with it. One has joined Americorps. The other is in Iowa, working for Elizabeth Warren.

  225. @MikeC If the right disagrees with you, then you are a 'socialist."

  226. @MikeC, I am not so sure about that claim. The young people with whom I interact are losing faith both in our capitalist economic system and in our form of government. They see governance that is heartless, cruel, short-sighted, pedantic, and corrupt. They know of Elizabeth Warren. They get that she cares. I'm not saying that she's choice number one, but that's because she's not that well known yet. Give her time.

  227. Some differences between Warren and Trump are: "I have a plan for that." vs. "I alone can fix it." One wants to create, the other destroy. One includes people, the other excludes them. One is smart, the other isn't. One is clear and can express it; the other is changeable and cannot. One wants to help women, the other uses and abuses women. Warren's ideas deserve to be in the marketplace. We ought to be discussing them, rather than reacting to the latest scandal or bombshell. Warren is on the side of patriotism as defined by deGaulle: "When love of your own people comes first." Trump is on the side of nationalism, "when hate for people other than your own comes first."

  228. Good column, Mr. Kristof. Lots of people had the same doubts about her candidacy at first. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  229. Like you, and I suspect many others, I'm rapidly coming to the same conclusion. Elizabeth Warren has the smarts, the outlined plans, and most importantly, the heart I want to see back in the Oval Office. She has constantly, throughout her life, been carrying the torch for working people. And after a hundred years of women voting, it is time for a woman to be president. #WarrenButtigieg2020

  230. So NOW you say you were wrong. It says here that I'm from CA, but I'm really from Boston. This is just a sort stint. What about an apology, a really heartfelt apology so that we can read it and say this guy is really truly sorry. That this isn't because she'll be on TV tonight and you don't want to look bad tomorrow. You know, she saved us from Scott Brown in MA. He's got a nice wife and one of his daughters sings well. But Scott sits on his brains Trump has him in New Zealand, and he had to be told how to behave. Anyway, sorry, very very sorry and contrite. I usually think you are very good to great. And thoughtful. But taking after Liz was a huge mistake.

  231. Excellent article and thoughts. One phrase hit me and that was regarding the Palestinians. Frankly, when their leaders show true concern for their welfare and development, I will be impressed. Realize that Sunni Arab nations are now getting tired of their generation after generation claim of being victims. They have had numerous opportunities to establish their nation and have received literally billion of dollars over the past 50+ years and have very little to show for it. Their leadership has siphoned these funds into their private pockets and left their citizens with practically nothing.

  232. I don't know if I agree with her on many issues, but much like Bernie I believe that she has honest convictions that have been held for some time and that she has well constructed policy prescriptions that are at the very least, worthy of further examination. Whether she wins or not, she belongs at the table in a high position where her expertise is fully brought to bear on the plethora of problems that the country has found itself in a stalemate on and Trump has no interest in trying to solve.

  233. I, too, have come around to Elizabeth Warren as my preferred candidate because I see her a triple threat, or, rather a triple skill set. 1) She's got serious, realistic policies as well as ways to pay for them. It's not pie-in-sky proposals, but shows why she was so good at the Consumer Finance Protection Corps. 2) She no longer comes across as an ivory tower intellectual but is able to relate to real people and shows she's from the working class and has struggled to rise. She's a communicator. 3) She's tough as nails and doesn't scare.

  234. She has to win the Primeries first. And right now she doesn't poll well in many states she needs to win. And more importantly, in the States she needs to win if she does get the nomination.

  235. I pray this election is about “kitchen table” issues, I suspect it will be about TRUMP. He is a showman and Americans love a show. I can’t help but remember all of us talking about how no person has ever been more qualified to be President of the US then HC. We were not wrong, but “qualified” and “policy” hasn’t won a National Election in a long long time...passion, we need someone who inspires. Like it or not #45 inspires 1/2 of this Nation.

  236. Welcome aboard, Mr. Kristof. I am disappointed that you were gullible enough to fall for the mendacious right-wing smears about Ms. Warren's alleged exploitation (never happened) of her DNA-proven Native American heritage. I, for one, celebrate the likely election to the Presidency of a citizen who is not wholly the descendant of post-1492 illegal immigrants who swarmed onto this continent in violation of tribal law.

  237. @WP No need to be snitty, friend! When someone comes around to your point of view, the thing to do is welcome them, not scold them. I was skeptical about EW too, not because I didn't appreciate her intelligence and vigor, but because I thought her unforced errors had made her an easy target for Trump's sandbox taunts and ridicule, rendering her unelectable on the national stage. Her presentation and performance so far have changed my mind, and the positive reception she is receiving is encouraging. I hope she succeeds. If she does, I will gladly vote for her. The problem was not gullibility, but an incorrect initial assessment, which I am happy to acknowledge. That's essentially what Kristof is saying.

  238. @Migrateurrice Quite right. The "gullible" stems from my extensive 2016 study of the literature on Hillary Clinton, left, right, center, and autobiographical. I was disgusted to see how the vast right-wing conspiracy had tainted the commentariat with slurs that were lazily parroted by people who should have known better. Don't you dare do that to Elizabeth Warren!

  239. @WP I voted for George McGovern in my first presidential, via absentee ballot from aboard an aircraft carrier engaged in combat operations in the Gulf of Tonkin. You had to be 21 back then. My credentials are solid. Since then I have come to realize that tilting at windmills, while briefly satisfying, is ultimately counterproductive. All those who insisted on voting for Nader and Stein and Johnson (who??) accomplished was to give us W and Trump. When I pointed this out in a food co-op where I was volunteering, I was dismissed as a "conservative"! I noticed EW way back when she aspired to lead the CFPB, her own brainchild, and liked her instantly. I thought it was a shame that Obama had to give the job to Cordray instead (a good guy) bowing to rabid Republican opposition in the Senate. It was that outrage that drove her to stuff her enemies by claiming a seat next to them. Now she is a ¼-inch stone in those Republican kidneys, seeking to leapfrog them to claim the brass ring. I started to say "strike fear into those Republican hearts", but remembered that those scoundrels were absent when that particular organ was being distributed. There is no immunization against nor cure for stupidity, as you well know by our fellow citizens who are currently supporting the Oregon Senate Republicans refusing to play by the rules because they are in the minority, so fled to Idaho. I hope we get a chance to vote for EW, but if she stumbles I can hold my nose and vote even for Biden.

  240. America has sunk so far right for so long, it confuses fresh air with what Scandinavian social-democrats did so well generations ago. But all right, it IS a breath of fresh air for you US citizens, dupes, victims and culprits of rabid greed and capitalism. And for once that a politician comes up with ideas... shall we complain ?

  241. Elizabeth Warren is head and shoulders above everyone else. She has a first rate intellect. She has the courage to challenge the status quo and ask, “Why?” And she has a heart — she actually wants to help people in contrast to all the poseurs who just want admiration or power.

  242. trump is afraid of Elizabeth Warren. I think she can beat him.

  243. I do not understand how Joe Biden can be leading in the Democratic polls. To me, Senator Warren's command of the issues; sheer intellectual caliber; and amazing background far surpass Biden's by any measure. Is it just that a nice smile beats substance any day of the week and twice on Sunday?

  244. @Ben Graham`s Ghost At this point, polls are about name recognition. Biden is more widely recognized than any of the other candidates - even Sanders. That will change.

  245. @Ben Graham`s Ghost About time to ignore polling which is meaningless at this stage. We need smart strong candidates to save the nation. Campaigns and platforms are built, they are not instant wonders/pep rallies and popularity contests based on a few slogans and engineered background. I truly hope citizens have learned something from the current destruction presidency.

  246. I think we need a woman president to beat macho Trump. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- And Trump is destroying democracy, day by day, Tweet by Tweet. Sen.Warren may be the best candidate to take on Trump and win. "Democracy is coming to the USA" (Leonard Cohen)

  247. I'd love to see a Warren-Sanders or Sanders-Warren ticket!

  248. “You built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless! Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay it forward for the next kid who comes along.” Isn't this how we were told our country works? It's supposed to be about "us" - not "me". I honestly thought that the whole point of it was to "pay it forward for the next kid who comes along". Once, I was the next kid. Seriously, folks, time for some serious thought.

  249. Weird that you listed a bunch of talking points against her before getting to the meat of your argument. And as for "she sometimes came across as a stern Harvard professor eager to grill you about an obscure tort case," bring it on. There are many of us who love articulate intelligent women who can grill you not just about tort cases but who will destroy just about any male competitor in a debate. She would shred Trump. And I expect her to shred Biden in the eventual debates too. She has my vote.

  250. Warren won't need to waste her breath campaigning "against" Trump. With her intellect, her diligence, and her passion for the greater good, she condemns him by her very presence. Without style, without charisma, without artifice, she will dwarf him in stature.