Elizabeth Warren Is the Democrats’ Unity Candidate

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

Comments: 51

  1. Not a single "Times Pick" here was from a reader supporting Bernie, who is surging in the polls, and the best candidate for real change. However, the media, including Ms. Goldberg, continue to smear and misrepresent his movement. I wonder if in 2008, when Hillary balked at supporting Obama, Goldberg would have been so dismissive of her withholding of her support had she supported Hillary in that primary. Hillary didn't lose because of Bernie, who had every right to run and ran a clean campaign about the issues, not a smear campaign against Hillary. She lost because the Democratic Party has turned its back on working people for the last forty years, helping to decimate Union power and never advancing the promise of universal healthcare. She lost because she didn't stand for anything.

  2. Excellent column as always. It really got me thinking, though: if I were a woman and made $100,000 a year less than certain writers did, would I be more swayed by Warren's policies and theory of change, or those of Sanders? And would I care more about the idea of "unifying a political party" that hasn't been responsive to my needs, or a candidate that promotes a vision directly speaking to my interests, regardless of what silly identifier is next to her/his/their name? Just racking my brain thinking about this. Perhaps if I made more money the answer would be obvious. Better try harder!

  3. I'm guessing she doesn't have the Native American vote.

  4. "[Warren's] nomination would offer the best hope of bringing together the party’s warring factions." Right - 3 weeks before IA, as Sanders is surging and Warren is falling...she has evidently OK'd her former-Clinton-consultant campaign managers to leak a year-old, second-hand account of something Sanders is unlikely to have said - positioning her to be 'forced to' confirm it? And yet Warren is the "unity candidate"? Really????

  5. Trying to pick a candidate based on who you think has the best chance of winning is a fool's errand at best. Have we learned nothing from the election of Trump? Who saw that coming? And you think you can predict -- or worse, control -- the outcome of the next election? One lesson worth learning from the right, though, is their commitment to their "ideals" (such as they are). You don't hear folks on the right struggling over who can win. They pick the person they like. Period. They don't wring their hands over who people on the left might like. They don't choose the person who will most satisfy their political opponents. From a political perspective, picking Trump was stupid. There was no way he would win. But they picked him, anyway, just because they liked him. And here we are. The Dems do exactly the opposite. I have heard more people than I can count -- a lot of them women -- tell me they like Warren, but don't think a woman can win, so they will vote for Biden. I have yet to talk to anyone who actually thinks Biden would be a good president. If everyone who actually prefers Warren would just vote for her, she would run away with it. Nominating the person you think your opponent will like rather than the person you like is the surest path to losing. Republicans are not going to choose a moderate Dem in the general. They are going to choose the Republican.

  6. Michelle, I am a big fan of yours, but this piece is clearly biased by your husband's role in Warren's campaign. Honestly, given that qualifier, I'm surprised your editors allowed this to be published. Warren is far from being a unifier. In fact, she regularly vilifies "millionaires and billionaires and the big corporations", and her dominant mode is "fighting". Warren continues to be evasive on health care. The policies she advocates will cost many trillions, and most economists seem to agree that her projected revenues won't pay for them. All she says is that they are "wrong". Despite her Oklahoma roots and thousands of selfies, Warren comes off as elitist and preachy, issuing diktats that were incubated in refined Harvard public policy circles. It is precisely because she is divisive that I don't support her.

  7. Democrats do a beautiful job of cannibalizing their own. Bernie has a HUGE ego that isn't about to take a back seat to anyone, especially a woman. Who's the real sexist in this race?? For all the reasons articulated in this article, Elizabeth Warren would realize a huge victory over Trump both in the popular vote AND the electoral college. Let's get behind her!!

  8. There is a reason why Trump went after Biden in the infamous phone call to the Ukraine. He is afraid of him. Biden is the better choice.

  9. Don’t think so. The only way Warren gets my vote is if she wins the nomination. I’m voting for Klobichar.

  10. "Voters" aged 18-29 are too busy sitting in restaurants Instagramming their gluten-free swill to actually get out the vote. They moan, they influence, they whine; they don't vote. They also don't understand the Electoral College. Please stop shoving a candidate down our throats who ticks all the boxes on your Berkeley/Cambridge/Brooklyn wish lists and just give us someone who wins Pennsylvania.

  11. @Blair According to the Census Bureau 46% of eligibles in that age group voted in 2016; that's many multiples of the number by which Clinton won the popular vote. Age stereotypes, like most stereotypes, are ridiculous.

  12. By what shade of your imagination is Warren a unity candidate?

  13. Warrren is brilliant, but not yet a great candidate. She has lost me a couple of times with "Pete's wine cave" and "Bernie doesn't think a woman can win" which are astonishingly deflating in what should be a comfortable confidence emanating from her. Bernie's not my favorite, but he's not petty. Klobuchar isn't as visionary, but her self assurance makes people comfortable. And Mayor Pete has definitely got it. Biden is just too old. Anybody but Trump.

  14. Congratulations, Michelle, for admitting your conflict of interest. It seems clear, though, that hasn't stopped you from going out of your way to gush on Warren and trash Bernie. (And I say this as a Warren supporter.) Also, please spare us your melodramatic doubts about a woman being able to win the election. Hillary beat Trump by nearly 3,000,000 votes. And if she hadn't relentlessly played the gender card, she might have won in the Electoral College as well. Don't blame Bernie.

  15. "I will argue...she has the best chance of bringing the Democratic Party together. Warren’s...argument that she is the unity candidate is correct." "Unity candidate"? Seriously? Three weeks before IA, at a moment Sanders is surging and was the IA frontrunner, and Warren is sinking in polls... ...at this moment, the former-Clinton-consultant-driven Warren campaign leaks a story that repeats Clinton's 2016 anti-Sanders sexism playbook? And Warren is - surprise surprise - 'drawn out' by reporters and supports this claim...but adds, she doesn't want to talk about it anymore... And Warren tweets to reporter Ryan Grim the release and timing was not intentional...but...doesn't account for how it 'just slipped out' at this moment... [https://twitter.com/ryangrim/status/1216925973259546624] And this is a "unity" strategy? Really???

  16. I wished in 2016 that Warren had run. I still do. She was my pick this time around from the beginning, but my support is starting to falter. Part of my disaffection has been over policy, but even more, if she wants to be the "unity" candidate, she could pursue unity. Her attack on Buddigieg at the last debate was disingenuous and he actually presented more of a unity based response than she did. Her recent scrapes with Sanders also shows a willingness to appeal to cry foul just to win votes. C'mon Sen. Warren. I know you can do better. You have in the past.

  17. I find Warren to be increasingly worrying as a candidate because she has a tendency to opportunistically latch on to click-bait-y social trends like ‘I’m a Native American’, a campaign store coffee mug that reads ‘Billionaire’s tears’, the ‘big structural Bailey’ thing that was really quite off-putting, and now the ‘Sanders is a sexist’ motif her proxies are pushing on the internet (who is now retracting this strategy, as she is now facing major backlash). She is a liability.

  18. I would call this "disagreement" or sniping and the outrage it caused a tempest in a teapot. Its newspeople bored or annoyed with two candidates who have, so far, refrained from attacking each other. We all knew it would not last and confict is actually a good thing. It brings out the best ideas. A brokered convention, if it happens is just fine with me. However if the DNC engineers the primary and convention to a favored candidate like it did the last time it will be the end of the Democratic Party.

  19. @Gary Valan That old myth of the DNC engineering the primaries. No. Clinton won significantly among rank and file Democrats, the super-delegates refrained from going against the rank and file... The Democrats chose a Democrat. It was amazing how well Sanders did, as an outsider, and he shifted the party significantly to the left, which was great! If only he had been a Democrat all along! But no, there was no conspiracy against him. And his result might have ended up very similar to HRC's

  20. So glad you are speaking out on this, Michelle. So many of us, especially women, feel she has been struggling mainly because the more staid and male dominated press have not given her the respect or legitimacy she deserves. She is more than qualified, has worked harder than any of her male counterparts, and would make an excellent visionary leader. And what we badly need now is someone bold and competent with a cool head and a warm heart such as Warren,. It is urgent that we address the climate issues, rampant income inequality, and all the race and gender issues we are facing and we cannot neglect or ignore them no longer. On all of those issues, plus many more, she has a good and well thought out plan to address them. We need to continue to encourage and support her as she is the most exciting candidate we have running.

  21. How are you saying she is the unity candidate when in the course of 48 hours she alienated every Bernie supporter? And then in nearly the same breath, you say Bernie and his supporters hurt Clinton's '16 run. Real square peg - round hole narrative you're forcing here.

  22. And as a Native American she will get all that vote. I will bet there is Latino ancestor there also.

  23. “Pregnant Pocahontas 2020” ? Don’t think so.

  24. Warren can’t beat Trump

  25. Now that Bernie's gone after her, I'm all in for warro!

  26. "Let's you and him fight," said the third-grader.

  27. NY TIMES op-ed writers and their readership are a tightly knit group....call it preaching to the choir. Even Warren will be to "moderate" for the leftist wing of the party.

  28. You don't unify by riding a lie. She's all but effectively alienated the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Maybe you wrote this just before this embarrassing turn of events for her, but if you're trying to argue that she's the optimal choice for unity after unearthing an unsuccessful strategy of accusing Sanders of sexism the Hillary camp tried in 2016, you, like the rest of the NYT Op-Ed Department really need to step outside your gated community once in a while.

  29. Warren would definitely make the best president of the lot. I would love to see her debate Herr Trump directly, because her sheer decency, intelligence, integrity, and femininity would all be to her advantage. Trump would be nasty phony, and she would be decent and smart.

  30. Too many nutty ideas and too little black support. End of story for Liz.

  31. Warren not going to do it..but most of all..extremely disappointed in the "Self-disclosure" rule...you should have stated this conflict months ago..or better yet..declined to write an opinion article citing this reason...love reading you but this is disappointing..

  32. Thjanks for this great column, Michelle!!!!!!!!

  33. Um, what about African Americans and long time Democratic establishment folks?

  34. @Don The idea is that they can easily learn to like her. Even if they might prefer Biden, she's an easy second choice. And similarly with those who might prefer Sanders. (Although clearly there are a few bitter hardliners this time around, too, but hopefully only a few.) Her choice for VP, and who she brings into her campaign, and future administration, will be really important.

  35. The timing of this column is unfortunate after warren hurled a stunning accusation against Sanders, accusing him of sexism. Me thinks Ms Goldberg spoketh too soon

  36. @Adam Not so much sexism, as pessimism about how much sexism is out there. But maybe that's splitting hairs.

  37. Not after yesterday, she's not.

  38. Liberal Democrat from Massachusetts a presidential nominee..Good luck....Learning from history is obviously hard for the Democrat electorate.

  39. Warren as the Democrats' Unity Candidate? That looks like a headline from The Onion. She may unite voters in Manhattan, Cambridge and Berkeley but for places where votes determine the winner (like WI, PA, OH, FL, MI IA and ME2) Warren will be a disaster.

  40. I don't think so. This petty squabble that her campaign initiated over what Sanders may or may not have said in a private conversation with her is pathetic.

  41. Was this article written before 1/13/2019? She proved herself to be a charlatan and lost my support entirely, as well as disgusted me to the core with how readily she would try to destroy my and her aims to ensure it was her, and not her friend, to be the one to enact the aims we both long for. Gross upon gross, and a stain that won’t wash away. She’s lost me forever.

  42. It's the economy, stupid. Then it's rebuilding common sense -- which includes engaging the Trump angry lot. A lefty liberal is good for neither.

  43. "You're the reason God made Oklahoma. And I'm sure missing you." _David Frizzell

  44. It is amusing how this writer is wrong in virtually every editorial, but the nytimes retains her job. her reader base must be those that are most prone to click, move to cart and confirm order that justifies her position with the Nytimes. But then there is the problem with lack of credibility; but the NYTimes does not seem to be concerned about that. Warren needs to drop out, because she is siphoning support from Bernie, and allowing the closet republican Biden to win the democratic nomination. The left wing clearly has the majority in the Democratic party when the polling support for both Bernie and Lizzy are tabulated together, but not split. Vote Bernie!!!!!

  45. I do not understand The NY Times' "Anybody but Biden" coverage.

  46. I agree with every word Michelle Goldberg has written. Warren shares Sanders’ ideas and goals but without showing a similar dark side. Remember how Sanders silently let his supporters boo Clinton in 2016 (as well as his own supporter, Sally Kohan, for saying a few good things about Clinton)? At some point in ‘16, the adulation went to Sanders’ head and he morphed from the “forget the damn emails” mensch to someone whose ethical compass seemed weaker than John McCain’s, policies aside. As someone who enthusiastically voted for Sanders in the 2016 primary but later regretted it, I was looking for someone with Sanders progressive without his street fighter instincts. Elizabeth Warren is that person.

  47. Sorry, but instigating a blatant smear campaign against a man with an astonishingly consistent 50+ year record (who also made hundreds of appearances in support of Clinton after she won), is not unifying but entirely the opposite. It smacks of desperation borne of an elitist entitlement to the nomination. I wouldn't say Warren in more phony than most politicians, but she is phony enough that it's shining through the cracks in her campaign now. I know plenty of non-coasters who dislike Sander's politics, but a priori they don't trust Warren because of this perceived, rightly IMO, holier-than-thou nimbus she seems to cart around. I put her electability chances at very slim , at best.

  48. @steven "Smear campaign"? It's not like she said he hated the idea of a woman winning the election. That a woman would face serious problems sounds like a pragmatic analysis you might hear from a lot of feminists. It was just one remark, in the course of a conversation, and maybe nobody should have even mentioned it, but you can't call it a "smear". My goodness, there will be plenty of real serious smears coming, when the Republicans get in the game...

  49. This line rung a big bell for me: "She shares Sanders’s economic populism, but as a registered Democrat who has worked within the party — including in the Obama administration — she’s cultivated more good will inside it." And I'm speaking as left-wing Rooseveltian Democrat, but not a strong party supporter. And yet it bothered me that Sanders ran as a Democrat in the 2016 primaries, when he wasn't. After he lost the primaries, he went back to his corner as an independent. And now he's back again. He could've run as a Republican or, better yet, just run as an independent and don't drag down the Democratic party. Or better yet, remain in the party and work within it, what a concept. As much as I like Sanders, I much preferred Hillary Clinton, in part for her decades of working within the Democratic party. And I give the same points to Elizabeth Warren. Oh, and I'd much prefer to have a woman running against Trump.

  50. @Gene W. I would have liked the "remain in the party" option. A lot of his ideas are great, and in effect he has moved the party to the left, but think what he could have done as a real member of the party? Well, who knows, he would still have had to work with the specific people, and maybe he wouldn't have wanted to do that.

  51. I am tired of Clinton supporters (and I voted for her) blaming Sanders for her loss. If Warren doesn't get the nomination will the main stream of the party blame Sanders again?