By all accounts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. D-Mass is on a roll. As doubts begin to mount that Joe Biden is capable of being president, not to mention get elected, Democratic voters are starting to give her a new look. As a result, huge crowds are turning out to hear her message, as the Hill notes.
“The Massachusetts Democrat drew 15,000 people to a presidential campaign event in Seattle on Aug. 25 and 12,000 to an event at Macalester College in St. Paul — her first campaign event in Minnesota — on Aug. 19.
“The crowds have drawn attention to her campaign from Democrats and other members of the media, who see it as a sign she might be gaining momentum in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.”
Former Obama staffers noted that their guy did not start to attract such crowds into well into the 2008 election cycle. However, except for one outlier poll, Warren is still comfortably behind Joe Biden, who remains, at least for now, the front runner. Nevertheless, Democrats are eagerly awaiting the next presidential debate, to take place in September in Houston, when Warren and Biden will be on the same stage.
Politico notes, however, that Warren’s rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have started to take note of her crowds and have decided to act.
“Warren’s weak fundraising and Native American controversy out of the gate gave her the look of a second-rate candidate, and her rivals have treated her as such, even as she’s rebounded from those early troubles.
“But with the Massachusetts senator now drawing massive crowds and surging in national polls, competing campaigns are starting to refocus on Warren, looking to blunt her momentum.
“Democrats are already opening up new lines of attack: calling her celebrated policy proposals a ‘fraud,’ challenging her to say how she’d pay for a massive health care plan, highlighting a lack of diversity in her supporters and dropping reminders of Warren’s long span as a Republican.
“Aides to three rival candidates confirmed in interviews they’re revving up opposition research on Warren in preparation for the next debate on Sept. 12. Still, others privately complained she’s gotten fawning treatment in the media as she unveiled a litany of ambitious plans without being pressed on where the money would come from to pay for them.”
Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont have proven to be especially irked by Warren’s rise to prominence. Sanders supporters are still smarting at being “robbed” of the Democratic nomination in 2016 by Hillary Clinton and her supporters. Some expressed the fear that it may be happening again, especially if Democratic Party insiders conclude that Joe Biden is too gaffe-prone to be elected president and switch their support to Warren. Even so, Sanders and Warren have avoided attacking one another, content to tag team Biden and other rivals. That truce may be about to come to an end if Bernie supporters such as actress Susan Sarandon have their way.
Most political analysts suggest that the attacks on Warren will begin in earnest during the Houston debate. While Biden will try to hold on to his lead and not make too many mistakes, the rest of the candidates will fall upon Warren and try to cut her down a few pegs. Sanders certainly has a lot of motivation to go on the attack, but so does Kamala Harris and the other also-rans, such as Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg. Cutting up Warren may be their last chance to gain some supporters and traction. The question arises, is Warren ready for the inevitable attacks and will she go on the offensive on her own?
One person has been uncharacteristically silent about Elizabeth Warren in recent days. President Donald Trump has had a great deal of fun roughing up the senator from Massachusetts on social media and the stump. He has given her the unflattering nickname, Fauxahontas, for her pretensions of being part Native Americans. But the president seems to have held his fire, for now, perhaps following Napoleon’s maxim to not interfere when his enemies are busily destroying themselves.
Warren, by all accounts, is about to go through a trial by fire. How she handles herself will determine the rest of the race and whether or not she is ready to go up against President Trump, as he might say, bigly.