Why some think Elizabeth Warren has just what Joe Biden needs
Whomever former Vice President Joe Biden ends up choosing as his running mate — whether it’s Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, former Georgia State Rep. Stacey Abrams or someone else — he has already promised that it will be a woman. Biden and Warren had some testy exchanges during the Democratic presidential primary, but the Massachusetts senator has since given him her endorsement. And journalist Edward-Isaac Dovere, in an article for The Atlantic, lays out some reasons why the coronavirus pandemic makes Warren a serious contender.
The progressive Warren has made it clear that on economic issues, she has some major policy differences with the more centrist Biden. But Dovere stresses that with the pandemic causing major economic pain in the U.S., Warren’s background could be exactly what Biden’s campaign needs.
“This is now a world where the Dow Jones is staying high while the lines at food banks keep getting longer, a world that will be defined for years by the pandemic and its aftershocks,” Dovere explains. “And the presumptive Democratic nominee needs to think seriously — and be seen as thinking seriously — about what comes next.”
Warren went after Biden with a vengeance during some of the Democratic presidential debates. But now, Biden is calling for unity among the centrist and liberal/progressive wings of his party.
“Suddenly, the senator with all the ideas about remaking the economy seems enticing to the Biden team, and it is looking seriously at picking her, according to people familiar with the campaign’s thinking,” Dovere writes. “And suddenly, the senator with all the ideas about remaking the economy is enticed, and thinking seriously about what the job would entail, according to people who described her own thinking on the subject — and according to Warren herself, in two conversations I had with her recently.”
Dovere reports that in one of those conversations, Warren told him, “Joe Biden describes this (election) as the battle for the soul of the nation. He’s right, but there’s more. It’s the battle for the survival of a nation that works for most of its people or only for a thin elite at the top.”
According to Dovere, Warren’s motto “I have a plan for that” is looking better and better at a time when the U.S. is being battered from both a health standpoint and an economic standpoint. Warren, he points out, “put out her first COVID-19 plan at the end of January, a few days before the Iowa Caucus.”
Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware told The Atlantic that altogether a Biden/Warren ticket would be “an unlikely coupling,” the former vice president “could do a lot worse. I’m not sure he could do a lot better.” And one of Dovere’s Democratic sources said that former President Barack Obama “thinks that (Warren’s) economic message is a strong one, and that there’s real resonance right now.”
Dovere also interviewed Obama ally Valerie Jarrett, who wouldn’t say who she prefers as a running mate for Biden but did say of Warren, “She’s very competent. At a time like this, I think it’s important for the American people to see what competence looks like — to give them confidence that there are people who do care about science and evidence and are humane.”
Warren told Dovere that the U.S. will need an aggressive economic stimulus program in order to bounce back economically — and even then, it won’t happen overnight.
“For decades, resiliency has been squeezed out of our economic system, and that’s true at the individual family level and true at the global corporate level,” Warren asserted. “When you squeeze out that resiliency, when the system tightens up, it produces short-term profits for investors and executives, but it means that when something goes wrong, it breaks hard. This recovery will take years — even with massive federal intervention. And without massive federal intervention, it will take even longer.”