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Elizabeth Warren Leads Scott Brown by 2 Points in Latest Poll

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We continue to follow the Scott Brown reelection fight because the presumed Elizabeth Warren v Brown matchup will probably be the most closely watched Senate race in 2012.

Public Policy Polling released the results of its latest survey, which show that the press surrounding the Warren campaign launch has led to a big change in the results:

Elizabeth Warren has had an incredibly successful launch to her Senate campaign and actually leads Scott Brown now by a 46-44 margin, erasing what was a 15 point deficit the last time we polled the state in early June….

The surprising movement toward Warren has a lot to do with her but it also has a lot to do with Scott Brown. We now find a slight plurality of voters in the state disapproving of him- 45%, compared to only 44% approving. We have seen a steady decline in Brown’s numbers over the last 9 months. In early December his approval was a +24 spread at 53/29. By June it had declined to a +12 spread at a 48/36. And now it’s continued that fall to its current place…

There are positive signs for Brown in the poll. 47% of voters still consider him to be more an ‘independent voice for Massachusetts’ than the 41% who think he’s been more focused on being ‘a partisan voice for the national Republican Party.’ And 45% of voters still consider him ideologically ‘about right’ compared to just 38% who think think he’s ‘too conservative.’ He’s running 35 points ahead of the Republican Party as a whole on that question- 56% of Massachusetts voters think it’s ‘too conservative’ and only 29% think it’s ‘about right.’ Still Brown isn’t seen to be in the ideological mainstream to quite the extent he had been previously- his about right/too conservative spread was 50/33 on our June poll and 53/33 on our December poll.

This poll was taken over the weekend right after a week of positive press surrounding Warren’s candidacy announcement. It’s possible that gave her a bounce that may recede some in the coming weeks. But that doesn’t change Brown’s falling approval numbers- this looks like it will be a highly competitive race.

Brown’s big advantage in his initial run was that he was a protest candidate, and if NC readers are at all representative of Massachusetts voters generally, there was plenty of free floating anger ready to attach itself to him. I had one Democratic party reader say she had voted for Brown because Obama had been unresponsive to her interests, and the panic over the loss led to at least a short-term effort to appease the left, via hauling Paul Volcker out of mothballs. Tom Ferguson’s district by district research also found that votes for Brown were highly correlated with housing price declines (as in the steeper the fall, the higher the level of Brown votes).

Brown can no longer be an empty vessel who can pretend to satisfy everyone from the middle to the right; he is turning out to be, not surprisingly, a Republican, which is not so well received on either the left or right end of the people who voted for him.

However, Warren does have a problem which is likely not registering in the current polls but will become more acute as the election approaches, which is her relationship with Obama.

I’ve got the Ron Suskind book on Obama’s economics team, and the opening scene is Obama announcing the appointment of Warren as assistant to him and the Treasury Department to start up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Suskind confirms our thesis that Warren had no chance of ever becoming the permanent head of the agency; the banking industry had apparently made it a condition of assenting to its creation, but had later dropped that from their official requests, since they had hamstrung the agency in other ways (note that industry mouthpieces later had not problem in depicting the agency as unusually powerful). And Geithner was so keenly opposed to Warren that he had tried to develop a strategy to neutralize her but failed.

Obama is a neoliberal. He does not stand for Warren’s agenda, hence his refusal to fight for her. She was of use merely as an ornament to appease the traditional Democrat base (I honestly doubt that they care whether or not she did a good job of setting up the agency). She’s continued to serve Obama and the needs of the Democratic party by taking up their idea of the Senate run. And she has to play nice through the primaries; I’m told by experienced political observers that party support is key in primary fights.

But absent a miracle, Obama looks to be over for 2012. Unless the economy improves enough to make a dent in unemployment, it’s hard to see how he will win. And his embrace of deficit hawkery plus state and local budget cuts assure more downward pressure on an already weak economy. The consensus among economists, not surprisingly, is that housing prices continue to fall in 2012. Even if the Republicans serve up a Gorgon as their nominee, Democrats are dispirited enough that apathy will lead to fatally low turnout in key districts.

And state candidates are likely to suffer even more from the taint of association with failed Obama policies. So while Warren can’t distance herself from Obama now, a failure to do so when she has more freedom to maneuver could prove to be highly damaging. Team Obama is not and has never been her friend, and the sooner she acts on that knowledge, the better.

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65 comments

  1. chris

    It don’t think it is so clear that Obama is done in 2112 regardless of our economic conditions. He made fools of 1/2 the country in the first election so wouldn’t surprise me if it happened again. I tend to think people are smarter than to be fooled twice but I am not so sure right now.

    just in case anyone missed this it details the Nevada AG in her battle against B of America. Similar to the NY AG battle.
    http://financialrealityrevisited.blogspot.com/2011/09/nevada-says-bank-broke-mortgage.html

    1. Yearning To Learn

      I too cannot say that Obama is a sure loss for 2012. His 2012 run will be the worst Presidential campaign in the history of Earth, with the exception of whoever wins the Republican nod.

      Obama would surely lose to Satan himself in Nov 2012. O vs Romney is a toss up, depending on the Religious right. But Obama can beat Perry or Palin or Bachmann.

      I still have to see who the repubs put up there before putting the final nail in the Obama coffin.

      All that said: it shows how manipulated our political process is when these are the candidates we get. Bachmann “HPV vaccine makes you retarded” versus Palin “I can see Russia from my house” versus Perry “Me got C, me is Aggie!” (input obnoxious thumbs up sign from Perry).

      you’ve got to be kidding me.

      either that, or nobody wants to take over what is very clearly a sinking ship.

      repeated disclosure: I hate Obama with a passion and did not vote for him in 2008.
      —-
      as for Warren…
      Clearly she can win. Yes, she has ties to Washington, but those ties were very clearly strained, and her ties led to the creation of one of the few entities that the general public likes!

      IF (big if) she gets the right counsel she can pull off her gloves and go full fight club destroying her link to O.

      Although the public is (as always) blissfully ignorant about things and may think of her as part of Team Obama, any plugged in person knows how far outside the circle she was.

      thus, if SHE can figure out that he stabbed her in the back (it’s unclear to me if she’s figured this out), she can distance herself from him and the DNC would likely support her if she does it right.

      The problem, as Yves has stated before, is what happens when she wins.
      I may have misread her, and painted her as my “Hope and Change” savior… but she seems more politically naive than I initially considered.

      will she become a DNC puppet? Or can she go the way of Bernie Sanders?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I’ve said elsewhere that being a Senator for Warren is a prize not worth having. She has more power than she seems to understand independent of any institutional setting, and independence itself is a tremendous source of power.

        1. Moopheus

          Yves, for the most part, I agree with your reasoning that this is not necessarily the best move for her. But if she’s on the ballot, and the choice is her or Brown, I’m voting for her. Some of the reasons you give for her not to run are the reasons decent, competent people stay out of politics, and we get the politicians we have instead.

        2. Dan B

          Yves writes: “She has more power than she seems to understand independent of any institutional setting, and independence itself is a tremendous source of power.” This was pointed out to her during her chats with voters in August. I asked her, “Why fight to board a sinking ship when you’ve got iconic status and a national forum?” In short, listening to Warren in August I think that she honestly believes the boilerplate policies Attempter links to below, at her website. Even if she had full control of government, she’d be earnestly pursuing anachronistic policies from the era of limitless economic growth. This, too, was pointed out to her but, given her location in the system, it strikes her as anthropologically strange to accept peak oil -for example- as anything other than an overreaction to our energy “problem.” Is she deeply sincere? Yes, Is she on the right policy-making page? In my view, no.

          1. Moopheus

            This may be true, but what better choice do we have? If not her, then it’s either Brown stays in or some other even more conventional Democrat hack gets elected, and would be even weaker in Washington.

        3. wafranklin

          Independent power like Ralph Nader – who while most ofteh right (as in accurate, correct)- was neutered by the major fraudsters in corporate America in a campaign waged for 30 years. Independent like in Spitzer? Your logic does not figure.

      2. attempter

        will she become a DNC puppet? Or can she go the way of Bernie Sanders?

        Why ask the same question twice? Anyone running this scam is a DNC puppet.

        As for the rest of it, does the standard boilerplate here answer your question?

        http://elizabethwarren.com/priorities

        Capitalism, Ownership Society, the “fair trade” scam, the “competition” fetish, all the meaningless reformist talk, it’s all there.

        The technical term for this is “astroturfing”. (Especially the part about how BP, the Democratic Party, ExxonMobil and others are so interested in renewable energy.)

      3. LucyLulu

        Did anybody else see her on Morning Joe? She confirmed earlier impressions that she HASN’T figured out that Obama stabbed her in the back. She portrayed him as the CFPB’s biggest ally. Dr. Warren is my hero, and hopefully I’m underestimating her on this front, but I think she may be too naive for the political arena.

        OTOH, she looks like she’s 10 years younger, and it wasn’t the makeup. Getting out of Washington seems to be agreeing with her.

        1. Valissa

          It is my understanding that it is typical for political candidates to have a little “work” done (i.e. visit to plastic surgeon) before running for office due to all the photos and TV. They often also lose weight for the same reason. Looks matter in the public eye.

        2. Conscious Mind

          I, too, was extremely disappointed to see her portray the creation of the Bureau as a victory and cast Obama as being a defender of the people. The six-million dollar question is whether she really believes this (can she be that stupid?) or feels obliged to say it for reasons of political expediency. If she’s looking to bring Ted Kennedy’s base back to the fold, she can’t appear to be excessively disloyal – at least in the primary.

          To pick up on Yves’ point about independence, I would much prefer to have seen Warren run as an independent candidate for Senate. She has the stature and, as we’ve seen already, considerable fund-raising ability. (I myself made a contribution, and I live in FL.) In that scenario, she could have run against Wall Street and all their friends in Washington, including the one who used her and then threw her away. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she considered this but decided to take the safer path to ensure electoral success.

          In our climate of explicit class-warfare, I can’t wait to see how ugly the oligarchy will be in its tactics against Warren. George Carlin always said you have to be asleep to believe in the American Dream. This contest might actually wake a few people up, and that makes it all worthwhile.

      4. CB

        IMO, Bernie Sanders is the Senate house pet. He’s put on stage to give a certain appearance of things. The real action is elsewhere and in entirely other directions. I agree with a lot of Bernie’s declared agenda, I think it needs saying, I don’t think he’s effective. In fact, having him out there with his agenda provides cover for the people pulling against it–quietly behind the scenes.

      5. okie farmer

        If history is any guide, Perry will be our next POTUS. It will take a major attack from MSM and destruction of his funding base if the the Republican elites have any chance to stop Perry. I can now see Perry winning easily. His appeal is quite visceral to a certain kind of voter common in both parties. He has in spades what Reagan had in diamonds or hearts, and W had maybe in clubs, with his physical handsomeness, and his charisma combined with ‘aw shucks’ schtick. Reagan told us he was going to make most people poorer (supply-side voodoo, remember?), then did it, put US on road to ruin in tax policy changes and deficit spending, and still won two terms. Perry’s more like Reagan than Reagan.

      6. CB

        “…any plugged in person knows how far outside the circle she was.” The point is does Warren know “how far outside the circle she was.” She seems not to. Obama is quite good at what Adolph Reed calls the short con.

  2. Richard Kline

    Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Liz Warren was still around and Bama and Timmy were not in January 2013?

    2012 is going to be _very_ unkind to Congressional Republicans. That is Brown’s real problem, to me: his party is marching lemming like into the lawnmower blades of public disgust. I can think of far worse outcomes than four years of a Democratic Congress with a wingnut Republican in the White House. Will they solve any problem as so constellated? Hell no—and given recent history _that_ would be a positive outcome, doing nothing as opposed to doing major damage. There’s little difference in the value of the parties, but the grain of the pain cuts differently depending on who sits where.

    1. bmeisen

      “…the lawnmower blades of public disgust…”

      Bravo!!

      Who else will be on enough national ballots to make a difference? I haven’t heard of a serious third party threat to Obama – what’s the deadline for starting a national campaign? If it’s Obama alone against a demented Rep like Backmann then Obama wins. If Rommney or Christie get the nomination then they win. I don’t think Mr Texas will have legs. Christie is the dangerous one and he would win because his cute obesity would attract approximately 1 million obese Americans, black and white – just enough to tip the electoral balance. Of Christie and Rommney I prefer Rommney.

    1. bmeisen

      Thanksfor the link. She should challenge Obama run for president as an independent and give that speech a million times and she’ll win.

      1. Peter T

        I think we have chewed that many times: a third party candidate helps the major party candidate of the other side. Third party candidates for presidency have been a useless exercise since more than hundred years ago. The right time to challenge Obama would be the Democratic primary, but it looks now that nobody will.

        Personally, I could live with president Romney and a Democratic senate.

        1. bmeisen

          I have voted for Nader the last 3 times and share his opinion that gore and kerry lost because they failed to clearly make the progressive argument. Obama won and ever since I’ve enjoyed saying “I told you so.”

          1. Peter T

            Why do you bother at all? Does it give you inner satisfaction to say “I told you so.” Equally well a democrat could tell you: “I told you so that Nader has no chance.”

  3. Middle Seaman

    Primaries are not wholly a party issue. It is also important to take into account that Obama has devastated the Democratic party with the same child-like thinking he uses always. With enough money from rich donors and help from the unions, which she will surely get, she will win the primaries.

    My intuition about Warren attraction to the Senate is that as a senator she is an independent powerful player. Hillary rose fast in the Senate and so will warren. Furthermore, she will join a tiny progressive faction of Democrats increasing her influence further.

    As for Obama’s chances in 2012, if the unions will not work for his reelection as they already threatened, he is a goner. With union support he wouldn’t have won in the primaries of 2008 and may be even in the presidential.

    1. CB

      I always wince when Obama is referred to as “the only adult in the room.” He is a child, and not the child that shall lead them.

  4. Pwelder

    The Suskind book is further confirmation – not that any was needed – of the extent to which Yves has been early and right on important stories at the intersection of politics and finance.

    On its good days this blog is quite remarkable.

    WRT 2012: As I see it Obama is Herbert Hoover, in the sense that he’s the president with the bad luck to be in office at the time that the economic and financial s**tstorm is new,raw, and poorly understood. Hoover spent his term trying things that were well outside the box by the standards of the time, but clearly inadequate to the problems. It was only after the voters had a bellyfull of what wouldn’t work that they became desperate enough to give FDR a relatively free hand.

    But IMO it’s not a done deal that the independents who elected Obama will go for a Rick Perry, even in the bad economy that we are likely to have.

  5. ep3

    “But absent a miracle, Obama looks to be over for 2012″

    i doubt this yves. look at how far ahead he is in campaign dollars. maybe palin, when she does her official step forward, can turn that fundraising tide. But I think part of the reason Obama has held on to Timmy G is because he could say to the banks ‘look, i have your bitch as my only consistent economic member, please donate to me’.
    So i would always base those predictions on who has the most money.

  6. tyaresun

    I don’t expect her to win but it will certainly contrast Obama and bring a different point of view to the masses. The MSM has been successful at ignoring all these other points of view, they certainly will have to pay attention to a POTUS challenger.

  7. wafranklin

    It is the devil you know vs the one you don’t know. I am less than happy with Obama, for whom I voted but I also look at SCOTUS and worry about a 6-3 rightwing majority there. I do not think the supposed republic can take many more decisions like Citizens without lapsing totally into predatory capitalistic fascism, if it is not already there. The thought of Perry or Romney, much less Bachmann, is enough to gag a maggot.

  8. neo-realist

    I don’t think it’s a given that Obama is done in 2012 even if unemployment is still bad provided that Rick Perry is the candidate: If Perry goes on the campaign trail and more or less calls for the abolition of SS and Medicare or a massive withdrawal of support for these programs that would render them irrelevant, I don’t see how he could get the votes of seniors and regular working folk. Withdrawing the social safety net we’ve had since the depression is a line in the sand most Americans won’t accept even if Obama is ultimately nothing more than a shill for the Banks. Perry comes off as a bit of a loose cannon with a lack of knowledge of his actions, so expect some further self destructive rhetoric as the campaign goes along.

    Now if Romney is the republicans choice, that’s a different story.

    1. lambert strether

      The same people own both legacy parties. Therefore, if they decide that Obama serves their interests best, the Rs will nominate a crazy person and Obama will win. Otherwise, not.

      * * *

      Warren supporting a President who obviously did not support her, and in addition created a hostile working environment for women (which somebody should ask her about) makes me question her judgment and her independence. I like the rhetoric, but if there’s one lesson from 2008, it’s that rhetoric is the bait for the switch to come.

      Let Warren burn a few bridges with the rentier elite, say by advocating or at least supporting the prosecution of some bankster CEOs for accounting control fraud, and I’ll be a bit more sympathetic to the calls for her Presidential run.

      1. Neo-Realist

        Maybe Perry is that crazy Republican:)

        Warren may come off as a willing tool of the administration, but possibly from her vantage point, the Senate race, win or lose, serves as the most effective means of preaching to regular working people the need for oversight and transparency in banking practices, people that she will never reach speaking to students and policy wonks at symposiums in universities.

        1. Valissa

          That is a nice fantasy. But how many senators actually get out and do the “preaching to regular working people” ploy? It’s not something I’ve observed happening in the past. It is my understanding that freshman senators are encouraged to keep quiet. Both Brown and Rubio worked hard to keep a low profile after winning office (despite uge media pressure NOT to) and the same happened to Hillary when she joined the senate, and it was the same with Jim Webb and with Obama. They might do the occasional article or speech but that was about it. Therefore I don’t see Warren getting extra visibility just because she’s in the senate now. She is a very intelligent establishment neo-liberal and she will play the required part.

  9. Valissa

    The results of polls before any actual campaigning has been done are not all that useful, IMO. Therefore I tend to ignore polls until there is a real race going on. How will Warren do as a campaigner, that remains to be seen. I expect she would dominate any debates between the two so I expect Brown’s team to dodge those as much as possible.

    It’s true that Brown was elected on the FU vote, but also on his tireless campaigning and his independent “regular guy” appeal. Pissed off at the DC Dems, my husband and I (we are Dem leaning independents) voted for him, figuring it was only 2 years and we could always vote for the Dem in 2012.

    I still think that Warren’s association with Team Obama is a problem. Much as I like her and am tempted to vote for her, I’m not keen on another Obama supporter in the Senate. The more she plays up her faux relationship with Obama (which is a LIE) the less likely I will be to vote for her.

    Brown votes pretty much down the middle as graphs show. He’s like a weathervane in the national mood, voting with the Dems when the tide is going that way and the rest of the time he tries to keep his voting percentage Republican enough that they don’t get too annoyed at him. Thats more independence than most senators have from party allegiance and that is a good thing IMO.

    Since I am no longer a believer in the 2-party paradigm (I see it as a form of pro-wrestling/kabuki/bunraku) and no longer project Good & Evil OR Evil & Slightly-less-evil onto the political parties, I have a different calculus than most when it comes to deciding how I’m going to vote. I expect I won’t decide how I’m going to vote until the last month or so prior to the election. Alan Khazei and Warren Seti are going to be challenging Warren hard during the primaries. Honestly, I think ALL the possible for candidates for Senate in MA (including Brown) would be fine Senators of the kleptocracy for different reasons so I have no concerns who wins. However I do expect to have fun watching the horserace…. the DRAMA should be quite exciting, which is what pro-wrestling is all about.

    1. Neo-Realist

      In many realms there is a 2 hydra impact of the parties, but I don’t believe that a democratic president would select hard right fascists like Roberts, Scalia, Rehnquist and Alito to the bench, Roberts and Scalia in particular–The Citizens United connection. People who are willing and capable of locking in and have locked in a very strong structural slant against main street america.

      Slow walking the slants like the dems do make them easier to fight and make the dems easier to tolerate.

      1. Valissa

        Ya know… there are many different ways of framing political behavior and allegiances. There are many different worldviews so what “makes perfect sense” to one person seems irrational to another. You can tell by the way someone frames an argument what their allegiance is. You are still loyal to the Democratic Tribe (with the requisite fear/hate feelings toward the OTHER) and that’s fine. But many of us no longer identify with that tribe due to changed worldviews, and therefore don’t agree with your logic. btw, Fascism is not limited to one political party, there is a full bipartisan press for a more authoritarian gov’t.

        1. CB

          Sunday’s Take Back the Dream mtg was interesting. I declared my complete independence of party affiliation and there were nods of agreement around the room: I support people who support me and I don’t care what ballot line they run on.

    1. aletheia33

      i would think one could predict with fair confidence that the impact of all that money will be in accord with the wishes of those who are most in a position to provide it.

    2. Valissa

      re: volumes of money… that is the BIG deal in this election! If Warren wins the Dem primary, it could be an epic financial battle and the pundit talk about that may well eclipse any “issues”.

      in the book Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich, author Robert Frank often uses the phrases “river of money” and “global river of money”. Frank claims that most of the new megawealthy are liberal and lean Democratic (when compared to “old money”) and thinks that will effect future elections, which I found interesting.

      What will be the effect of all this money on the race? On the plus side it will benefit the MA economy, but it will suck up money that could have been used to support other candidates in other states (on both sides). I find it very amusing how important both the Dems and Repubs think owning this seat is.

  10. Economics Considered

    This comment will likely be too ‘far down’ the list to be read, but I’ll add it anyway.

    Yves – I think you have all along greatly underestimated just how liberal (or whatever term) that Massachusetts is, when it comes to congressional elections. Scott Brown certainly got some boost from Obama backlash and the general ‘change’ mood. And he campaigned masterfully, if a little heavy on the common man theme. But the thing that gave him the final push for votes was simply that the democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, was such a majorly insipid person – and certainly presented that way throughout the campaign. I think the heat at the time for those factors is long dissipated and I think Warren will be a lock. If Romney gets nominated, Massachusetts will likely go for him – but my feeling is that unless Warren makes the inexplicably horrible choice to tie herself to Obama, Obama will be little or no drag on her vote support. Just my two cents – it will be interesting to see how our calls turn out. ( As a side note, it seems inexplicably and incredibly naive that she seems to think Obama ‘supported’ her or has the slightest agenda to let the CFPB have any vitality. as LucyLulu commented)

    “Democrats are dispirited enough that apathy will lead to fatally low turnout in key districts” — I think you have identified one of the most crucial dynamics of the 2012 race. I have thought for some time that this would be a really major factor. There is so likely to be at least a few percentage points of people who will not vote republican – but can’t bring themselves to vote for Obama. And I think folks that feel he has a significant chance are forgetting that he only won by a 3+% swing – and in the even more crucial electoral arena, he has real troubles already in key swing states plus the possible loss of Massachusetts. (And certainly along with all of his constituencies that Obama has abandoned, including unions)

    While I certainly agree completely with your (Yves) continuing perspective that Warren will pretty much disappear in the Senate, especially considering her moderate if plain-spoken demeanor, I wonder if you think there is some other venue where she could have even that much presence/influence ?? What “independent” platform could she attach herself to that would give her any kind of real voice? I can’t think of any. And without some major office, it doesn’t strike me that she could effectively compete for even a party nomination for President, much as many folks would like to wish otherwise.

    chris – indeed one should be wary of underestimating how much the general public can be swayed by soaring rhetoric – not the least of which are pitches by snake oil salesman, hey.

    Richard Kline – some months ago I would have thought that the public sentiment backlash against the republicans would give a real chance for the House to be close to a tie or even lean democratic. However, I am considerably perplexed that the generic congressional polling results don’t seem to reflect much of such backlash. I am puzzled – and my hopes are distressed at this point.

    Pwelder – Yves has indeed been ‘early and right’ on so many issues. And indeed “On its good days this blog is quite remarkable”. Have you noted any ‘bad’ days ? :-)

    1. CB

      It’s astonishing how quickly the Democrats, WH and Congress, have trashed the results of the 2008 election. There were articles everywhere about the demise of the Republican party. Democrats were thought to have at least a generation of triumph. Here we are, three years later, with the Republicans resurgent and the Democrats in embarrassing disarray. And not much to choose between them. I won’t vote for Obama. I think he’s malign.

      1. John M

        In my more cynical moods, I think that was the object of Obama’s behavior. He was the Manchurian Candidate who was positioned to ride the wave of change and voter anger and progressive activism into off. Once there, with decent Congressional majorities, Republicans hated, and a huge mandate for change, he folds and tosses the cards in.

        So the dead Republican Party is resurrected as a zombie.

  11. Francois T

    “But absent a miracle, Obama looks to be over for 2012″

    The miracle is unfolding before our very eyes. The “base” (add a gurgling sound of prolonged retching here) of the Reichpubliscums made it happen by selecting the worst candidates possible.

    I mean…com on now! Apart from John Huntsman, (and even he is barely acceptable, having endorsed the Paul Ryan health care plan, a surefire sign of political madness) who does have a reasonable chance in hell of running successfully against Obama?

  12. Markar

    What a waste of Warren’s currency. She will fall into the black hole of obscurity and impotence in the good ol boy club that is the Senate.

  13. abelenkpe

    The economy can get significantly worse and Obama will still win unless republicans find a sane conservative along the lines of Eisenhower. Republicans are running bigoted dangerous lunatics. You want them choosing supreme court justices? Really Yves, are you so disappointed with Obama that you’ll vote for one of the current Republican candidates? You think any of them would agree with your analysis or suggestions on the economy?

  14. Ron

    “For me, the most significant development from the Fed’s announcement is a change in policy where the Fed will re-invest proceeds of maturing MBS securities in new issues of Agency MBS paper. Prior to today, the Fed re-invested principal repayments in Treasury bonds.
    I wrote about the possibility of a mega mortgage ReFi by Fannie and Freddie (here and here). I (and many readers) pointed to an obvious flaw in the ReFi story. If a Trillion or so of mortgages were rapidly prepaid, then who would buy all of the new (much lower coupon) mortgage paper?
    Now we have the answer. The Fed will put the new MBS paper back on its Balance Sheet, $ for $. There will still be many bondholders outside of the Fed who will get prepaid much faster than they had assumed. Most of that is in pension/bond funds. No one cares about them.”

    Bruce Krasting: WH and Fed sleeping together

  15. steelhead23

    I keep holding out hope that Obama would have the audacity to pull an LBJ (I will not seek the nomination…) and the Democratic establishment (who are those people anyway?) would recognize that as a “Washington outsider” Warren would have the greatest pull of any Democrat in the presidential race in which voters are increasingly angry at Washington, and would nominate her. Then, sadly, I wake up.

    As far as a Senate seat not being a prize for Warren, au contraire, if Warren is the person she projects, she would shine in the Senate. I would mention that Jeff Merkley, the junior senator from Oregon, has demonstrated notable leadership (he opposed Bernanke’s confirmation) and is gaining prominence. In fact, Obama was a first term senator when he successfully ran for president. Warren could follow suit.

    As for Obama being sunk. God, I wish it were true, but I think that’s wishful thinking as well. Some blogger today made reference to that quintessentially American story of the Music Man – the flim-flam salesman who cons an entire town into buying musical instruments. Obama may be a cynical neo-liberal, but he is also an outstanding con artist. The man can speak. He excites. He makes people believe. I happen to believe that those skills will be tested in 2012, but I hardly think that the unemployment rate will kill his goose. He’ll simply blame high unemployment on the do-nothing Congress – and win. Hype, carefully manicured and expertly delivered beats facts and figures hands down.

  16. Robert Windsor

    Jeez, enough already with the political asides. I get it, you really, really, really don’t like Obama, just like all the nation’s crazy uncles. I read your site for your take on issues where you presumably have some expertise. I’m afraid politics just isn’t one of those, dear. So just focus on holding the state AGs’ feet to the fire and the BoA deathwatch and leave the Fox News lite commentary to the wingnuts who are paid by their corporate masters to deliver it.

    1. shillsapoppin

      Well, you’re the expert! Why don’t you help us out and plug your fearless leader’s prospects into the Hibbs Model? Extrapolate the imminent crash and mounting Afghan resistance, Why don’t you? Then tell us how great your no-hoper loser sellout fake reformer coulda been.

  17. joel3000

    If the Reps had a decent candidate to run they could beat Obama.

    But the US will not elect Perry and the GOP will not elect Romney. Ergo, Obama.

    1. LucyLulu

      I’m no fan of Mr. Obama, allow me to make that clear.

      However, MSNBC reported a poll today that had Obama running 3 points behind Sarah Palin, 47-44.
      Lord help us all.

  18. Jane Doe

    If Perry, then President Obama wins.

    If Romney, it is likely Romney wins.

    That’s my political gut. This site is good for economic issues, but your understanding of the political situation seems limited.

    Politics is candidate specific. Perry is not electable on a national stage. I think Romney is willing to lie enough to be electable.

    People vote the lesser of two evils. Obama will be seen as the lesser of two evils. Thus his chances of winning.

    You can not use the economy as a litmus here without looking at the candidates.

    1. CB

      Obviously Obama also is willing to lie enough to win. Now, how to choose between willing liars. I will look diligently for someone to vote for but if, as I expect, I don’t find anyone, I’ll write in.

      1. Jane Doe

        I have stopped pretending that I have a choice. That’s the delusional pushed on us by the totalitarian system we live in.

  19. Susan

    Yves, you are always correct in your analysis of Obama, but I think wrong in your assessment of his election prospects.

  20. solo

    Yves seems to imply that, if Warren is indeed a person of integrity, she is a fool (easily conned by such as Obama); but if she is not a person of integrity (collaborated with Obama’s cosmetic use of her), she is as worthless as Obama. Ergo, Warren is either a fool or worthless. –I think I hear Ralph Nader saying, Welcome to the duopoly, folks . . . .

  21. securecare

    Wake up folks.

    Team Obama has set a huge trap for the ReThug Party & they are walking into it Big Time. He will run against the whole party & wipe the floor with them.

    Once reelected he will do as he pleases since he won’t be worrying about running again. That is what really scares the pros.

  22. Fiver

    Don’t necessarily agree re Obama’s prospects. Wall Street and the Pentagon have been very, very well treated considering the seriousness of crimes committed. Neither of those interests wants another apparent boob fronting for them – Bush wrecked that brand for the full 8-year cycle. Anyone but Romney will be thumped. Romney is fine by the big money/power guys, but there’s a reason why the other Rep candidates are scoring at all – Romney has so diluted whatever it was he believed in to begin with that he now puts paint to sleep.

    Warren may win. Or maybe not. But having cast her lot with the Democratic Party that delivered the last 3 bonus years of Bush policy rather than exiting to:

    First, tell the public just how badly they’re being bled by THIS Admin, and

    Second, work like a demon to form a 3rd Party not with any immediate thought of victory, but as the Tea Party clearly demonstrated, but to have enough presence to ensure honest, fair, real solutions to really, really big problems are actually heard.

    …she is greatly diminished.

  23. jcb

    “You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.
    “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.” Elizabeth Warren

    Yves, Isn’t that something you’d like to hear Democrats in the Senate saying? I mean, it’s honest, direct, to the point. That’s why she needs to be elected.

  24. CarolO

    Elizabeth Warren is one darned smart woman. And she’s a fighter for the working class and not a bit afraid of men who try to intimidate her.

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