Monday, July 22, 2019

‘Intellectual’ Warren Gets Help from Academia, Leftwing ‘Switch to Warren’ Campaign

Presidential hopeful and former Harvard professor Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is getting help from her academic coherts and a leftwing organization that hopes to get undecided or wavering voters in her column.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) endorsed Warren on Monday and is the first national group to do so, according to the Hill.

The endorsement comes ahead of the first Democrat debates, with Warren taking center stage on Wednesday with competitors including Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).

“As voters see Elizabeth Warren connect her bold transformational plans to her personal story of struggle growing up poor in Oklahoma and as a single mom in Texas, they are inspired to support her,” Adam Green, the co-founder of the PCCC, said in the Hill report.

“The debates represent the biggest opportunity yet for voters to compare candidates and switch to Warren as they realize she’d crush Trump on the campaign trail and would be the best president for America,” Green said. “We’re launching the SwitchToWarren.com campaign to showcase this very real dynamic.”

The Hill reported:

Warren has recently gained traction in national and statewide polls as voters and the media take note of her “I have a plan for that” playbook packed with detailed policy proposals to tackle economic and racial inequities.

Long a favorite of the party’s left flank, Warren finds herself in a pitched battle with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the progressive mantle in the 24-candidate primary field. Trying to recover from a slow campaign rollout, Warren earlier this month leapfrogged Sanders to land in second place in a handful of national polls and a Monmouth University survey of likely Democratic caucusgoers in Nevada.

But the PCC is aiming not at Sanders’ supporters but those who haven’t picked a candidate or who are currently supported former Vice President Joe Biden, currently the top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

“Bernie supporters are pretty hardcore and are not the cornerstone of any Warren strategy. Biden voters and undecided voters are the biggest honey pots for Elizabeth Warren because they are disproportionately pundit voters who prioritize electability,” Green told The Hill.

“As these pundit voters see Warren connect on a gut level on the debate stage — tying her plans to her personal story of struggle growing up poor in Oklahoma and being a single mom in Texas — they increasingly will see her as the best candidate to defeat Trump and will move to her side.”

The group’s strategy is to use interviews it did with Warren supporters and showcasing them ahead of the debates, the Hill reported.

“The group is banking on Warren’s performance to fuel further defections, hoping her ability to connect with voters will extend from the Miami stage to the possibly millions of viewers set to tune in,” the Hill reported.

But Warren’s own strategy to win the White House is in some ways more connected to academic rather than political circles, Politico reported:

Behind Elizabeth Warren’s trust-busting, Wall Street-bashing, tax-the-wealthy platform is a brain trust that extends well beyond the Beltway thinkers who often rubber stamp campaign proposals.

Instead, the former Harvard professor and her tight team of policy advisers have waded deeper into the world of academia than is usual in presidential campaigns, according to interviews with more than a dozen people her campaign has consulted and a review of the scholarship underlying her plans.

Leafing through Warren’s plans posted on Medium, voters will find links to obscure academic literature from places like the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics, the Upjohn Institute, the Journal of Applied Business and Economics, and the American Journal of Sociology.

Some of those helping her develop her “I’ve got a plan for that” playbook include former advisers to Barack Obama and campaign staff for Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But when it comes to policy nitty-gritty, Warren looks beyond the Beltway.

“Warren’s campaign policy team—four people on staff, plus a close outside adviser who’s a professor at Vanderbilt University Law School—match that profile. All of them have degrees from Harvard or Yale, some two,” Politico reported.

“Some policy shops of the past were a collection of ad hoc smart people, or folks doing a campaign stint in order to get a job in the next administration,” said PCCC’s Green in the Politico report. “Warren’s policy shop is an extension of her brain. They get her big-picture worldview. Debates within her team represent the intellectual questions Warren would ask herself.”

Warren’s campaign policy team—four people on staff, plus a close outside adviser who’s a professor at Vanderbilt University Law School—match that profile. All of them have degrees from Harvard or Yale, some two.

“Some policy shops of the past were a collection of ad hoc smart people, or folks doing a campaign stint in order to get a job in the next administration,” said Adam Green, who supports Warren and has worked with the senator and her team over the years as co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “Warren’s policy shop is an extension of her brain. They get her big-picture worldview. Debates within her team represent the intellectual questions Warren would ask herself.”

“She’s a real intellectual,” Barry Lynn, executive director of the Open Markets Institute who has worked with Warren and her team on their anti-trust tech proposals, said. “That’s different than a lot of people in this town: they’re politicians, not intellectuals.”

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Penny Starr

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