Late Night: The Perfect Candidate to Challenge Obama

Lots of liberal groups are calling for Elizabeth Warren to run for the Senate in Massachusetts against Senator Scott Brown. But why not challenge Obama instead? Warren has nothing to lose–Obama already hates her guts and has publicly humiliated her multiple times. What more can he do to her? Running against Obama would give Warren a chance to turn the tables and represent the American people against the top enforcer of the oligarchy.

Today Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism presented a thoughtful, well-argued case for why it would be much better for Warren and for liberals who are disgusted with Obama if she ran for President rather than Senator. It’s a fairly lengthy post and very meaty, so you should read the whole thing.

Yves argues that even though Warren wouldn’t win, she could help elevate the national discourse. If she were running against Obama and debating him, the media would have to cover it, and some of her ideas might make it through the media filter.

And just imagine the debates! Warren would wipe the floor with Obama, exposing his lack of moral values and his pitiful ignorance of basic economics. Obama would be horrified to once again have to compete with a brilliant, competent woman. He might even be forced to sneakily use his middle finger again or pull out his tired sexist remarks. This time more people might notice, now that the koolaid has worn off for so many former Obots.

One quibble I have with Yves is her argument that Warren is “a Reagan-level Great Communicator.” Please. Reagan couldn’t speak off-the-cuff much better than Obama. Did you ever watch one of his press conferences? But Yves is young, and probably grew up under Reagan. I guess I can forgive her for that one. She points out that

unlike Obama, a patrician wannabe who sees Reagan as a role model, she taps into deeply rooted traditional American values, that of a just society. Obama, by contrast, exploited the intense frustration with eight years of misrule by Bush the Second, and his liberal posturing was merely a market positioning exercise, to further differentiate him from Brand Republican.

Her position, which sounds dogmatic leftie to those lacking historical perspective, would have been dead center circa the early to mid 1980s, a Javits/Rockefeller Republican or a pretty tame Democrat of that era.

Hmmm…not quite sure I buy that either, but whatever. She’s right that Warren is no lefty. She’s simply an honest person who has studied what is happening to the American middle class and has the decency to prefer trying to change things to trying to cash in on the greed of bankers.

But here’s the best reason for Warren to run:

Warren also stands for a second set of ideas, that of competence and accountability in government. Not only did she build a major organization in an impressively short period of time, but she understands the importance of what we call in the consulting world “deliverables”, that is, providing tangible evidence of progress. She got various government agencies and banks to agree on a simplified mortgage disclosure form, a “to do” on the banking officialdom’s list that had somehow been too complicated to get done until Warren took it on. And this isn’t just good for consumers, it will also lower costs to banks.

By contrast, not only did Obama make a spectacular set of campaign promises that he failed to honor, he is completely unapologetic about those lies. While there is, sadly, a certain amount of misrepresentation that is considered normal among politicians, Obama’s looks to have set a new standard.

Yes, Warren is competent and efficient–she gets things done. She identifies a problem, and she attacks it doggedly–and she’s tough as nails. She has taken more abuse in the past few years and most people face in a lifetime. And she’s come through unbroken and unbowed.

Yves points out that in comparison to what she might accomplish with a failed primary campaign for President, Warren’s chances of effecting real change in the Senate would be slim to none. As we’ve seen recently, the Senate is utterly dysfunctional and filled with people who are completely out of touch with what is really happening in the country. If Warren tried to actually accomplish something as a freshman Senator, she’d be slapped down in no time flat.

I must say I like this idea. Just to get you thinking about it, here are a couple of videos of Warren making Timmy Geither look like a guilty schoolboy.


51 Comments on “Late Night: The Perfect Candidate to Challenge Obama”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Somebody set up a website to draft Warren.

    • jillforhill says:

      Where does she stand on other issues like Immigration,guns,education, and other issues or do those not matter because she is the new progressive master new shiny toy and whatever they say goes.

  2. paper doll says:

    Yves argues that even though Warren wouldn’t win, she could help elevate the national discourse. If she were running against Obama and debating him, the media would have to cover it, and some of her ideas might make it through the media filter.

    This idea is to keep Warren out of the Senate imo …and run her though the Hillary meat grinder to get rid of her. Yves is NOT Liz’s friend….yeah Liz chuck the doable out the window for ….what? oh yeah, elevating the national discourse for a nanosecond…. Someone must really not want Warren in the Senate .

    Yves points out that in comparison to what she might accomplish with a failed primary campaign for President, Warren’s chances of effecting real change in the Senate would be slim to none.

    I say her chances of effecting real change slim to none either way but at least she has a chance at the Senate .

    • bostonboomer says:

      I disagree. The Senate is useless. If she were out on the Campaign trail debating with Obama, her ideas would be front page news. I don’t know why you think Yves is trying to hurt Warren. That makes no sense to me.

      And by the way, I don’t think Warren has much chance of getting nominated for the Senate. Remember that’s up to Massachusetts Democrats. They already have several candidates and don’t want the National Democrats sticking their nose into their business. I wrote a post about it awhile back. Even if Warren wanted to run for Senate, which I doubt–she’d have no chance to win the primary.

      It’s Obama who wants Warren in the Senate–so she can’t do anymore harm to his agenda.

      • paper doll says:

        If she were out on the Campaign trail debating with Obama, her ideas would be front page news

        I believe what would be on the front page and TV would be the Hillary treatment and Warren’s ideas would not be discussed. So her ruining herself with this gesture would be for nothing. imo Every very real road bump you point out in MA would be 50 times more so in a national campaign .

      • jillforhill says:

        Why should Warren be he one to primary him? Grijalva is more accomplished than her and would get more attention than Warren would and have a better chance of beating him.

    • djmm says:

      I agree with you PaperDoll. I remember a woman who was a junior Senator from NY, who won the respect of her colleagues and who could have been a force for good there, had she not been offered the role of SOS. Yes, becoming powerful in the Senate would take a term or two, but we need all the sane Senators we can get.

      Prof. Warren would be laughed at for her lack of foreign policy experience on the campaign trail for President. The President would simply refuse to debate her.

      It is Hillary who needs to challenge the President in a primary.


  3. jillforhill says:

    I am so sick of this progressive fantasy land and the same progressives(FDL,DU,Crooks and Liars,Daily Kos) who brought us Obama and who are not happy with Obama now tell us again this is who we must vote forlike Warren,Dean or Gore. Whatever FDL or Hamsher want, I want the opposite. Warren,Kerry,Gore,and Dean will not be drafted or run against Obama. If someone was I would want Grijalva or someone more like him. Obama right now is a failure,but if he is primaried the left will lose half of the minority vote and a republican will be president. Hispanics are more likely to vote for a republican like Rubio or anyone who invests time in our community and none of those that the progressives who act like masters of everyone want have made that effort,Obama has made effort. The Clintons and Bushes come into our community and visit and know our issues that is why they got our votes. I vote for those that invest their time and work in my community and don’t treat use like a sideshow like main progressives do.

    • paper doll says:

      The Clintons and Bushes come into our community and visit and know our issues that is why they got our votes

      I don’t think I would include the Bushes in that…. loll!

      • jillforhill says:

        I would because he knows my community and tried to help but the racists in his party stopped him. Mccain did not get our votes because we knew he was fake and it was all bullshit. He made an effort to get our vote and none of those that the progressives want to run against Obama have never made that effort and never will make that effort.

    • JeanLouise says:

      Grijalva supported Obama in 2008 even though his district was heavily for Clinton. Why?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Good question. He is one of the “progressives” who likes to wait until the end of voting so he can register a meaningless “no” vote because the bill will pass anyway.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    I also like Jennifer Granholm but she was born in Canada which makes her ineligible but she is articulate, strong, and has been a governor – who coincidentally completed her term!!!

    I’m all for Elizabeth Warren running for the Senate from MA and should she choose to do so I will be more than willing to get off my butt to make it happen. She can only be a freshman senator for so long but Scott Brown does not get my support under any circumstances.

    At least we can mostly accept that Ms. Warren is a person of integrity. Which is a lot more than most of the yahoos currently serving, waiting to serve, or who represent either side in congress.

  5. dakinikat says:

    I’d settle for any one remotely competent right now. Ethical and actually experienced in economics would be a plus.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Be careful what you wish for. “Remotely competent” would also describe any one of the Kardashian sisters. And even I’m not wiling to go that far.

    • Peggy Sue says:

      It would be a plus and rarity right now. I really like Warren and I read the essay over at Naked Capitalism. Yves makes some good points but I can’t see Warren entering a race to change or advance the conversation, knowing she’d never get out of the primaries. Warren said in a Huffington Post interview:

      “My first choice is a strong consumer agency…My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

      That doesn’t strike me as someone with a no-win mindset. She’d basically be throwing herself to the wolves with no guarantee that the MSM would even cover her arguments [they’re still hopelessly in Obama’s corner].

      On the other hand, I really would like to see POTUS primaried. Having to listen to his lies go unchallenged on the campaign trail is absolutely stomach churning.

      • bostonboomer says:

        She took the job of building the agency knowing she’d never get to be director. She did it because she thought it was the right thing to do.

    • foxyladi14 says:

      AMEN…Dak 🙂

  6. dakinikat says:

    OT and distressing:

    Lethal radiation detected at Japan plant

  7. dakinikat says:

    The Ever Shrinking Tea Party

    According to a recent poll, only 22% of Americans consider themselves tea party members or supporters, half the number of last November. And of that 22%, two-thirds supported a debt ceiling compromise and more than half thought it should include tax increases as well as spending cuts:

    • bostonboomer says:


    • northwestrain says:

      That number doesn’t surprise me. The conservatives who send me email haven’t forwarded any tea-party propaganda for the last few months.

      Seems to me that the tea-party was taken over — by a well funded propaganda machine.

    • WomanVoter says:

      Must have lost half the Tea Party when they realized the funding was via the Koch brothers and that the agenda was to protect and insulate the rich.

    • joanelle says:

      this is a good thing – they really went off the rails – inexperience combined with overexhuberence hurts

  8. propertius says:

    I’m not for anyone running a symbolic “probably going to lose” pseudo-challenge against Obama. I want someone who will give him the ass-kicking he so richly deserves. I want him out of the race and retired to the nearest golf course six months before the convention.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Who would that be? We’d all like to see that, but who is going to compete with his billion dollar war chest?

      • propertius says:

        Well, that’s the billion-dollar question, isn’t it? Or, more appropriately, the 16 trillion dollar question.

        You know damned well how a primary contest against Warren would go:

        1) She’d be marginalized because of gender. Tweety and company would harp on her clothing choices, her glasses, her hair, her ankles.They’d speculate on her sex life. Anything to avoid discussing policy.

        2) She’d be branded as an impractical, ivory tower academic unsuited for the rough-and-tumble of DC (yes, it’s ridiculous, especially by comparison to Obama, but you know it would happen)

        3) Her proposals would be misquoted and mischaracterized to brand her as some sort of dangerous radical and a threat to that sanctum sanctorum, the “Free Enterprise System”

        Axelrove would eat her alive, and she’d push Obama Right, not Left. She’d also be so thoroughly humiliated that she’d lose the ability to be a credible gadfly.

        Credible challengers? Hillary is the obvious choice, but I don’t think she’ll do it. Can’t think of anyone else, unless Francis Perkins was resurrected and nobody told me.

        In a perfect world, Francis Perkins – but she’s long dead.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Elizabeth Warren is no wimp. I’d like to see Axelrod try to push her around. And the fact that the media treats women candidates badly isn’t a reason for women not to run. They have to keep at it until they are accepted. I don’t care which way Obama is pushed. He’s certainly never going to be a liberal or even a Democrat.

        The point of having a challenger for Obama is to force him to answer questions. Warren is good at that. The other reason is for him to lose. We can’t afford another four years of Obama. A Republican would be better.

      • propertius says:

        And the fact that the media treats women candidates badly isn’t a reason for women not to run. They have to keep at it until they are accepted.

        But that’s my point – I don’t want to see somebody launch some sort bunnies-and-light symbolic challenge. Yves wants Warren to enter as a gesture, with essentially no hope of winning.

        Screw that – I want someone to conduct a full-bore, scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners campaign against this SOB.

      • propertius says:

        I hope Hillary does run, but how could she do it as a Democrat?

        The same way Gene McCarthy, Bobby Kennedy, and Ted Kennedy did it against sitting Democratic Presidents. She needs to leave the Administration ASAP, though. Yes, it’s a long shot and there’s a significant risk of fracturing the party so much that you can’t win the General – but at this point I think that’s an acceptable risk when balanced against the prospect of a second Obama maladministration.

  9. propertius says:

    But Yves is young, and probably grew up under Reagan.

    Well, she’s younger than I am but she’s not that young. According to her resumé at Aurora Advisors, she was already working at Goldman when Reagan was inaugurated in ’81.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh really? Maybe she’s basically a Republican then. The whole Reagan was a great communicator thing is such a myth.

  10. Sima says:

    I admit Warren is an attractive alternative to Obama (in many ways!). I would like to see other alternatives run as well. Get them all in there with their ideas, mucking it up and making Obama wither.. I don’t think the party power structure will allow it, though.

  11. okasha says:

    Clinton/Warren or Clinton/Grijalva. I like ’em both.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hillary is not going to challenge Obama. I’m talking seriously.

      • djmm says:

        Before the debt ceiling debacle, I would have agreed with you. But if Social Security and Medicare go on the ropes as a result of this “Super Congress” (of questionable constitutionality)? She is a lady and is entitled to change her mind.


      • joanelle says:

        Geeesh, BB there is no one else – so you’re saying we’re doomed?

      • bostonboomer says:

        I hope Hillary does run, but how could she do it as a Democrat? They’d never let her have the nomination, and I don’t like the idea of watching Hillary lose a second time. No one is going to beat Obama for the nomination. The only point of a challenger is to force him to debate issues and answer questions.

  12. jillforhill says:

    Grijalva is the strongest that can give Obama problems. Warren is serious? No way. We need someone who can appeal to minority voters and has more of a platform than just one issue.

  13. jillfohill says:

    Grijalva is a real liberal and not like the FDL,Hamsher and DU kind. Warren talks a good game but Grijalva is actually doing it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      “Warren talks a good game?” When has she said anything about running for any office? Yves Smith simply suggested that it would be better for liberals to encourage her to run against Obama then waste time running for the Senate where she will be unable to accomplish much.

      If you think Grijalva would be a good primary challenger, then approach him about it. Has he shown any interest? How well known is he nationally? Would he dare to fight the party structure and end up losing his House seat as retaliation?

      I don’t understand what any of this has to do with FDL, KOS, DU, or any of those places. Why do you keep bringing them up?

      • paper doll says:

        However pointless a Senate seat may appear ( and alot of people seem to be interested in this place of little value ) ….even a failed attempt at one is more politically serious than a national campaign everyone, even the author advocating it, says is doomed .

        imo The idea seems a way to get rid of an interesting new comer and more importantly , to contain and divert , the growing ground swell for someone to primate Obama .

  14. Pilgrim says:

    That was such a tactful thing Biden said to/about Giffords. He has such an inane way with words.

  15. jillforhill says:

    I don’t think anyone has asked him. I bring up those places because it seems everyone is following them again and the lat time that happened we got Obama.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m not following them. In fact, I’ve never read DU in my life. I never read Dkos, and I occasionally read FDL, but no particularly Jane Hamsher.