Elizabeth Warren Is the Democrats’ Unity Candidate

Her nomination would offer the best hope of bringing together the party’s warring factions.

Comments: 273

  1. The Titanic’s passengers were all unified inside the hull just before the ship struck the iceberg. It is virtually impossible for Senator Warren to win. No doubt dozens of other comments will cogently explain why, so I won't gild the lily. Mr. Bloomberg, Mayor Buttigieg, and Senator Sanders have a chance. Even then, I suspect they’ll have an uphill battle. I will vote for Senator Warren if she is the nominee, but I might as well write in my own name.

  2. @Cyclist It was virtually impossible for Trump to win in 2016. In November 2016, it was made possible because "virtually impossible" just mean someone giving up while someone else did not. It was virtually impossible for Americans to win against the British army but we did.

  3. @Cyclist It's entirely possible for any of the Democratic candidates to win - especially if you're going to say Bloomberg and Buttgieg have a shot - but it's not a guarantee for any of them to win (yes, not even Biden). Vote for the candidate you really believe in, and then come together to support as nominee the one who the most people did the same for. That's the only fair thing to be done, and anyone telling you to do otherwise is just pandering.

  4. @Cyclist Bloomberg is ready to spend a billion dollars on behalf of any candidate. So, yes, Warren can win.

  5. She's my senator and I'm very fond of her. But she lost the script when she refused to give a clear answer to whether taxes would go up to pay for Medicare For All. She had numerous opportunities to do so. This is reminiscent of when Hillary Clinton wouldn't confess to being extremely careless in her use of her cell phone. These are not great sins, but they are troubling in their perversity.

  6. But then she modulated her position in response to this critique. I think that speaks volumes to listening and compromising with American voters. People are allowed to make mistakes and revise. In fact, this episode and its aftermath proved Warren's mettle for me.

  7. @Jeffrey Waingrow - Let's look at the bottom line. Here is a simple calculation. The CBO says we spent $3.65 TRILLION last year for healthcare. Long term medical inflation is 5.25%. That means in the next 10 years, we will spend in excess of $50 TRILLION if nothing changes. Before you ask me how will we pay for M4A, tell me how will we pay for that. In fact, NONE of the estimates of the costs of M4A comes anywhere near $50 TRILLION. What about the public option and other plans? All of the plans are so vague there has been no estimate of their costs by experts, just wild guess by the candidates. The public option is just an ADDITION to our present mess of a system. I would bet that when you add up all the costs for the next 10 years it is even HIGHER than $50 TRILLION.

  8. @Len Charlap All good points, Len. But I'm simply talking about the optics, not the merits. Sometimes, bad optics will kill you even when you're on the right side of things. Warren started to slide right after she did her waffling.

  9. Thanks for this article. I agree. I think we need our first woman President to be elected in 2020, the one hundredth anniversary of women winning the right to vote in the U.S.A. Based on 60 years of work in Washington on controlling air pollution and improving auto safety I have observed that women tend to be more caring about the future of others than men. Warren cares enough to publish her plans for public scrutiny and accountability. Warren has a track record of achievement with the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Board that has already protected millions of Americans from fraud. Her work has found that injuries and illnesses are a major cause of bankruptcy. At the heart of protecting us from existential threats including Climate Crisis, Inequality, and Injustice is her emphasis on rooting out rampant corruption. Unlimited Money + Unlimited Power = Unlimited Corruption which is killing us all. I believe Warren is best for us all.

  10. She’s not the best. Far from it. Bernie is much better and much more honest.

  11. @louis v. lombardo I think she, and Bernie, are the ones who can make a difference. And while it's past time for the USA to ditch its macho-warrior President image, I don't think anniversaries are relevant. That said, I would be very happy if Warren was the first woman President, not just because of who she is, but because she got there under her own steam - not her husband's and not her father's.

  12. @louis v. lombardo Track record of achievement? Please list.

  13. I have deep respect for you Michelle and I am glad you cited your conflict of interest. But it exists nonetheless. I would be able to get behind either Bernie or Elizabeth. Let’s see how things shake out in the debates closer to the nomination. And see how strong they are in resisting another War of Empire in Iran. I refuse to vote for any candidate that caves in to American chauvinism. Hilary Clinton voted for the invasion of Iraq. Clearly an opportunistic move on her part to show that she as “tough as the guys”. Many people did not vote for her for good reason because of that vote.

  14. @Michael "Many people did not vote for her for good reason because of that vote." You're kidding, right? Vote blue no matter who. Yes, it does make a difference – if not in your life, then in the lives of millions of others, here and around the world.

  15. @Michael Oh yes, holding a grudge because of that vote was well worth stacking the SCOTUS and appellate courts with unqualified conservative judges, eliminating environmental regulations, treating migrant children like criminals, trashing our international reputation and alliances...(I could go on). But as long as you didn't sully your lily-white ideological hands by voting for a candidate whose every move you didn't agree with, it's all good.

  16. @Paul Pavlis Actually I’m not kidding. I’m 70 and I lived through three wars of Empire. And I’ve seen the impact of those on millions of people in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya. American lives are not more precious than the lives of any other members of Humanity. Hilary Clinton was and is just another warmonger. She voted for the war in Iraq and orchestrated the war in Libya. Trump is a Fascist. I will vote against him not necessarily for someone else. But I would never under any circumstances vote for Hilary Clinton. She’s just another opportunist.

  17. Sorry Michelle, but I think that your husband’s position does compromise your 2cents with regards to Warren. I love your columns, and respect you as a thinker and voice for the progressive left, but I believe that there should be as much separation as possible between “news media” and the vast political machines behind campaigns. For the record, I would love for Warren or Bernie to be the nominee.

  18. @sofi I think your position if nothing else, keeps women down and has done under the cloak of taking the higher road. Women have been barred from so many positions because of what their husband does giving de facto men's ability to both determine what jobs women will have and can't have because their job choice takes precedence. I recommend you have yourself a Katherine Hepburn/ Spencer Tracy film festival and reconsider--while enjoying great dialogue and clothes.

  19. @sofi Warren is the rarest of candidates who does not have a big political machine behind her - she is where she is due to grassroots donations - one selfie at a time.

  20. @no one perfect answer, thanks.

  21. As for conflict of interest, maybe your husband knows something really important and is willing to act upon it. As for the rest, Elizabeth Warren is the only candidate who combines progressivism with pragmatism. She speaks in policies, not platitudes. And that is what we need to combat the poisonous pathological posturing that we're up against. Yeah, if she isn't the candidate, I'll work for whoever is.

  22. @beaujames "As for the rest, Elizabeth Warren is the only candidate who combines progressivism with pragmatism. She speaks in policies, not platitudes." Brilliant! If I were EW, I'd hire you!

  23. As a thought experiment, If it comes down to the two most progressive candidates, I hope Warren would be open to being Sanders's VP. They'd crush Trump-Pence.

  24. @Taz As a rule parties try to balance the ticket with a VP with strengths that appeal to other constituencies, states and regions, to win the broadest possible support. The 2 most progressive candidates, both from New England states, might do well as a team in the northeast, but may not do so well nationally. I'd say Sanders-Warren, or Warren-Sanders, is probably unlikely for that reason.

  25. @Taz Warren would be better suited to running the SEC or the Antitrust Division at Justice than as President. With Tulsi Gabbard at DoD.

  26. Bernie is a walking disaster. If he wins over Trump we will be trading one lump for another. He has not released his medical records, is 80ish, had a recent heart attack, and has accomplished little in his long career in congress. For these and other personal reasons, the GOP will tear him apart. And, it looks as if Bernie's strategy is similar to his with Hillary. "A woman can't win": Chip away at her following and cement his own campaign. Corruption in our country is rampant after decades of GOP decadence. If Warren runs only on that she can win.

  27. How would she unify the party? She and Bernie are two sides of the same far left coin. They may win primaries but could never in a million years win the mid west much less a general election. Get outside of NYC and you will discover that these two Washington insiders don't represent America. Personally, I am betting that Mike Bloomberg, of whom you will hear a lot more following the early primaries, is not only going to get the nomination but will be our next president.

  28. @Simon Sez "They may win primaries but could never in a million years win the mid west much less a general election." Midwest used to be deep blue democratic territory until the party gave up on them. "I am betting that Mike Bloomberg, of whom you will hear a lot more following the early primaries, is not only going to get the nomination but will be our next president." So you're cool with someone literally buying their way into the White House? I'll leave my ballot empty for president before I vote for Bloomberg. I won't trade one narcissistic billionaire for another just because the new guy agrees with a handful of issues that I agree with.

  29. @Simon Sez Sanders does very well with Independants. Sanders, as of Sept, had more individual donors in the 206 Obama-Obama-Trump pivot counties than Biden, warren, Buttigieg combined. Sanders has the broadest multiracial, multigenerational base. Highest favorables, record volunteers, record donors. Off the charts enthusiasm. Sanders would be the unity candidate, except that the powers that be are going to do everything they can to sandbag him. Because they would rather lose to even Trump than win with a real left populist who would put the working people of this country ahead of the party's comfy, cozy, extremely lucrative relationship with corporate donors.

  30. @Sean So you are fine with 4 more years of a Trump catastrophe? shame. Bloomberg is moderate and has the capacity of unifying the country whereas Trump will only divide us further.

  31. The Clinton/Trump election demonstrated that sexism is a barrier to national election, at least as long as the electoral college exists. I, too, think Warren would make the best president of all the candidates. But I think anyone who looks at recent history for guidance on which Democrat is most likely to win the general election would have to settle on Deval Patrick. Obama ran Deval Patrick's playbook: speak idealistically but be moderate in substance; represent emerging American diversity. As I recall, Obama did pretty well in the general elections.

  32. First off, the two attacks on Bernie Sanders appear to have originated from the Warren campaign and are simply not true. The claim that Sanders told Warren that "a woman can't win" can only come from Warren, since there were only two in the room. Sanders said he absolutely did not say that, and I believe him. He has pointed out what we all remember clearly: He wanted Warren to run in 2016 and only entered the race because she didn't run. The second accusation, that the Sanders campaign was instructed to say that Warren only appealed to the elite, was antithetical to the strict rules that the Sanders campaign had instituted. Warren used this smear in a fundraising piece. Warren was never a "unity" candidate, and certainly won't be considered one after these attacks on Sanders. I am not a Sanders volunteer and I am not bound by Sander's rules to avoid criticizing the candidates, so I am going to say that I don't think Warren is a reliable progressive. She has a hard-right, Reaganomics history. Even after she finally became a Democrat at age 46, she wrote that we don't "need" "European-model", "quasi socialist" safety nets. A few months ago, she said that she didn't support publicly owned utilities. She's signaled that she will adhere to the bi-partisan, hawkish foreign policy consensus. She's backed away form a commitment to single-payer health. No, there is no easy way out, there is no "unity" candidate. Hopefully, the progressive will win.

  33. The real question isn't whether Elizabeth Warren is the best candidate, it's whether the American electorate is capable of recognizing that she's the best.

  34. @617to416 She has to be seen as the best in the right states. Therein lies the conundrum. Hillary was seen as the best in 2016, but couldn't pull off the lunacy of the electoral college. If Elizabeth surges ahead and takes the nomination, I hope her staff is able to figure out how to win the tough states. Regrettably I think Trump has that mastered.

  35. Why? Because she is a woman?

  36. @Lynn She has the best plans.

  37. I hope and believe that Democrats will rally around whomever wins the Nomination. If they learned anything from 2016… However, the path to becoming the next President leads through Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. I simply do not see Elizabeth Warren beating the likely Republican Candidate in those States.

  38. With her disclosure of her husband's work for Warren, Ms. Goldberg should recuse herself from opining on this. Her claims of Mr. Sanders' lack of support for Clinton are simply mistaken. While we're perusing the gender card, I'm of the opinion that much of Warren's support comes from a desire of Hillary's disappointed female followers to get a do-over in the form of Ms. Warren.

  39. @Tim Clark: thank you for challenging the Ms Goldberg's claim that Sanders offered only half-hearted support to Clinton's campaign. I was and am an enthusiastic supporter of Senator Sanders. I followed him closely even after he lost the nomination. Nothing I heard/read about challenged his whole-hearted endorsement of a Democratic win.

  40. @Tim Clark I get the feeling a lot of her staff, circa the 2019 summer, came on from the Hillary campaign. Her message changed around late summer and she's not the same as she was for the previous 12 years I was following her. Hillary's entrenched politics is poison now to the Democratic party, but a lot of people make a lot of money, win or lose, off of that model, so it's going to die hard.

  41. @Tim Clark. You are exactly correct. My mom told me a few weeks ago that she is quite literally supporting Warren because she’d like to see a female President before she dies, though (like me) she’d vote for any of the Dems. Got the lawn sign and everything. I love her and understand that position, even as we both agree she is doing it completely out of identity politics. And she’s white, upper middle class, boomer, voted for Hillary in MI even though she preferred Bernie’s policies, the whole nine. I love that she actually admits it though; I really respect that.

  42. You say that Warren has built up good will within the Democrat establishment, and that was why Julian Castro quickly endorsed her after dropping out. But is that really the reason? Isn't the main reason that he was always angling for Vice President and he has the best chance with Warren? He wouldn't be picked by Biden (needs a women) or Buttigieg (needs someone older with experience) or Sanders (also needs a more progressive women). So, Castro is playing his cards as they were dealt, like all politicians, whether he happens to like Warren or not. Your report should be tighter on these points, not quietly endorsing Warren, even though you mention your husband's work and your conflict of interest.

  43. @paulyyams Who's the last presidential candidate you can actually remember choosing a VP from the ranks of their primary competitors? Every cycle, people (of both parties) look at their primaries and try to play matchmaker by pairing up candidates as President/VP teams, but the simple truth is that it rarely-to-never works that way, at least not in the last twenty years or so. You run for President to become President, not to become VP. Every candidate on the stage that's even slightly cognizant of history (so, all of them) knows this.

  44. @Tom: The last major party U.S. presidential candidate who chose his/her VP from the ranks of his primary competitors was Barack Obama in 2008, who chose Joe Biden, who dropped out after doing poorly in the Iowa caucuses. Before that was John Kerry in 2004, who chose John Edwards, who was the clear second-place runner before Super Tuesday and dropped out after remaining in second place on Super Tuesday. Before that was 1980, when Ronald Reagan chose George H. W. Bush, his top rival. Before that, in 1960, JFK chose rival LBJ to be his running mate.

  45. @Tom: And before that, in 1956, Adlai Stevenson (D) chose rival Estes Kefauver. In 1948, Tom Dewey (R) chose rival Earl Warren. In 1944, Dewey chose rival John Bricker. In 1936, Alf Landon (R) chose rival Frank Knox. In 1932, FDR (D) chose rival John Nance Garner. In 1928, Herbert Hoover (R) chose rival Charles Curtis.

  46. Lately, unity isn’t in her plan. She’s unnecessarily trampling Bernie with falsehoods. She needs to take a step back, take a deep breath, and continue back on the straight and narrow, telling her story, explaining her policies and being forthright. It does no good to start sounding like she’s in a Republican debate.

  47. What? Bernie’s campaign started the sniping. Don’t forget, during the 2016 campaign Bernie gave us “rigged” re the Democratic party and introduced “untrustworthy” about Hillary. Remember, he isn’t a Democrat! He doesn’t care about the Democratic party. He’s only using it, and they’re letting him. And if he had conceded the race to Hillary after she had beaten him back in 2016, and asked his followers to support her, like a someone in the Democratic party would have done, instead of being a sore loser and holding out for weeks and weeks and griping, we very likely wouldn’t have ended up with Trump.

  48. There are many good points here, but the one that is missing is the general election. I plan on voting for the Democratic nominee, whomever he or she is. But while Democrats, especially progressives, want Warren for her ideas--some of which are good but need to be more workable--and because of her gender, will she pull the moderate vote? Can she position herself sufficiently to the center to gain more moderate voters? I'd like to think so, but I'm not yet convinced.

  49. @Larry It's worth noting that women, minorities, and people under the age of I think 30-35 make up 70% of the potential electorate. Can you pull some Obama to Trump voters? Sure and it's worth it. But opening up new voting blocs and fighting for voting franchise is probably more effective at this point. After all, the center has basically always gone along with the person that convinces them they'll continue to exist.

  50. Sorry, any candidate that is forsaking a righteous and passionate defense of the ACA does not have this democrat's support. Elizabeth and Bernie do not unite they divide - not just the party but more importantly the voters that matter in 2020 - independents and swing state moderates. Get real progressives - defeat trump in 2020

  51. I believe this criticism of Warren re healthcare is old. I thought, being the listener she is, Warren revised her healthcare plan so that it would start with the ACA (Obamacare) with the idea of developing it into universal health care, which I also believe was Obama’s intention. What a tremendous accomplishment it was for him to achieve so much re healthcare in this country, despite the wall of opposition he continually faced with all the great things he did—which Trump has dismantled. I believe Warren will work to reinstate those things

  52. @rd I doubt even the architects of the ACA themselves would mount a righteous and passionate defense of it on the basis that it was the best we can do, and that we should never try to build on it. It was, to my recollection, *never* intended to be the permanent, final solution for our nation's health care problems, just the best that was politically feasible to do to keep a crisis from spiraling into a disaster. The candidates that are proposing moving beyond the ACA are in fact its most passionate defenders, because if you're not moving forward, you're probably moving backward.

  53. @rd I've been on the dark side of the ACA and it put me tens of thousands of dollars into debt this past year. The system does not address the worst parts of our health care system- the profit motive, the 1000% markups on medicine and treatment compared to the rest of the world, the plans with the 7000 dollar deductibles. We can do better. The only thing the ACA did was maximize the insurance pool to slow down the rate of cost increase. And it was only marginally successful there. Band-aids won't fix this bill. It was at best a tourniquet on the wound our country has while we come up with something better. Remember, the ACA is, after all, a GOP originated plan. It *was* their plan right up until Obama proposed it.

  54. Biden is the only one who can take it all the way and win the general election. Wall Street is behind him, and that is crucial. Neither Warren nor Sanders can win in November. Consider who Trump is afraid of. It's Biden. That's what Ukraine is about. That's what impeachment is about. Trump is not afraid of Warren or Sanders because he knows neither of them can win. Biden is ahead in pretty much every poll out there, and he is the only one who consistently beats Trump. He is within the margins of error for the upcoming primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. The biggest problem for Democrats will be swing voters, voters who will go for Trump even though they don't like him but they like the Democratic candidate even less. Trump's approval rating remains at an amazingly inelastic 42%. Still, he won with 43% of the popular vote last time. If he could pick up enough additional voters who would vote for him even though they don't approve of him, he will win this year. That will turn out to be the case, if either Warren or Sanders wins the nomination. Democrats should start rallying behind Biden, before it's too late. Do we want the Democrat to win, or do we want four more years of Trump? That is the only question that is relevant.

  55. @Blue Moon "Wall Street is behind him, and that is crucial." That is *so* depressing. That means "the problems of our country won't change." The actively evil stuff Trump does will end sure, but all of the problems our country faced that Obama just kind of whistled by will still be there and we'll just kick the can down the road 4-8 years. And then the next GOP populist will actually be an effective parlimentarian and get things done. I'm sorry. I don't want to live in a world where the billionaires and wall street control *everything*. Where Facebook openly just says it's gonna lie to you and nothing happens. Biden is the shrug. Biden is giving up. Biden is admitting that we had it as good as it gets and there's nothing more.

  56. @Blue Moon “Wall Street is behind him”. Exactly WHY he can not be the nominee.

  57. @Blue Moon , Biden is passe and 45 will run circles around him. He is not mentally up for the job. However I will vote for any democrat over what we have.

  58. Many of us Ds in swing states have great concerns with Warren. Amy is a far better candidate.

  59. @david Thinking Elizabeth / Amy ticket. Giving both contributions frequently. What's wrong with America that it STILL hasn't allowed women to assume the leadership other countries do. Rhetorical question.

  60. All nit-picking, intrigue, and comparisons between Democratic candidates is lost energy. ALL available candidates are worthy, and would make good presidents. Let the voters choose, and then rally around the candidate. Stay focused on defeating Trump!

  61. Calls for "unity" represent efforts by reactionary Democrats to coerce rank and file members into supporting a candidate they don't like. Ignore such efforts. Sanders would be the best nominee.

  62. She messed up on Medicare for All. I am fine with a public option, first, I can follow that. But, Medicare for All is going to increase taxes on the middle class, and the working class. I don't see anyway around that. So many countries have it, already, or similar, that I cannot buy it won't come without a cost to all of us. I know the richest are most upset that they would have to contribute to a bunch of strangers health care, but the middle class and working class are the least upset about that.

  63. @athena Only in American politics can a candidate get utterly blasted by her own party for proposing, with a detailed public plan, that our government can be just as functional as the rest of the developed worlds' are without massively punitive tax hikes.

  64. @athena I'm not sure about that. If the Federal Government is allowed to negotiate prices, I don't think you'd see 30,000 dollars for a birth or 12,000 dollars to go see if you're having a heart attack. No other country on the planet charges what we charge for medical care. We pay like a 5000% premium on the exact same medicine, the exact same care as the rest of the industrialized world, If we accept that we're being fleeced and that we should be paying 1/100th to 1/1000th of what we're charged, then yes, our absolute tax rate may go up some, but our end of year out of pocket expenditure will go down. Especially if you end up using the services. Basically, if you take what employers contribute now to health care, and what you contribute now to health care, you've covered the cost for most people. Even before price reductions. If you have that fight and win, your total cost goes down. Always remember we pay orders of magnitude more than *any* other country. That's not normal.

  65. @Sean Exactly - mot people are not seeing that M4all (or similar universal payer) will bring down costs. For another thing, it will be be covering lots of healthy young people, instead of the older, less healthy constituency it covers now.

  66. Yes. Warren has the smarts, the experience, and all those plans! And, it seems strange for a party that values diversity about to narrow the race to two very old white men leading in the polls. Warren, to her credit, worked extremely hard for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and certainly deserves to have her mantle to lead the party in 2020. But, did she paint herself in a corner by accepting Sanders' Medicare for All plan that would take almost $22 trillion, face the fierce opposition of the health insurance industry, pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospital association that cannot survive on Medicare's low reimbursement, and physicians as well? It's time for Warren to step out of Sanders' shadow, not by accusing him of sexism, but by moving toward the center on Medicare for All and on paying off student debt. How about federalizing Medicai that would achieve universal care and implementing Medicare for All on it and the existing Medicare program? How about allowing students to work off their loan debt as teachers in rural and inner city schools, serving in the military, working at the VA especially those who have medical school debt or some other understaffed public sector jobs. Warren has my heart, but as a progressive I worry that she's too far out in left field. Let Bernie have that space and change her focus to "Realistic Solutions to Real Problems" with her biggest allocation of funds going to fight the real Number One problem--global climate change.

  67. She was my second choice but I am not impressed in discovering that she is less immune than I thought she was to the "horse race" mentality. We need and will get good reception for a candidate who can keep it on the issues.

  68. She is my second choice after Bernie. The pretense that it is the mean old Sanders campaign that is doing all the attacking is false, as it was in 2016. Personally, I wish both campaigns would treat each other respectfully. There are differences on substance. Bernie is closer to tge leftist anti- interventionist stance that many of us wish to see. Warren has to be pushed into it. But yes, anybody would be vastly better than Trump. Even Biden.

  69. Yes she would unite the Democratic Party — in either 1) immediate electoral defeat (have you ever TALKED to people who actually vote and are persuadable in PA, WI, MI,..) or 2) if she somehow wins, she’d accomplish absolutely nothing. Her wealth tax likely requires a constitutional amendment and Medicare for All likely requires at least senatorial control. Her Democratic Senate coattails will be none-existent, let alone sufficient to get to a veto-proof majority for her fantasy legislative agenda.

  70. I am curious why you think Warren wouldn’t do well in Wisconsin. As someone who lives in Wisconsin, I have been impressed by how many Democrats here like and respect her. You might be in for a surprise.

  71. I don't agree with most of Sanders' politics, but I have to respect his integrity and consistency. Warren seems to be trying way too hard to be the "cool mom" by pleasing everyone in her base at the cost of having genuine identity. Bernie and Trump would be a legendary showdown. Both men have huge personalities and egos. As an independent, this is the battle for America's future that I want to see happen.

  72. I think that Elizabeth Warren is a very fine candidate—brilliant, moral, warm and charismatic—but not interested, as far as I can tell, of being unifying, which requires the ability to be flexible. She is definitely not flexible. She’s determined and dogged. I don’t think her talent is in uniting people. Her talent is convincing people that she has all the right answers. Nothing wrong with that, but suggesting that she’s going to bring the factions of the Democratic Party together seems a bit naive.

  73. @Carol I suspect that generally speaking, the same people expressing concerns over a candidate not being "flexible" would be condemning them as a flip-flopper if they actually changed their position on any policy issues, or at the very least they would be easily drowned out by the people proclaiming such.

  74. @Carol Of course she’s flexible. Plus she seems to be everybody’s second preferred candidate if she’s not their preferred choice. Obama himself stated that he thinks women are better politicians. He also said “old men” should not be running.

  75. I agree with Ms. Goldberg's arguments and firmly believe that if Warren had led with "Medicare Opt-in" instead of "Medicare for All" she would be ahead in all the polls and almost a lock to be POTUS 46. The argument about overall costs is too complex for popular consumption and the posture of "I know better" is a loser. Believe the polls. Despite this having taken the wind out her sails somewhat, she can still do a mini-pivot, to "let's aim for single-payer a step at a time" and appears to be tacking that way. Dear Bernie: America absolutely can elect a woman; I have more doubt about the prospects for avowed socialists.

  76. @kgeographer Sanders is on record several times, from the 80s through today, saying a woman could be elected president.

  77. @kgeographer - I would like to know How many people must unnecessarily die because they could not get the care that would have saved their lives (that figure is 200,00 per year, look up amenable mortality) How many families have to go bankrupt and possibly go on drugs or suicide because they can't pay for medical care (there are 530,000 medical bankruptcies each year). How many people have to skip their meds because they cannot afford both meds and food Before we can complete the step-wise path? I really would like to know.

  78. "...I’ve hesitated to write too much about the Democratic primary because I have a conflict of interest — my husband is consulting for Warren’s campaign. Besides, while it seems obvious to me that of all the candidates Warren would be the best president... Surely you jest...

  79. @W in the Middle Frankly surprised that most readers seem to simply not care about this glaring conflict of interest. Perhaps our morals really aren't much better than the MAGA hatters.

  80. @W in the Middle , I can take the disclosure into account—most can. It was honest enough, and a cogent analysis followed. You seem to think family members of political workers cannot speak their own thoughts, or should be disallowed, censored. That makes no sense. A disclosure is sufficient. Readers are responsible for the weight they give the arguments.

  81. Too many of my friends who are mainly undecideds, (basically Independents), she reminds a lot of them of Hillary Clinton. She is not seen as having the political gravitas to move the country away from the Trump legacy. That might be unfair and it might be inaccurate, but as one who would back Yosemite Sam if he could beat Trump, I have to consider and respect the effect of that voting block.

  82. It sounds to me like Michelle is saying that party members would unify around her. Not that she is per se “the unity candidate.” But if you look at the polls, some of them give people an opportunity to name their second most preferred candidate, in addition to their first preference, And Warren is very high on the list of people’s second choice. That’s not to say she’s not the first choice of many as well. Thus... Michelle’s assumption that she is the most likely candidate around whom people will gladly rally. This race is very fluid. So many of us are constantly changing our minds or in quandary over just who to vote for in the primary. She is a top contender for a huge swath of the electorate. I personally think she would govern in a unifying manner. She is a realist in addition to an idealist. Both qualities are needed. And she certainly is not going to be a source of chaos. Far from it. I’d rather see her face on TV or the web or in newspapers than either Biden or Bernie. Equally I’d be happy with Buttigieg. She would build a winning team. And with Bloomberg’s promise of spending up to a billion dollars to elect a Dem, she will be well funded.

  83. @TheraP She listens. Has the humility to change her mind. Knows she doesn’t have all the answers. Incorporates good ideas from everywhere and gives them the credit for it. Warren would be a phenomenal President. Let’s keep the faith.

  84. @Patrician. Is that humility to change her mind or just good old selling out? I did not like her before I felt like I could support her and I am back to having my doubts

  85. @Patrick. “Selling out” is such an emotively laden word that I don’t think our online exchange will change your mind. (I’ve studied psychology... and conserve my energy online) Best,

  86. She and Bernie are the candidates who could drive moderate Republicans -- and even some Democrats -- to support Trump.

  87. The only Democratic candidate I have donated to is Elizabeth Warren's. She's the smartest, most competent, the best this race has offered. But if Bernie wins and makes her his VP, I can live with that. Everything else will be a HUGE disappointment.

  88. Whoops, guess Michelle Goldberg wrote this column prior to tonight's headline about the Warren/Sanders dust-up. I hoped that Elizabeth Warren would run in 2016. She didn't. And she conspicuously declined to endorse progressive candidate Bernie Sanders. She sat on her hands while Sanders narrowly lost in Massachusetts. Personally, I believe that Hillary Clinton offered Warren something in exchange for staying on the sideline. To me, she betrayed progressives in 2016. In 2020, I prefer Sanders, but I agree with Michelle Goldberg that Warren is more likely to unite the deeply divided Democratic Party. But Warren's implausible accusation that Sen. Sanders told her that a woman can't win the presidency is unfortunate at best.

  89. @Chris Rasmussen How is it implausible? And why would Senator Warren lie? There is a difference between saying that a woman ought not to be president, or cannot be president (not what Sanders said) and professing a belief that a woman cannot be elected president in 2020. "[W]hat would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.” Got it now? That's a political calculation (and one which even some women are, sadly, making). Warren can tell the difference. I am sure Sanders knows the difference. I wish Sanders' supporters would take a moment to think it through.

  90. @Chris Rasmussen Nothing implausible about it. The original CNN investigation has been buried by other outlets, but if you can find MJ Lee's original interview, it raising a lot of questions about Sanders and his campaign. For me, this echoes the 2016 problems of sexual harassment and sexual assault of Sanders campaign female staffers and the fact that Sanders neither took the complaints seriously, nor took responsibility in an appropriate amount of time. Yes, candidates aren't everywhere all the time, but the buck does stop with them, and he was way to lax and way to late in taking action, not to mention apologize.

  91. @Bodhi L and Martha: I don't doout that Sen. Sanders said something about the difficulties that a woman nominee might face, especially against President Trump. But it is implausible to me that Bernie Sanders, a lifelong politician, would be impolitic enough to say to a rival (and ally) that a woman could not win. To me, it does not ring true.

  92. I reject the central premise of this article which is that the factions of the Democratic party are "warring" with each other. For the primary, vote your conscience. For the presidential election, vote your party. It's that simple. Democrats get this (or they better).

  93. This column convinced me to switch back from Sanders to Warren (again). Makes good sense.

  94. @rodw This column, with a glaring conflict of interest and consistent poor analysis, led you to change your political alignments? Yikes. Poor judgement. The NYT is succeeding in tearing Sen. Sanders down with false narratives as soon as they realize he's a viable contender.

  95. I fell in (political) love with Warren seven years ago in the living room of a neighbor. She was so smart, so articulate, so real. I came home that night and told my spouse that I had found a political home in this (Senate) candidate. I have voted in nine presidential elections, but never have I felt as invested in a candidate as I feel about Warren. That said, I don’t share Goldberg’s assessment of Warren as a unity candidate. Biden’s supporters think women are meant to be supporters, not candidates themselves. Sanders people think that women are a nuisance, or only capable of acting out of spite (see the comments in today’s story about whether Sanders questioned women’s electability). Pearls before swine. Very depressing.

  96. @Cousy Remember that even if women are a “minority” we are actually a majority. And you don’t have to be a woman to vote for a woman, or a person of color to vote for a person of color. Identity politics have tried to simplify a much more complex reality. No one wants to be sold Wonder Bread on the basis that they are white and that the bread it too. Let’s give due credit to every citizen that makes up their own mind based on the candidates credentials, and not solely on the color of their skin. That is just so outmoded and insulting to all minorities. Just because old white guys tend, not always, to vote for old white guys, doesn’t mean that the rest of us follow that superannuated model.

  97. Is the goal uniting the Democratic Party or winning Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin? The goal is winning the electoral college. I can’t think of why Democrats would want a candidate that unites the democrats of California and Massachusetts and South Carolina but doesn’t wow the swing states.

  98. I'm sad to see Booker out of the race, I think he would've been a formidable opponent to Trump. Of the remaining candidates I fear that both Sanders and Warren lose to Trump due to their insistence on Medicare for All - something I think Americans would absolutely LOVE, but a huge step America isn't ready to take right now. Steyer and Bloomberg - coastal billionaire vs. coastal billionaire - Trump beats either. I love Mayor Pete but I know many don't - I'm also not sure America is ready for an openly gay president. I think that as of now, the best chance to unite the party and defeat Trump lies with Biden, Klobuchar or Yang. Considering appeal to disaffected Trump voters, Yang might actually be our best hope.

  99. Goldberg is absolutely right. Historically, progressives have seen their greatest electoral successes and most meaningful policy achievements when they’ve constructed broad coalitions. More than any other candidate, Warren has spent her career investing in relationships across a wide range of groups. Apathy and disillusionment played a considerable role in the Democrat’s 2016 defeat. Warren’s summons an energy and excitement that few can match.

  100. Warren may have the best chance to unify Democrats, but this isn't where the race will be won. Independents and moderate Republicans in swing states will be needed to win the general election, and a lot of them will not vote for Warren, or Sanders, because of their perceived "Socialism." True Democrats will vote (should vote) for the last person standing against Trump. For the crucial rest in the middle we need someone more moderate. Any of them will be so much better than Trump, but not if they don't win.

  101. @Ladybug Actually Warren can easily build a case among Independents and moderate Republicans, she was a Republican for many years until she started looking into middle class bankruptcy cases. She gets moderates, and she is hardly as "socialist" - she has on many occasions talked about how she believes in the markets and capitalism. Two articles you might find interesting: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/01/elizabeth-warren-republican-electability/603178/ https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/25/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-republican-history.html You might find after reading these that she is best equipped to not only unite the Dems, but pull significant numbers among both Independents and moderate Reps.

  102. @Bodhi L I don't think she's a socialist, but others will, especially if she is still pushing medicare for all (which I would love to have, but it won't happen soon). The Republicans will turn it into a one issue race - an easy message that will scare a lot of people in the middle. They're good at that. They've had a lot of practice. . .

  103. The best article I’ve read from Michelle. I do think Warren could unite more moderate voters and progressives in a way Bernie could not. However, I think Warren would drive away many voters who switched to the Democrats in the 2018 election; that’s death in 2020. She cannot win back Obama-Trump voters or attract Romney-Clinton voters.

  104. Elizabeth Warren would indeed be the unity candidate, but on as the VP candidate. If Hillary had chosen her, we could have avoided the Trump debacle. So who should be at the top? Frankly I think the only one who has the ability to clean up Trump's mess and gravitas to win is Bloomberg. Would he chose Warren to be his VP? Now that would be a ticket the Democrats have not seen since Kennedy/Johnson. in 1960.

  105. @taxpayer The person who actually has a proven track record of getting things done should be the junior partner, makes no sense to me.

  106. Warren should drop her wealth tax. Instead tax all dividends and capital gains as ordinary income, raising 160 B/year. Tax unrealized capital gains at death raising 40 B/year. Allow those who want to keep their employer provided insurance to keep it. Let others under 65 buy into Medicare.

  107. @david Anybody who owns a mutual fund already gets taxed twice. Once when a distribution is made and once when the monies in the find are sold. All sorts of folks across many income levels either directly or through their pensions own stocks.The wealth tax which will land squarely on the very broad shoulders of very very rich Americans is a far better idea. Warren has done her homework.

  108. @david Sounds good to me. Of course, I think all income is ordinary and deserves no special treatment at all. Tax it, much more than now.

  109. @Nick Salamone Notice how she never defines rich?

  110. We definitely seem to be heading for a brokered convention, and given the role the superdelegates may play in that eventuality, almost anything can happen. It wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility if we wind up with a reluctant compromise--or bitterly coalitioned--candidate in the end. It might even be one who has already dropped out, or perhaps even one out of left field who is not even currently "running". And if that's the case, can the factions that would have been competing with each other coalesce enough around that final candidate to go the polls in the numbers it will take to beat Trump? Somehow I doubt it--angry people will vote third party, write in, or stay home. The more and more I think about this, I fear that we'll wind up with four more years of Orange--and a dead democracy, because not enough people will put their differences aside. And if that happens, we will all wear that badge in shame (for as long as we survive).

  111. Warren is the complete package; none of the others even in the same league. Bernie is a one-trick pony next to her, plus she came to her positions the hard way, overcoming her rote Republican background through deep immersion in the biggest issues.

  112. Thank you Mr. Booker for elevating the tone whenever it was possible. Your bigger day will come, I feel certain, and you have played a very important role already, and for many years. To those commenters who say argue for or against one Democratic candidate I say wait. We all have favorites, and this election is being sold as a horse race. Once we have only one horse in the field, whether it be Sanders, Warren, Bloomberg (I hope not) or Tom Steyer (I also hope not but prefer to Bloomberg), it will be a fair fight. While the winnowing process is still going on, it’s a field divided. But don’t lose hope: once the Democrats have their one and only candidate, there will be solid support and huge voter turn out for the Dems.

  113. Whether it's Warren or Bernie, I'll be delighted. But the nominee has to be a progressive. We've already watched the Dem establishment nominate for president one loser centrist after another (Gore, Kerry, HRC). Obama was a listless centrist as president, too, but at least he was smart enough to campaign as a change and ideas candidate. I can't always predict the decisions I'll make in the future, but it's hard for me to imagine a clothespin tight enough on my nose to allow me to vote for a man who helped give us both Clarence Thomas and the Iraq war, and is now reassuring billionaires that they have nothing to worry about.

  114. @corvid Agreed as to “loser centrists.” OK, but who were the “winner progressives”? That is, a Democrat who won the White House and ran as what you would accept as progressive. Obama: you’ve already tagged him as a false progressive. Bill Clinton: won, but “third way,” definitely not progressive. Dukakis, Mondale, Carter, McGovern, Humphrey, LBJ, Kennedy, Stevenson—some losers, some winners, maybe a progressive or two, a lot of centrists--but not one of them satisfies both criteria of progressive and winning. Centrists may lose, but progressives definitely do not win unless you want to go back to FDR (maybe HST).

  115. As an older white male and initial Biden supporter, I've come to believe Warren would be the best President and the most formidable Trump opponent. Can't wait to see her take him apart in the Presidential debates.

  116. @MartyXray Elizabeth Warren is not a good candidate for independent voters. Democrats need the vote of the independent to win to President Trump.

  117. @Trassens I am an independent and I TOTALLY support her. So do many of my friends.

  118. @MartyXray I would crawl over hot coals to beat Trump. And would vote for any democratic candidate. But afterwards fight either Warren of Sanders on their radical platforms. Bloomberg would smash him. But even if he doesn't get the nod has been and will continue to be totally anti-Trump.

  119. I care far more about America's wars than about a political party's. Senator Warren has not given sufficient priority to foreign policy to instill confidence that she would end the wars that Donald Trump promised to end but instead continued or even escalated. None of the candidates' domestic proposals can be funded simply by repealing the Trump tax bill - even with full repeal we'd have a massive deficit. Our largest discretionary budget item is military spending. Cuts must come from the Pentagon budget, and only Tulsi Gabbard is talking about ending wars and cutting military spending.

  120. Sanders had every right to "drag out" a campaign that he had not yet lost, especially given the fact that the supposedly neutral DNC was in the tank for Clinton.

  121. @Jeremiah Crotser Where did you get the idea that the DNC (or the RNC) are "supposedly neutral"? They're private parties that are run by the party bosses, who have opinions. You need to learn more about party politics. The one who's out of touch here is Sanders who thinks he can bask/revel in his "independence" (whatever that means), then parachute in to the DNC every 4 years expecting full support. Then not support the eventual nominee when it's not him.

  122. @Jeremiah Crotser Clinton won more primary votes, meaning people actually voted for her. (Are you suggesting that they were not autonomous?) And if you then try to argue that the primaries were "rigged", you'd have to show evidence of how they were rigged. Primary elections aren't under the control of the DNC, not then, not now. (You can read about how elections are run.) It's very disheartening that so many Sanders supporters from 2016 continue to both believe in and to spread this false story. I used to support Sanders, but his reluctance to call out this false story diminishes his stature. He doesn't need to personally say anything against Warren; he can and does rely upon his surrogates to say whatever they wish, whether it's true or not.

  123. @Jeremiah Crotser Sanders is not the best candidate for independent voters and Democrats need the independents to win Donald Trump.

  124. I’m not a Biden supporter by any stretch. But he does have one important attribute from his decades in the Senate: he’ll make a deal with anyone to get the job done. In electoral terms, that means he’ll choose Stacey Abrams as VP. He knows full well that he needs a woman on the ticket and probably a person of color too. Bernie and Elizabeth have less latitude, and would risk the ire of their supporters if they chose someone too different from them ideologically. I can’t even begin to imagine who Bernie would choose as a VP. He’d choose his wife if he could get away with it. He doesn’t seem to think about political partnership. Maybe that’s why he hasn’t gotten much done on Capitol Hill.

  125. @Cousy That deal making includes a long history of making deals with special interests who fund his campaigns. As to Abrams, he may want her as VP because he needs her to makes up for all his deficits, but it would be political suicide for her to consent - you might want to do some background research on Stacey Abrams before you make assumptions. As to Warren's ideology, I suggest you read the in-depth piece NYT did on her several months ago because your assumptions on that count are also incorrect: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/25/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-republican-history.html As to Sanders, he's credited with doing all the leg work for other people's legislation and bills, and that's laudable; again, doing background research before posting knee-jerk opinions comes in handy.

  126. @Cousy Yes, Joe Biden has a long political career. However, the current Joe Biden is not the Senator Joe Biden.

  127. One has to wonder who would be the Democrat candidate if the first two primaries were California and Michigan or two solid Blue (read: Diversified) states.

  128. Democrats will only win against Trump with someone who can win in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. I don't believe that is Elizabeth Warren (or Sanders). While she may be an excellent President, I honestly don't think she can win. My hope is for anyone - really anyone - who can beat Trump. We can elect progressives in another, later election. I am willing to wait, but don't want to wait to boot Trump out of the White House.

  129. Warren is the least electable of the front runners. She alienates many of us with her know it all I have a plan for that attitude. The best candidate capable of uniting the country is Amy Klobuchar, but time is running out for her.

  130. @Edwin Meek A resume is not a vision. I want to know what Amy is about. I know what she is not about (pie in the sky - yay), but a leader has a vision and persuades others to share it (yes we can). I don't see her being that leader.

  131. @Edwin Meek I agree that Amy Klobuchar is the best candidate.

  132. Michelle is right: Biden is gambling that the far left will eventually fall in line and begrudgingly cast their vote against Trump. Sanders is gambling that moderates will do the same for him. And they are probably both wrong. Think of how many Bernie voters stayed home and did not vote for HRC in 2016. They easily exceed Trump's victory margins in Pennsylvania (71,000) and Wisconsin (27,000). Also remember the 2018 midterms: the Dems obliterated the Republicans by flipping suburban districts with moderate candidates. Those freshly-flipped voters are not likely to vote for Sanders. Warren may just have all the qualities to pull off her own gamble. Progressive enough to be the 'best choice after Bernie', and not socialist enough (she isn't at all) to scare away those moderate voters from the center. Plus she's a woman. After a great start, we now have a very non-diverse lineup of contenders. It would be great if in 2020 the democrats could make history and elect the first woman POTUS.

  133. @Donkey Spin "Also remember the 2018 midterms: the Dems obliterated the Republicans by flipping suburban districts with moderate candidates. Those freshly-flipped voters are not likely to vote for Sanders." Really? You don't think moderate Democrats would vote for Bernie over Trump? Not sure what that says about "moderate Dems," but it's frightening....

  134. @Donkey Spin The thing with Bernie is that he could probably win over plenty of moderates if he would just stop yelling and tell his followers to put down the brickbats and just be decent.

  135. @Let the 99% Rise Well of of course I cannot be certain. But if you accept that plenty of Bernie voters stayed home and helped Trump get elected in 2016, I don't see how you can be certain that a freshly flipped republican would actually vote for Bernie. None of us can really be sure. But with this premise, don't you think a Warren/Booker ticket would probably have a better shot?

  136. I am one of those people who have been energized by Warren's candidacy. For me this is the first election that offers me the possibility of a candidate who truly energizes me. I followed her when she was advocating for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and now she's a Senator. Like most of us I have doubts and concerns because the number one factor is defeating Trump. I love that Julian Castro feels an affinity for her too. As far as electability goes, that person might be Biden but he has more skeletons in his closet than the other candidates. He is not a good guy.

  137. It doesn't really matter what type of guy Joe Biden is, as long he is less of a bad guy than the individual currently in office and, I hope you'll agree, he is. This is the sort of infuriating argument that is coming from Democrats at the moment. You are not seeing this for what it is - a numbers game. This is not the election for making huge ideological statememts. This is an election to get rid of an odious human being and the only candidate that has the numbers to do that is Biden, much as it pains me to say it!

  138. The biggest problem with opinions like this one is that it ignores the DCC/Hillary position of 2016. What rankled non-Hillary factions back then, including Bernie’s supporters, was locking up those “super delegates” for Hillary thus making the primary process all but impossible to win for all but Hillary. Democrats need to take the correct lessons from 2016: 1) the factional divisions had less to do with superficial differences among factions and a lot todo with fixing the primary race at the outset. 2) Trump didn’t win because Democrats were mean to each other during the primary. 3) any well-qualified candidate, including a woman, would have defeated Trump in 2016, had the outcome of the primary not been predetermined. 4) Hillary lost the election, not because she was a woman, mean democratic factions or rival candidates disagreeing, but because the primary outcome was predetermined, investigations continued up until Election Day, and most voters were angered by the DCC’s manipulation to force Hillary into the general election. 5) the electoral system is so greatly flawed that a 3 million popular vote win can result in a delegate count loss.

  139. @dmaurici 1. Hillary would have won the nomination even if there had been NO superdelegates. 2. Hillary received 4,000,000 more votes in the primaries than Bernie, PS I supported Bernie. I wrote many comments supporting him. but after we lost, I was glad that I had a candidate as compassionate, intelligent, experienced, and well educated as Hillary Rodham Clinton to vote for.

  140. @dmaurici I understand the frustration with the DNC's handling of the 2016 primary, which is why I cast my primary vote for Bernie that year. However, the year is 2020, not 2016. There are a zillion and one democratic primary candidates, and Bernie is at or near the top. The DNC is not fixing the race. If Bernie fails to win the nomination, it will be because his angry rhetoric and his followers' vitriolic name-calling, purity tests and insufferable self-righteousness has alienated has cost him every vote outside of the 20% he started the year with.

  141. @dmaurici Clinton easily won the primary even without the super-delegates. The continued argument that the super-Ds predetermined the outcome is worthy of a trump-sized Pinocchio.

  142. The election will not be won by Democrats stirring up the greatest enthusiasm among themselves in New York or California. It will be with a credible candidate who cannot be used by Trump and Fox News to scare people into voting for the devil they do know. That may include getting disillusioned Trump people to stay home or leave the presidential line empty. Klobuchar, Buttigeg, Biden, and possibly one of the billionaires fit the necessary criteria. And if that's not good enough for the progressive wing come November, they deserve the next 40 years of Federalist Society judges.

  143. @Jim S. I am progressive as all heck, but I could not agree with you more.

  144. @Jim S. There is no Democrat who will not be vilified by Fox News.

  145. I agree with some of Ms. Goldberg's ideas, mainly about Sen. Warren's unifying qualities. Too bad she shared her blatant conflict of interest which rips away any shreds of credibility in my mind. I will not settle for a copycat of Senator Sanders, who has worked longer and harder with a far more consistent record. If Sanders is not our nominee, I will not support a Democrat in the general election. The Dem. establishment needs to learn their lesson and reward the honest. Moreover, why would the columnist include an ongoing dispute over a he-said, she-said encounter in 2018? Both Sanders and Warren have contested each other's characterizations of the conversation. Why do you automatically assume the accuser is honest and the burden lies on Sen. Sanders to prove he did not say something that he simply did not say? This column reeks of poor, rushed analysis to make Tuesday's paper.

  146. @mr. student "If Sanders is not our nominee, I will not support a Democrat in the general election. The Dem. establishment needs to learn their lesson and reward the honest." That about says it all. I'm no Biden fan. And I am far more progressive than I am moderate, but this attitude of some Sander's supporters shows a woeful lack of concern for the country itself. It'll be 2016 allover again if this kind of thinking prevails.

  147. @mr. student This comment is misguided: "If Sanders is not our nominee, I will not support a Democrat in the general election. The Dem. establishment needs to learn their lesson and reward the honest." The Democratic Establishment are voters, each independently minded, each trying to figure this out. It is too easy to assign agency to the some 32-35 million voters who might participate in primaries and caucuses (# taken from 2016.) So you hope that by your not supporting the Democratic candidate, all those millions who voted for someone other than Sanders will learn a "lesson"? It just doesn't work that way. Will the moderate voter in Nevada and the Hispanic voter in North Carolina and the millions of others get the "lesson" that Mr Student wants to send? Mass democracy doesn't work that way.

  148. @mr. student Sanders may be consistent, but he passed eight bills during 27 years in Congress, and two of them were about naming post offices. Just for comparison, I randomly compared that with my state's senior senator, Ron Wyden, who is not a household name but has managed to get 55 bills through Congress.

  149. Michelle Goldberg starts her essay with a pretty standard writerly disavowal, stating, "I’ve hesitated to write too much about the Democratic primary because I have a conflict of interest — my husband is consulting for Warren’s campaign." Back when I was in graduate school, I had a professor who warned us that when a writer starts out an essay with a disavowal like this one, it's only a matter of time until they go back on their word, revealing themselves to be complicit in the thing they're trying to avoid. Goldberg does this several times throughout her essay, blindly accepting and re-stating the Warren campaign spin on events. I would be happy with either Warren or Sanders as the nominee, but I am deeply disappointed tonight with the Warren campaign, and even more deeply disappointed with the candidate, herself. What they are doing is clearly a coordinated effort to bring down a candidate who is (thus far) running an ethical campaign. I'm also disappointed with Goldberg for blindly accepting the Warren campaign's narrative. This is unlike her and does indeed show that on this topic, she does not see clearly. If she wished to distinguish her own endorsement of Warren from the rhetoric coming out of the Warren campaign, Goldberg did not succeed.

  150. @Jeremiah Crotser Well, this certainly explains all the earlier anti-Biden columns.

  151. Michelle Goldberg should never have written this op-ed. Not only is her husband consulting for Warren's campaign, which her disclosure does nothing to diminish the bias of her opinion, but her opinion reeks of the sad Neoliberal/Clinton whining points that are left over from 2016. On top of that, she steps into the fray that has appeared more than a year after the private meeting between Warren and Sanders. Up until now Warren has stated that what was said in that private meeting was...private between the two of them. Now, three weeks prior to the Iowa Caucuses, and while she is drowning in the polls, she contradicts that privacy and states that Sanders said a woman can not win the Presidency? As Sanders said, how could he believe this, or say that after Hillary Clinton, arguably an incredibly unpopular candidate, beat Trump in the popular vote by almost 3 million votes in 2016. Trump has alienated everyone except his basest base. Of course a female Democratic candidate can beat Trump in 2020. I fear Warren is becoming desperate, and Goldberg adds salt to this. This is very sad.

  152. @James Barth "Trump has alienated everyone except his basest base." Actually, he is polling at 45%. He got 46.1% of the vote in 2016. All he needs to get that polling up to 48%, and it's a slam dunk reelection because he will get 3% or 4% of the vote of people who dislike the Democrat more.

  153. @Erik he's polling at 42%, not 45% on average.

  154. I am a Sanders supporter and it has been immensely disappointing to watch Warren slide towards center politics all of her own volition throughout the course of this campaign. That she has now embraced the center culture of self-victimization and maligned smears as well is the nail in the coffin. Warren was my second choice but at this point if it is not Bernie or Yang, I'm staying home.

  155. @garrett Please read what Warren herself is saying, not what others are saying she said. as for deciding you' would rather help to keep Trump in office by refusing to vote for any other Democrat except Sanders and Yang (?!), then you are effectively stating Trump's policies of imprisoning immigrant children, cutting off food stamps to needy citizens and promoting white nationalism are the lesser of two evils, compared with a Democrat you dislike. I believe Warren is a genuine progressivist who knows how to fight in and out of Congress, but if Biden gets the nomination, I'll vote for him because real lives are at stake and 4 more years of Trump mean countless people , the poor and immigrants will be greivously injured or snuffed out.

  156. @Paul from Oakland she did just pop up today and lie twice, first about sanders “trashing her” and then about his telling her as a woman not to run. I was waiting to hear from her too and it was even more distressing than hearing from her coordinated surrogates.

  157. I hear what you’re saying. I live in Illinois. Unfortunately, outside the primary my vote doesn’t matter. But ever since I pushed the button for Hilary in 2016, I have learned to appreciate and respect the position of non-voters. Quite frankly, if you want anyone to vote, give them something to vote for. I’ve been generous in my sympathy for Warren as the only progressive ally for Sanders in the race. Sympathy despite decades of redface, despite silence on key issues of social and environmental justice, despite adherence to the squo in 2016, despite being a Republican, despite voting for Trump military budgets and now his garbage trade bill, despite never coming up to bat for anyone except for the predominantly white middle class that she incorrectly credits with whatever prosperity exists in this country until exactly the moment she was running for president. If you want to talk about who is supporting Trump’s cancerous regime, look to Senator Warren who is handing him economic victories in an election year. I’m voting for someone with an empathetic and value-driven understanding of the suffering in this country. At least Yang, for all his own policy flaws, has an accurate assessment of what the country is going through and not some hokey disingenuous performative woke song and dance that will only lead to 4 more years of obama-era weakness followed by an eternity of an ideologically organized fascists who will make Trump look like Gandhi. Otherwise, I’ll be at home.

  158. More than 10 years ago I was drawn to Warren by her, ahem, blue collar creds vs banks and such. She trained her considerable fire on them and the politicians who did their bidding. I cheered her Senate victory in MA. In the current campaign, I fail to see her unifying either the Democratic Party or the nation in general. Like Trump and Sanders, Warren is a pretty loud, shiny object; the antithesis of what I and I believe America seek after 3+ years of Trumpworld rule. For the ideal anti-Trump, I recommend Amy Klobuchar - every bit as smart, knowledgeable, gritty, and energetic as Warren. Moreover, Amy has a great sense of humor and would easily out-debate Trump - if that really matters - and could truly unite the anti-Trump/GOP majority counting the days to the next Election Day. I know - Amy is definitely not a loud, shiny object which explains her weak polling. Well, failing the POTUS nomination, she'd make a priceless VP addition to any ticket.

  159. @minimum Boy, comparing Warren and Sanders to Trump (shiny objects?) is pretty silly.

  160. I would like to be able to vote for Warren in the primary. I feel she is the most intelligent, hard working and well educated. But she shows no signs of understanding how the finances of the federal gov works. She is persistently answering the question, "How would you pay for it?" by proposing new taxes that would bring in the cost of the program. This is kitchen table economics. The idea that the federal gov has to pay for things, good & bad, with taxes or borrowing is just plain wrong. The gov doesn't need your money. It can (thru the FED) create as much as it needs out of thin air. Just think about where money you pay your taxes with came from in the first place. Unless you have a printing press in your basement, it originally came from the federal gov. Of course, creating money has consequences, but that is entirely a different question. If the program greatly facilitates production, that will hold down prices. If we need to increase taxes at all, it may well be far less than $X. I don't know if Bernie understands this, but it seems he is perfectly willing to propose programs without worrying about taxes. In addition, he has advisors (e,g, Stephanie Kelton) who do understand how the federal gov works. I don't see any such advising Warren. A reader from Boston called max neatly summed it up: "So many of our economic issues could be solved if people understood that the US cannot run out of money, and how hard it is to cause hyperinflation from gov spending alone."

  161. @Len Charlap Beware the monetarists. The Federal debt, as low as rates are, already consumes 9% of our annual budget. We cannot QEx power our way to prosperity. We need political not just monetary 'cooperation.' Otherwise the Japanese, with debt equal to 244% of GDP, would be leading the world economically again. Maybe if we too had negative interest rates, it might be different, but those are of course a statistical anomaly.

  162. @Mark - The budget is the wrong parameter to use to normalize as it is a purely political figure. Federal debt service is currently 1.36% of GDP. https://fred.stlouisfed. org/series/FYOIGDA188S But that does not account for the fact that the FED returns the profit it makes to the Treasury. This includes the interest paid in the Treasury bonds it holds. This has been running at a little less than $100 Billion each year. http://www.latimes. com/business/la-fi- federal-reserve- profit-20160111-story.html When you take this into consideration, this brings the cost of federal debt service well below 1% of GDP, which is not only trivial, but which is very low by historical standards. The interest on the debt is not a red herring; it is a large purple tuna.

  163. Too many inconsistencies, the Pocahontas debacle, and now playing the victim like Hillary. That isn't to say that she isn't an asset in a new administration (but in the cabinet instead of the ticket). There are both women and men still left in the field that would fare better than her in a face-off with Trump. Her support in the black community (a key group of voters) is right up there with Mayor Pete's, and unlikely to expand much before the primary season. Add in the divisiveness with recent skirmishes with Mayor Pete and Bernie, and she doesn't look like the great uniter. My fondest hope is Biden, Warren, Mayor Pete and Steyer all pull the rip cord to get out ASAP with Biden leading the way. I doubt with the current level of intractable problems that we need a Democratic version of Reagan's second term, which is what Biden clearly looks like and the rest just won't unite nearly enough people to beat Trump. I think I could be pretty happy with a candidate selected between Klobuchar, Bernie, Bloomberg and Wang. All of them have a diverse range of actual opinions and seem to express them without checking with the pandering consultants that almost every candidate has today.

  164. Why is a contested convention such a terrible thing? We used to have them all the time.

  165. Warren is our next FDR and if voters are shortsighted and miss this opportunity we may not see it again in my lifetime. There are only so many opportunities to stop the 1% and multi-nationals from gaining so much power it will be nearly impossible for the average American to have a hand on the steering wheel. Unions are in big trouble. Wages are stagnant compared with inflation and racists are trying to start a civil war in this country. Trump and his uber-wealthy backers are succeeding in dividing us, even within the Democratic Party. Let's wait and see Sanders and Warren tomorrow at the debate and see if big media has played up a story that may not even be factual. Both sides are saying they were misquoted and I, for one believe them both. Remember who owns far too much of American Media now, the 1% and multi-national corporations and we know who wants yet another tax cut after the next election.

  166. This woman continues to divide Democrats outside of New England. She will win ten states and give a very Massachusetts-like, decorous concession speech. Four more years for President Trump.

  167. @Padonna “this woman?” Really? You need say no more. Your animosity spoils your point, if any.

  168. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? First she falsely raged at buttigeig over the millionaire wine cave when it was later disclosed that people got in for as little as $11 and now she's accusing Bernie of saying a woman can't win. She's desperate and will say and promise anything to win. At least bernie's been making all these empty promises - that can't possibly be passed into law - for years. It wasn't that long ago that warren was taking big money from corporate lobbiests and a few years before that was defending big businesses in court. So NO, she is definitely not the unity candidate.

  169. @jaz I agree. She has been too willing to go negative over things that like the wine cave event held by Buttigieg. It seemed nasty and desperate when she did it. But when the fact that she had held an even more lavish and expensive event at a wine cave she cried foul. Her performance at that debate and her overly optimistic plan to fund her M4A plan doomed her candidacy.

  170. @jaz I agree. She is as untrustworthy as Trump himself, without all the upfront lies he tells. The Warren way is the Wrong way. Totally impractical, and people like that, though they might actually care about their positions, don't accomplish a whole lot overall.

  171. @jaz That wine cave event was subsidised by someone and it wasn’t the the person who paid $ 11.00. Bernie had his chance to show unity when he lost to Hillary. (who by the way graciously rallied her voters towards Barack O. When she lost after a hard fight) Bernie on the other hand dragged his feet in uniting his voters behind Hillary, and this lack of leadership painfully played out throughout 2016 and to this day some would say.

  172. A Warren/Julian Castro ticket combines both visionary and pragmatic programs to help lift up the country and heal the wounds. A hundred years have passed since women fought for and finally won suffrage. Let’s use that fighting spirit to defeat the worst president in our history. Warren will fight for healthcare, childcare, affordable tuitions, and a decent wage for all. To tax the wealthiest 2% and corporations that haven’t paid a nickel in taxes is the way to win back our country. I’ve hitched my wagon to the rising star of Warren!

  173. @Ichabod Aikem: I like Castro a lot, and your idea is not a bad one. However, I would slightly prefer Booker as VP. First, he balances Warren's "pragmatism" and wonkishness with more inspiration and uplift. Second, he has great experience to become president if necessary and to carry on as a future leader of the Democratic Party. Third, he is a very good person and would crush Pence in any debate. While Castro also has some of these characteristics, I think Booker is stronger in them. My pick is Warren/Booker.

  174. @Ichabod Aikem In what reality does such a ticket win Wisconsin or Michigan?

  175. @Ichabod Aikem A Warren/Steyer ticket would provide balance (however ironic), but what would show the greatest class would be if she invited Al Franken to be her VP.

  176. It's great that you post this column about her, since the pundit class, including most in the NY Times, has really disparaged her more than most other candidates. My guess is that it is because she is so impressive and most likely to actually accomplish some of the things she advocates. And why did the media demand that the she come up with an explicit plan for medicare for all when they never asked Sanders to do it, despite him being the main proponent of it?

  177. @Taz Sanders/Warren crushing Trump/Pence? Please take a road trip outside of NYC. Head west through Pennsylvania on Interstate 80. Cross into Ohio and continue west into Indiana. Head north through Illinois and into Wisconsin. Along the way, visit the people in the towns dotting the Rust Belt formerly known as the industrial Midwest. These are the states and the people who will decide who the next president will be. I personally will vote for a Sanders/Warren or a Warren/Sanders ticket if they can convince me that they will help revive our part of the country. There was a time when the Democrats owned the Midwest lock, stock and barrel. But somewhere along the way, the Democrats turned their backs on the middle class and working class that has always been the backbone of the country. Neither Sanders or Warren talk about job creation. They talk about free healthcare; free college; forgiveness of student loans. This part of the country needs jobs. Good paying jobs to bring back a middle class that Washington has all but forgotten.

  178. @Jones I agree except that I think Elizabeth Warren talks quite a bit about job creation, especially her plan to create more than 10 million new green jobs--union jobs at that. She comes from a lower middle class background, and I don't believe she's forgotten.

  179. @Jones Government health insurance would be a job creator. It would let people strike out on their own without fear of not having coverage when they get sick. Small and mid-size companies would not have to shoulder the burden of providing coverage to employees - or not cover them at all. And ending the college cost/student loan rackets would ease a huge financial burden on young people, enabling them to do things like start families and buy places to live. That creates jobs. And reducing education and student loan debt isn't just for college - that will help people who need any kind of training to learn a trade or prepare for employment. It's how this country got a massive economic boost emerging from World War II, and the government funded it.

  180. @Jones When you say "somewhere along the way, the Democrats turned their backs on the middle class and working class that has always been the backbone of the country," you repeat a Republican talking point. Republicans have been very good at selling this perception (and Democrats' have helped the effort by trying to co-opt Republican policies), but nothing could be farther from the truth.

  181. Let the cooler heads prevail. The republican forces would love an implosion in the democratic nomination quest, as this would be a gift used to convince undecided voters to repel a divided, chaotic and disorganized future, and vote for reelection of Trump. "to continue progress and a good economy".

  182. I am amazed at how effectively conservatives have branded ideas that are commonplace in much of the developed world, such as medicare for all, maternity leave, sensible regulation of industry, and reasonable consumer protection, as 'far left' ideas. I just love Sen. Warren; her pragmatism and optimism seem like a breath of fresh air. I feel like she and Bernie are the only ones who understand that Trump is a symptom of a deeper and more insidious problem, but it is Warren who seems to understand how to build a grassroots movement.

  183. @Evelyn "but it is Warren who seems to understand how to build a grassroots movement." and yet bernie has the most small donors out of anyone so please tell me how she knows better than bernie how to build a grassroots movement.

  184. @Evelyn Actually Sanders has the biggest grassroots movement. I do like Liz, but Sanders inspires much more passion in his supporters, and I think that's what is needed to beat Trump. I'll be happy to vote for her though if she gets the nod.

  185. @Evelyn In the rest of the developed world, the people who benefit from all of the “far left ideas” that you mention are also the ones who pay for them. Warren just wants to punish the successful with higher taxes and reward everyone else with more freebies

  186. There are more than three front runners. You failed to mention the one, Pete Buttigieg, who has my vote and has a far more moderate and achievable platform. Warren put all her chips on Universal Healthcare, and is now trying to get out of a box Houdini couldn't escape. As the weeks go on, this will become more and more apparent to all. A serious miscalculation from an otherwise worthy candidate.

  187. Michelle Goldberg worries about a contested convention. I grew up with contested conventions. They were exciting. They showed how candidates performed under pressure. In a race with no one close to majority support, it is the most likely way the Democrats will ultimately choose their candidate. It will be a refreshing change.

  188. Elizabeth Warren has a multitude of PLANS, all of which depend heavily on her taxing the wealthy. The problem with this, as Andrew Yang points out, is that several European countries (eg. Germany; Sweden; France) have repealed their own wealth taxes after discovering that they raised a lot less money than expected. Former treasury secretary and advisor to Barack Obama, Lawrence Summers, and Penn law and finance professor, Natasha Sarin, think Warren’s wealth tax would bring in only 40% of what she anticipates. Others are also questioning Warren's numbers. (See the 6/25/19 article on FACTCHECK. ORG titled "Facts on Warren’s Wealth Tax Plan” ) If Warren were to be elected and could not raise enough money from the wealthy to fund her PLANS, she could end up raising taxes on the middle class.

  189. Elizabeth Warren may be able to bring together the White warring factions of the Democratic Party but that doesn't mean too much to the Black members of the Party. Warren currently polls at 10% in South Carolina. That's not the stuff of a unifier. Let's leave it to Joe Biden, who is polling at 36% in SC and making a strong showing in both Iowa and NH.

  190. @Mike Edwards Biden's electability is highly overated. He inspires no enthusiasm. Although some people will say Biden when they get a phone call from a pollster, this is because he is a familiar name, but these people will not show up in mass to support him in Iowa or New Hampshire. By the time election day comes in South Carolina his supposed firewall will crumble. Hillary inspired some genuine enthusiasm in 2016. Joe Biden is no Hillary Clinton.

  191. @Mike Edwards Right, let's set our priorities and support our candidates for a national election based upon poor polling numbers in a state that the Democrats have absolutely no hope of winning in a general election.

  192. @Mike Edwards Can progressives & moderates co-exist in the same party? At this point, I would say absolutely not. The voters we need to win back the Presidency, Congress, The Supreme Court, the majority of governorships & state legislatures, these voters have different values. There’s no way to bridge the gap. We have to part company with progressives. The sooner the better. We can win without them. The Democratic activist community is inflexible, they scare mainstream voters, & are the only thing that could guarantee Trump a 2nd term. We should be ashamed we allowed it to get to this point. Running from the center gives us the best chance to win in 2020. The Democratic nominee for POTUS is not going to push all-out to implement the progressive agenda. That is delusional. He will run as a moderate. That's how you win elections. To beat Trump we need a moderate that's why Biden is at the top of the polls. Sanders & Warren can't win. They scare mainstream voters, Biden doesn't. Face it the incessant whining, complaining, & sniping from progressives is just sour grapes. They can't stand the fact that Biden is a (so-called) privileged white males. Tough. Get over it or say hello to another 4 years of Trump. The only thing that worries me is the lunatic left of the party is so vindictive that they may actually prefer this horrifying outcome. Let's hope I'm wrong

  193. What about a Biden/Warren ticket with Biden promising a single term as President? I wish the four Democratic front-runners would sit down together, put beating Trump above personal ambition, figure a plan and get on with it.

  194. Part of what made the primary process so noncontroversial thus far is that Democrats haven't had much infighting. The candidates who have gone after each other at the debates usually didn't have much polling traction and were trying to get attention. I'm willing to bet that Democratic infighting will turn people off––because it reminds them too much of Trump's style of politics. I realize pundits, politicians and media will endorse certain Democrats and find shortcomings in others. But if it's truly a contest of ideas, it doesn't have to devolve into ad hominem attacks.

  195. @David Maybe there hasn't been much "infighting," but they've attacked each other regularly on debate stages, and I think that's just as bad. I know debate participants are invited to find weaknesses in the others, but these aren't normal times.

  196. @David not sure what you mean by infighting, but by my definition there’s been an overdose of it. Not only in the debates, but among the campaigns and the supporters of some candidates. I thought 2016 was bad, but it was nothing compared to what I’m seeing now. I fear for the future of this divided party.

  197. @David agree

  198. I agree that Warren would make the best President of all the candidates. And that is why I support her.I cannot predict what people who voted for Trump will do. I have no way or experience to even begin to understand that mindset. So I've decided to work for the person who I think will make the best President and that person is Elizabeth Warren. I live on SS and 2 tiny pensions, but have contributed to her campaign. I am not well-off, not white and do not have a college degree. I will mark my ballot for whomever the Democratic Party nominates, but she is the only candidate for whom I'll do that with joy.

  199. @Elaine "I will mark my ballot for whomever the Democratic Party nominates" a point the sanders campaign makes and is ridiculed for. shes not bringing in new people and crossover trump voters. he is.

  200. @Elaine So let me explain that “mindset.” In our de facto two-party system the choice for president is binary. Many people voted for Trump because he wasn’t Hillary. Had the Democrats nominated just about anyone else in 2016 he would not be president. So, that’s the mindset.

  201. @T Smith Don't agree. Hillary won the election in 2016 with votes. Russia helped target areas where electoral votes slanted the outcome toward Trump. Putin elected Trump.

  202. Warren and Sanders are my choice. But Bloomberg would win. He would get all the democrats votes as we are all going to vote against Trump. He would get a significant majority of the independent vote. He would get all of the Never Trump GOP votes as well as all moderate republicans who have deserted Trump. His only obstacle would be if he caused a light turnout. But if we can't turn out to save our country, we deserve to lose. Mike would win.

  203. @jim morrissette Do you really think that if Bloomberg bought the nomination as he is seeking to do and as he did when he ran for mayor of NYC (he knew he could never win the Democratic primary so bought the Republican nomination) that Sanders supporters will simply roll over and support him. In fact, despite Bloomberg's claim he'll spend money whether he wins the nomination or not, I have a feeling he'd rather have a President Trump than a President Sanders.

  204. @jim morrissette , I would think that anyone who is troubled by inequality, or money in politics, or Wall Street deregulation, or over-policing in minority neighborhoods would have a hard time pulling the lever for Bloomberg. Except as a hold your nose vote to get Trump out of office. (News reports that his massive ad buys will focus on Trump's many negatives suggest that he realizes this).

  205. I'll add that a significant number of Democrats could also stay home in a general election if Bloomberg's path to the nomination is via a fractured convention and the spreading around of money to down-ticket candidates. (As Republican Never Trumpers and Republican moderates that have deserted Trump, there are probably not that many).

  206. Voting on electability is a fools game. Warren excites me like no other candidate has in any past election. I supported Hillary every time she ran, but it was a hedge. Her positions were clearly calculated. Warren has actual sincerity and the strength to make things happen (CFPB). But I realize I'm not a typical voter (I read the NYT, after all). My fear is that she may be trying to square too many circles. I LOVE the policy detail but her real power is in the broad vision of what this country should be, her fearless truth-telling and the earnestness. Americans like earnest, but may not admit it. Yet at some strategic point she'll need to rise above the fray and simply project power and confidence. Not answering the Medicare For All question at the debate was SMART, she refused to be trapped by the "tax" bogeyman. Then she took her time and showed exactly how it could be done, in a detailed and eye-opening report. It's about priorities not cost. We are a very rich country, we can clearly afford it if we can outmaneuver the special interests. She's smart, strong and has my vote.

  207. @LJS Moderates are sensing a favorable shift towards reality. November's election results are in. You have to be blind to not be able to read these tea leaves. Voters, especially swing voters are rejecting Trumpism but endorsing centrists. The Dems who won in red & purple states ran as moderates. We need to be realistic and abandon progressive initiatives they will lose us votes. There's no progressive majority in the U.S. & never will be. The numbers are not there. There certainly is no progressive Electoral College coalition in the U.S. that could get to the needed 270 votes. This point can't be emphasized enough: almost every progressive candidate in whom Dems invested tremendous time, money, & emotional energy in 2018—O’Rourke, Gillum, & Abrams— lost. Almost every progressive ballot initiative in this country was voted down. If this election is about kitchen table issues: jobs & affordable education there's no way the Democrats lose. If it's about Medicare for All & more illegal immigration there's no way we win. For example, Warren wants to provide free health care for illegal immigrants, which would be paid for by raising taxes on middle-class Americans. Won't work. These are issues that would compel independent swing voters in say Kentucky & Virginia to hold their nose & vote for Trump again. We can win with or without progressives. We can't win without swing & centrists voters. A moderate candidate can win in 2020. That's all that matters.

  208. @LJS Warren's "broad vision of what this country should be," is not my vision. I am a lifelong Democrat, and I find her "give away the store" attitude the type of philosophy that creates a welfare state. Government can be many things to many people, but it cannot be all things to all people all of the time. If she gets the nomination, I may, for the first time in my 81 years, stay home.

  209. @LJS Then you are among the minority on this because the average voters cares quite a bit about "electability" and "likability". And here Warren lags her peers, with only 41% likable (favorable) and 44% unlikable (unfavorable) among all voters.

  210. Warren and Bernie lose to Trump no matter how "excited" their supporters are because Trump's supporters are very excited and will turn out in overwhelming numbers, and will not be confused by any Facebook ads either. So, if the Dems need to be "excited" to vote AGAINST Trump they are toast anyway. BLOOMBERG/ABRAMS is the ticket, with BERNIE as a Strong Secretary of Labor. Dems need to get off their ideological high horses. Our house is on fire. With this ticket they win FL, AZ, NC, keep MINN, PA, MI, WIS. They get Trump out of the WH. And of course all the affluent well educated WARREN voters will support the ticket.

  211. Not while she advocates for taking away private health insurance. There is nothing unifying about stripping citizens of their private protections. Delaying the taking does not absolve her of that. Warren likes to say she has never met anyone that likes their private insurance. I’m a survivor of a very rare bone marrow cancer and my private insurance has saved my life. Perhaps she can live with the same government ‘efficiency’ that has ruined healthcare for our veterans. Not me.

  212. @Matt-First, I'm glad you survived cancer and had the benefit of private insurance. Please know that no one is going to take that option away from you; private insurance availability will continue in the future. Please also know that many millions of Americans don't have the luxury of private insurance or even affordable insurance. Especially for those working in low-end jobs, part-time jobs, and even those with gig economy jobs. Vet healthcare is an incredible benefit for the majority of vets who access it, over their lifetimes. Let's learn from what works and improve it, lest we continue to fall behind other advanced nations. Credit is due Elizabeth Warren for caring enough to want to do that.

  213. @Ann Your comment is just factually wrong. Elizabeth Warren is on the record with her desire to eliminate private insurance. "The Massachusetts Democrat was one of only two candidates to raise their hand when moderator Lester Holt asked for a showing of who would be willing to get rid of private health coverage in favor of a government-run system." That from an article on Politico entitled, "Warren backs eliminating private insurance for 'Medicare for All'". Not certain if you are unaware of the position of your favored candidate or are intentionally deceptive. It's one or the other. Neither is particularly impressive.

  214. @Matt I have VA healthcare and it is far superior to my wife's private healthcare. My doctor's follow my charts and call when there are problems. On the other side my wife's doctors see her in the office and don't check up aren't connected to each other and chronic conditions are subject to the vicissitudes of schedule and transportation in a every congested and expensive city. I think people should experience the healthcare I have which I monitor and which has saved my life several times. Everyone is responsible for themselves and if you are rich then you can get attention but nice office visits are no substitute for care that is interconnected through computer records and read by multiple doctors and followed up. That's my experience at the VA in New York City.

  215. "Warren would be the best president" Exactly why she has my vote.

  216. Opinion: Poorly timed piece here given Warrens tolerance of varied news stories based on vague and unsubstantiated accusations at Sen. Sanders as of this afternoon...Her late reply, this evening, seemingly intent on partially, and quite ambiguously, validating the previously unsubstantiated claims by staff who were not present at the 2018 meeting only muddied the waters further with a generalized claim validating such conjecture. This...is not the work of one who will unite the left. Thanks, no thanks.

  217. she's the compromise candidate. Bernie's the unity candidate.

  218. @babka1 also the WASP candidate. so comforting. if a Jew could be elected President (gasp!) a Muslim could! an Atheist could!

  219. Not the unity candidate any longer. These sleazy tactics have cost her my vote. I’m making a contribution to Sanders.

  220. I like both Sanders and Warren. But Americans are deeply anti-intellectual, thinking (wrongly) that real life experience and common sense is somehow contrary to scholarly and expert knowledge. Many will not vote for a professor. (BTW I am a professor.)

  221. No she isn’t. If Warren or Bernie is the Democratic candidate I will write in Mickey Mouse. No way am I voting for a socialist! Guess that means Trump wins.

  222. @tiredofwaiting - that is sad, that you think Trump is better for the country than either Warren or Sanders. Trump cares about no one but himself. Sanders and Warren care about us all. Capitalism alone is some kind of cult, because it certainly doesn't provide the best life for our people. People in Western Europe, who live under democratic socialism (to an extent) have a much better safety net than we do and their people are for the most part happier. Why you wouldn't want the same is beyond me. Some people are just brainwashed into believing capitalism is a panacea.

  223. @tiredofwaiting If you live in Seattle, the democratic nominee will carry your state. Write in whatever makes you happy.

  224. Elizabeth Warren strikes most people as aggressive and very sure of herself--if you disagree with her you're wrong! And she has a plan for everything. I doubt if she can unite Democrats, but her hard-as-nails, no compromise approach to every problem will definitely unite Republicans.

  225. Nice to have the several polls showing high favorability ratings. However, the strongest unifying message Warren delivers is her core message in giving everyone a fair shake, a chance at the American dream that was there in her generation (and mine so I know what she's talking about) but which has slipped away the past 40 years or so. Economic justice in the form of progressive taxation to both decrease income inequality and fund education, childcare, renewable energy, housing, curtailing the corruption of corporate money in government helps every segment of our diverse population, every geographic area, liberals, conservatives, evangelicals and atheists alike. An article in today's NYT aptly compared Warren to FDR who was adored by the nation (although called traitor to his class by the wealthy). Will everyone please read her plans in elizabethwarren.com. You can intuit her ideas come from a life spent learning and working on bankruptcy, laws, legislation and human experience, but written so the final messages seem only common sense. None of the other candidates come close to her in understanding what it takes to make government work for all of us.

  226. If Liz Warren is the nominee and she doesn't win the election, we will know that sexism played a role. In 2016 Democratic purists denounced Hillary Clinton as "too centrist". In fact, it's possible that Bernie Bros cost her the election. https://www.npr.org/2017/08/24/545812242/1-in-10-sanders-primary-voters-ended-up-supporting-trump-survey-finds Fast forward to 2020. We have Liz Warren with undisputed progressive bona fides. And what do we hear from Democrats? She is too extreme, and we need to nominate a centrist like Biden or Buttigieg. Are we to believe that all of a sudden Democratic purists have become hardened pragmatists? So let's take a look at both the progressives in this race. Liz Warren is nearly a decade younger than Bernie Sanders. She is in excellent health. She hasn't had a heart attack on the campaign trail. And she offers specific plans and programs, not just Bernie's platitudes. So why aren't more Democratic voters supporting her? You tell me. After all, the purists claim that Hillary lost because she was such a "centrist". Now, we know there is plenty of sexism and misogyny among Republican voters. But it's high time we acknowledge that Democrats are not immune to this either. It seems as if women are still judged by some "Goldilocks" standard - either too aggressive, or too weak, or too timid, or too "shrill". I've been a proud Democrat all my life. I'm in my 60's. I am a lawyer, and a woman of color. And I can tell sexism when I see it.

  227. Are you serious Michelle? I’m a life long liberal democrat, and I can’t listen to Warren. Her hectoring style turns me off, and many liberals I know. She’s at the bottom of the list of who my colleagues and friends would like to see as the candidate. If we can’t listen to her, what about moderates who we are trying to turn? When Amy Klobuchar talks, I listen. She is real and down to earth. Warren talks to me from up above, with anger and self-righteousness. Really hard to listen, even when you agree with her.

  228. @Tom exactly right! Every liberal I know can’t listen to her. Warren style is angry and self righteous, and all plan.

  229. This column is a cop out. Goldberg has been pushing for a progressive all along, and dissing Biden every chance she gets. She can't argue that Warren would be more electable than Biden because everything suggests that is not the case. So, instead, she pretends that electability is an unknown and concentrates instead on unity (within the Democratic Party, mind you, not the nation as a whole). For all of Goldberg's obvious intelligence, in the final analysis her columns always reveal her to be a values voter who is unable to look beyond her personal hopes to the larger political landscape. I wish she would just acknowledge her biases and stop pretending to be an objective analyst.

  230. I would be one happy lady if Elizabeth Warren were our candidate. No, it is not just because she is a woman; although that would be the icing on a most delicious cake. From the beginning, she was my choice for multiple reasons. Her polices, her experience, her vision, her ethics, and she is so darn smart. Right now I look at the polls, and then I look away. She is not where I want her to be, but she is sure close enough. And then there is the lesson of 2016. Polls are not always right. If they are looking too good to be true, ten to one they are just that and nothing more. I was listening to Chris Hayes this evening, and he said exactly what my Generation X daughter said just a few weeks ago. To paraphrase both, this time around they are voting for the person they like most. There is something to be said for following the ticker as well as those gray cells.

  231. @Kathy Lollock Can you explain why she has never gotten legislation passed?

  232. "...it seems obvious to me that of all the candidates Warren would be the best president." Yes, Michelle, not only are you compromised, you are wrong - Warren would in fact would be an ineffective president without 60 votes in the Senate (unless all her "plans" are just a ruse to get the progressive vote in the primaries after which she takes far more moderate stances). In any case, she is unlikely to win the nomination and even if she does, she is even less likely to be elected president. Outside of sentiment within the deep blue bubble, there really isn't the appetite for the kind of fundamental changes that Warren and Sanders are pushing (at least not while the economy is chugging along). The "progressive" wing of the Democratic party seems determined to repeat the McGovern disaster which was driven by a similarly overwrought idealism...resulting in a landslide for Nixon, nearly as reviled by Democrats as Trump is today...Let's learn from history, for a change...

  233. There are two kinds of unity—between progressive and centrist politicians, and between the multi-racial working class, youth, minorities, women, urban and rural voters. Recently, Elizabeth Warren positioned herself as the unity candidate between Democratic politicians, two-step Medicare-for-all, praise from Obama, moderate positions on the Bolivian coup and Suleimani assassination. Her polls have stalled. Warren has been moving left since the ‘90s. Is she the struggling Oklahoma teacher, Republican Ivy League professor, reformist Senator regulating banks, or progressive committed to the working class? Trump has 40% of American voters sewed up, unlikely to either grow or shrink, and he could win the electoral college again. Warren’s “I have a plan” is that of a well-meaning, top-down technocrat, appealing to the white urban professional class. She can’t lead the democratic mass movement of rallies, unionization, and community organizing, energize those turned off by the uncaring political system to go to the polls, and win over white workers focused not on perceived racial interests but on economic justice—all things we need to pass legislation. Bernie and Biden have bases in the working class and minorities. Who can energize the people, steal Trump’s thunder as the agent of change, stay free of corrupting corporate funding, and fight to raise all boats?

  234. This is a strong, honest column. You absolutely did the right thing by disclosing that your husband works for the warren campaign, contrary to what some people think-that it automatically invalidates your opinion. Warren has had to wage an uphill battle against right wing elements of the Democratic Party who have thrown tons of money to, for example Buttigieg, who decided he was really a "moderate" not a progressive and proceeded to go after her. At the same time, there are far too many Sanders supporters who think that Warren adapting her strategy for Medicare for all is the same as selling out to the plutocrats. If people think true political change is made by deciding in advance unalterable tactics, they will have a pure record of O% success.

  235. Massachusetts presidential candidates are on a three election losing streak. Smart mind and good policies nothwithstanding, Warren stands to make that four.

  236. She is also a working class girl from Oklahoma. Certainly not born and bred in elitist north east and definitely without a silver spoon. He back story is pretty good. Much stronger than Trump. Most definitely stronger than Joe (Washington decade old insider) or Buttigieg (upper class parents sending their kid to Harvard and paying for his college fees).

  237. Given today's comment by Elizabeth Warren regarding Bernie Sanders, I do not believe she can indeed unify the democratic base and win against Trump.

  238. @pak Nor do I believe Bernie Sanders can bring everyone together either.

  239. I'm a liberal female CA Democrat. I'll vote for the Democratic nominee, whomever that person is. That said - I hope that person is not Warren. There is no way she beats Trump. I find her to be the opposite of unifying, in fact she has a distinct way of talking in a holier than thou/ know it all fashion, which comes across to me as condescending. 2020 needs less purity, and more pragmatism.

  240. While being a professional 'outsider' does offer a politician an intriguing platform to me it doesn't seem to offer a strong foundation for forming a successful government. What we have currently is a government led by an proudly self-acclaimed outsider and the lack of professionalism, the revolving door of senior advisers and the dearth of hands-on experience has us---and most of the world---teetering on the brink of disaster. Just as it takes a village to raise a child it takes a cohesive, smart and experienced team--with emphasis on experience--to run a government. Who would Sen. Sanders call on for Secretaries? Rep. Ocasio-Cortez? Senator Warren brings to the table a brain that sees the whole picture as well as the experience and training to develop an organization that actually researches, plans and functions. Add to that a reality based humanity and we have a team leader. She proved that with the CFPA---which she envisioned and made a reality. Yes, a candidate is a single person. But that person must recruit and mold a team to build and execute the plans and hopes that will carry our country forward. Senator Warren has done that and done it well. Senator Sanders is by his own definition an outsider, .He has some good stuff now and again, sort of like a ace reliever in the Majors. But, we don't need the guy who comes in a throws a couple of strikes. We need a manager, a planner, a thinker.

  241. @jb. If that’s your criteria then vote for Trump. You might not like his conclusions but he meets all three of your criteria and has beat the Dems at every turn starting in 2016. The popular vote loses He figured that out and went were Hillary refused to go. He will beat Warren like a drum. Bernie is the only chance again in 2020 just like 2016. If the Dems fail to nominate him it is clearly the definition of stupid. Repeating the same action and expecting a different result

  242. I was about half way through this piece when I began thinking about how Sanders supporters would react to it. As expected they go on the attack, accusing the NYT and Michelle Goldberg of being out to destroy their chosen candidate. I've watched his supporters become outraged over any coverage he receives that is even remotely critical since 2016. It's this kind of reaction that makes me believe that there isn't a candidate including Elizabeth Warren running for President that can bring the party together. That's because one the candidates and his supporters believe that compromise, negotiation and respect for the opinions of others isn't worth the the time or effort. That's unfortunate, because if Sanders wins the Presidency he will have to compromise and negotiate with others in the Democratic party who he and his supporters disparage whenever possible if he plans on getting anything close to what he's proposing passed.

  243. Most Democratic candidatess have badly damaged themselves by conducting a business-as-usual primary instead of, to borrow from Greta Thunberg, campaigning as if their homes were on fire. Like Hillary Clinton, they're mouthing the phrase "the most important election in our lifetimes," but also like her, they're rarely acting like it. They're tearing each other down, sewing doubts about so-and-so's electability, instead of engaging people with a compelling vision of governing supported by bold, specific policy proposals that will improve lives. That's the most promising way to rise to our national emergency, and only Elizabeth Warren is doing it.

  244. I don’t see the point of suggesting a compromise candidate while the candidates who have more decisive positions are out there and still being voted for.

  245. Warren is a bright, passionate, progressive Democrat who would make us proud as president. Unfortunately, just like in sports, the best team doesn’t always win.

  246. @Daniel B Could you list her accomplishments?

  247. Warren is certainly a contender. She will be unbeatable if she picks a smart, dynamic running mate who resonates with younger voters. Think Booker, Buttigieg, Yang. As much as I admire Joe and Birnie, they are not going to light any fires among the young, and we will lose 2020 if the 'youth' stay home again.

  248. Another poster claimed the Under 30 want Bernie and nothing but him.

  249. Like every other candidates she’d have to pick a VP who can rally the voters she does not have or the demographics where she is not strong. In her case too early to tell for sure. Likely a moderate who has appeal among black and latino. Booker might have had a chance but his abysmal polling does not bode well. Buttigieg won’t bring the black not the Latino vote.

  250. She's not the unifying candidate if she continues to insist that a woman candidate is more qualified by virtue of her gender. Identity politics will not unite the Democratic party. We need someone who transcends identity politics and unites us based on values. Who will do that?

  251. Genuinely curious - when did she say that? Source?

  252. You could be correct that "Elizabeth Warren Is the Democrats' Unity Candidate" if the left you so strongly identify was not filled with intolerant zealots who don't want Warren precisely because she is a potential Democratic unity candidate. They don't want unity, they want war, both inside and outside the Party. I met with a large group of Sanders supporters who, perhaps unsurprisingly, said Biden is no different than Trump and they won't vote for him if he's the nominee. Those same Sanders supporters said, perhaps surprisingly, that Warren was also no different than Trump, and they may not vote for her either. They could have simply have been posturing, but it didn't seem like it, and if you've been following what the political left has been writing about Warren, which you certainly have, you must know how Warren is being vilified on the left. Last month, Nathan Robinson, the 31-year-old editor the Democratic Socialist publication Current Affairs, wrote "progressives no longer need to wonder whether Warren's with us or not. She's not." Hardly an endorsement of Warren. Jacobin, the Democratic Socialists of America magazine, is arguably the most popular publication among the left. The latest print cover makes the point clear in illustration: Sanders and his democratic socialist House allies (Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) are pictured confidently cycling on Team Red in a race against Biden and Warren who are a frantic, and losing, Team Blue.

  253. This makes me so angry to read again about Sanders supporters. Spoiled and selfish and thinking only of the free college platform. It makes my blood boil thinking about 2016 election. First of all like my other post - they are not democratic socialists but social democrats. They need to get the term straight. At least they should be social democrats in the US. Running on a socialist platform will doom them in the general from day 1. Running on a democratic platform with a more socially minded and progressive agenda may keep them in the game more. But the Bernie supporters who won’t vote for anyone else are too myopic in their understanding of the country and could care less about others really in particular those who would be concerned about their pocketbooks and who are working class who would be fearful of higher taxes and the economy going down because that is what republicans will say. Bernie or bust supporters are a small group but big enough to swing an election if it is close.

  254. It is very hard to unite the party when you are seen as inauthentic. Changes in her stances on Medicare For All, and fundraising from large donors ; proposing a plan to pay for medicare for all which was immediately seen by economists on the Left as severly lacking in seriousness, having a wealth tax plan that is not close to being implementable, raising capital gains rates without talking about what that means in terms of severely reduced investment in existing and new businesses which create the jobs this country needs, and of course her back and forth with "native American heritage' and the disproved story about her being fired for getting pregnant. Such an inauthentic person, no matter how many selfies, will not unite the Democrats and not bring Democrat vtoers to the polls.

  255. When I was 18 to 29 I probably would have wanted free everything too. But back then my main concern was not being sent to die in the jungles of Vietnam. That age group votes in underwhelming numbers. If we want to win in 2020 we need a ticket that will win in the Electoral College, i.e. Biden-Klobuchar.

  256. @Horace FWIW, "free everything" was what the Greatest Generation got after WWII. And it sparked a generation-long boom with widespread prosperity. Maybe we should try it again.

  257. Or Joe Biden/Stacey Abrams.

  258. @Cfiverson Really? Why did we work for decades if everything was free?

  259. For all intensive purposes the Democratic presidential nomination race is now down to four serious candidates; Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The question now is who can get the early momentum and hold it? It appears that right now that Iowa, and New Hampshire will both me closely contested. If Elizabeth Warren is going to win the nomination she needs to recapture some of the momentum she had a couple of month ago. It appears since she announced her health care plan she's lost her mojo. If she's got what it takes to be President she needs to show it out on campaign trail in the next 60 days.

  260. I support Bernie, because he is the only candidate critical of the authoritarian government of Israel; because he understands what Evo Morales did for the indigenous people of Bolivia; because he is the is the fiercest opponent of inequality; and because he is a democratic socialist. The word "socialist" scares a lot of people, but what it means in this context is that Bernie, like LBJ, is an heir of FDR.

  261. Bernie ans Bernie supporters need to get the term correct - he is not a democratic socialist. He is a social democrat. There is a difference and an important one in terms of semantics and winning the election. Social democracies are what you see in the Nordic countries - the ones Bernie refers to and wants the US to be like. If he and his supporters continue to call themselves democratic socialists we are doomed. Republicans will be blaring pictures of Venezuela on Fox News and asking voters - do you want to end like Venezuela because that is what is going to happen with a Bernie presidency if he wins, they will say. It has already started. And unfortunately our country is not ready for universal health care and free education - it will require tax increases and people will freak out and will be convinced by the republicans that the economy will be destroyed. Moderation and incremental steps are the only way in the US. Of course if Bernie does get the nomination I will vote for him but I can see exactly how his candidacy is going to play out.

  262. @Jennifer I have no problem with calling Bernie and his movement "social democrats".

  263. I was a committed voter for Elizabeth Warren until I listened to my 30 something children and to film director Michael Moore, who lives in Detroit and was the only person who warned that Trump could beat Hillary. The 30 something voting block is the largest in the United States and they could turn an election. They want Bernie and won't vote for Elizabeth Warren. The voters in the Midwest who turned from Obama to Trump like Bernie. Moore has made the case for Bernie beating Trump, he lives there and knows these people. Bernie could bring on a great woman vice presidential candidate, and would see the value in doing so in order to win. I believe that Democrats overthink what the world should be. We should start looking at what the world is, and vote accordingly.

  264. Respectfully, I wouldn’t be taking ANY advice from Michael Moore. I would be looking at the black vote because without it, a D nominee will not defeat Trump.

  265. I'm not affluent, nor "highly educated" (whatever that means), but I have been passionately for Warren since day one of her announcement. She is one of the only candidates in my memory that I have felt this passionate about. She is the real deal. We have the chance to elect the first woman to the White House, and it would be fitting to see her beat Trump to get there.

  266. I love the way Warren talks about corruption. Corruption is our most serious problem, whether it manifest in climate deniers, profiteers of war and mass incarceration, or those who try to gerrymander and compromise elections themselves. Corruption creates hate and cynicism and is the enemy of truth, honor, peace, and especially, of equality. Corruption is why over 400 bills passed by the Democratic house, many of them speaking to bi-partisan needs, sit in the Republican senate, unexamined, right in broad daylight. Of the candidates, when Warren's sense of right and wrong, and of fairness, seems the most sincere and uncompromised. She is most similar to my own values, and I appreciate her fierceness, simplicity and determination. By fighting corruption, that which is good will follow.

  267. @Eric And yet she has uncovered o corruption.

  268. @Jackson Founding the Consumer Finance Protection Unit? Her work on bankruptcy? And "uncovering" corruption in this time isn't really necessary. It's there in painfully plain sight. And Warren has spoken tirelessly of needed reforms against corruption.

  269. Yes she's great, and we need her but she can't win the election! The best thing she can do is step aside and nominate Senator Sanders, because he is the best candidate for our time now. He also will beat trump.

  270. Regardless of candidate, Democrats need to take a queue from the Republicans and go all in. Because the Republicans are all in. And any voter tantrum/moping for the Democrats like 2016 will result in another 4 years of trump.

  271. Warren or Sanders would guarantee four more years of Trump and might even deliver the House to the Repubs. Bloomberg or Biden.

  272. I do agree that of all the candidates Warren is the best one. She is not perfect, but then no one is. She would probably win the nomination if we had ranking in the primaries, the way the system is now we can end with a candidate that has only 35% overall support and disliked by a majority (pretty much the way Trump got the nomination, never mind that afterwards almost all Republican voters fell on their faces in front of him).