Sen Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass is always at great pains to assure audiences that she will not sully herself by being near billionaire donors. The hedge fund people, the folks who frequent wine caves, and even the Democrat-friendly high-tech barons will have no place in her administration except to serve as walking, talking piggy banks for her agenda, such as the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
But Warren has an unexpected friend and ally, as it turns out, willing to talk about her alleged virtues in private to the very well-heeled donors whom Warren publicly disdains. The Hill explains.
“But behind the scenes in recent months, former President Obama has gone to bat for Warren (D-Mass.) when speaking to donors reluctant to support her given her knocks on Wall Street and the wealthy.
“And if Warren becomes the nominee, Obama has said they must throw the entirety of their support behind her.
“The former president has stopped short of an endorsement of Warren in these conversations and has emphasized that he is not endorsing in the Democratic primary race.
“But he also has vouched for her credentials, making it clear in these private sessions that he deems her a capable candidate and potential president, sources say.”
The news has raised some eyebrows, especially considering that former Vice President Joe Biden has been running as Obama’s former partner and has been maintaining some strength as a result. Obama has withheld his endorsement from his former vice president and has let it be known that he told Biden that he didn’t need to run for the presidency.
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has opined that Obama is touting Warren as a way to head off Bernie Sanders. While Sanders is just as radical as Warren, Rush’s theory is that because of his crusty personality and his support by most of the Squad, that group of leftwing House members led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Berne is not particularly electable.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air finds the ploy just a little bit weird.
“That’s … the weirdest good cop/bad cop routine ever. Obama had a ton of Wall Street support for his first presidential bid, but Warren’s taking a page out of Obama’s re-election campaign playbook this time. Remember Obama’s attacks on Bain Capital and Mitt Romney for ‘vulture capitalism’? Obama tried to make the fire-breathing class warrior a part of his administration to attack credit lenders, an effort that Republicans derailed with some difficulty. Those big-ticket donors could be forgiven if this looks more like bad cop/really bad cop to them.”
Besides, Morrissey finds the timing just a little bit off. The time to jump in on Warren’s side would have been in October, he notes, when Warren was having her bump in the polls. Now Warren is on the decline, weighed down by questions about her Medicare for All scheme, her veracity, and her general unpleasant personality while on the stump. She is now polling third behind Biden and Sanders.
Of course, one may wonder if Obama is playing a little eight-dimensional chess here. Noting Rush’s theory about the former president’s gambit being played against Sanders instead of for Warren, one would be forgiven for wondering if Obama’s game is to cut Bernie a little to size by siphoning some of his supporters to Warren, but only enough to keep both of them below Biden.
Still, on the one hand, Obama and Warren have clashed from time to time when he was president over trade issues. She opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership which Obama supported/
On the other hand, about 200 mid and lower-level former Obama officials have rallied to the Warren campaign. They find her ideologically attractive and, likely, suspect that their opportunities to move up in the federal bureaucracy would be enhanced under a Warren presidency.
What the big money people whom Obama is courting on Warren’s behalf think about this is open to speculation. If Morrissey is right, many of them may feel that they either need to sit out the 2020 election or even through their support to President Trump, as rumors have suggested