Scott Brown Beats Elizabeth Warren by 25 Points in Recent Poll

We argued yesterday that the Senate was not a good vehicle for advancing Elizabeth Warren’s aims of helping middle class families, since she would have no more, and arguably less power than she has now, and would be expected to defend Democrat/Obama policies, many of which are affirmatively destructive to middle class interests (just less so than what the Republicans would put in place).

A poll conducted in late June by Scott Brown and the Republican National Committee raises an even more basic question: whether she even has a shot at winning. We pointed out an obvious flaw: Warren would not get much if any big corporate sponsorship, and big warchests are usually necessary to buy enough airtime to unseat incumbents.

The poll shows a 25 point gap, which is a massive hurdle, and also indicates that Brown is seen by many voters as not being a Republican stalwart (as in he is perceived to vote for the state’s, not the party’s, interest). A 25 point gap is a near insurmountable hurdle and shows that Warren’s reputation does not carry as far as the Democratic party hackocracy would like her fans to believe. But there’s no reason not to get this pesky woman to take up what is likely to be a poisoned chalice. If she wins, she’s unlikely to get on any important committees, given the Democratic party pay to play system, and will be boxed in by the practical requirements of having to make nice to the party and support Obama positions a meaningful portion of the time. And if she runs and loses, it would be taken as proof that her middle class agenda really doesn’t resonate with voters, which will give the corporocrats free rein (if you can’t sell a liberal agenda in a borderline Communist state like Massachusetts, it won’t play in Peoria either).

From the National Journal:

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., leads Democrat Elizabeth Warren by a 53-28 percent margin among likely 2012 voters, according to a poll conducted for the senator and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Matched against Warren, who was passed over for the top job at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the face of GOP resistance and is considering a Senate run, Brown leads by a 25-point margin, with 18 percent undecided. He leads Newton Mayor Setti Warren, 57-21, and City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, 54-24.

Two-thirds of likely Massachusetts voters approve of Brown’s job performance and 56 percent say he deserves reelection, according to the survey.

The Public Opinion Strategies poll showed Brown with a 62 percent favorable and 28 percent unfavorable rating; his favorables are six points higher than during his Jan. 2010 election. His job performance rating has climbed six points since April 2010.

The poll also shows that 60 percent of voters thought Brown, who ran promising to vote free of party orthodoxy, had been an “independent vote” in the Senate rather than asserting partisan interests ahead of the state’s. Thirty-one percent said it had been the other way around.

Before you say, “she’s not even a candidate,” remember Democrat operatives have been aggressively talking up the idea of a Senate run as a way to put Warren out to pasture since at least early June, so the polls were taken after the idea was being talked up in the media. It was presumably getting even heavier coverage in Massachusetts.

And as we noted in Links, Warren has not signaled any enthusiasm for the idea. Per the Boston Globe:

Warren told MSNBC yesterday that she plans to take her grandchildren to Legoland and then return to Massachusetts.

“Massachusetts does beckon in the sense that it’s my home and I need to go home,’’ she said. “I’ll do more thinking then, but I need to do that thinking not from Washington; I need to go home.’

Frankly, she sounds tired and not terribly interested in entertaining the question. As a seasoned political observer noted, “She can’t carry on like this and be viable, even for two weeks.”

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  1. Polar Express

    Liz is too “frumpy” for the hunt, kill, gut and clean crowd.
    Besides, making predatory paperwork easier to read assumes literacy at some level, and on another level [underhandedly validates epic criminality, regulatory capture/failure and with it corrupt judiciaries, polticians and the propaganda spewing press]

    Brown might be fully homo, he vents some bullshit about abortion then goes into a backroom to help his bankster thugs fuck over his constituency. You tell me whom is more exciting.

    1. citalopram

      I honestly don’t think we’re going vote our way out of this mess. I don’t think there’s going to be a Super Candidate out there who will pull us out, either.

      The American electorate so is passive and decadent I think things are going to have to get worse before they get better. I just hope by ‘worse’ we’re not talking about Pinochet’s Chile.

      Grab some iced tea, sit back and enjoy the ride.

      1. Francois T

        “I think things are going to have to get worse before they get better.”

        We may get our wish realized very soon; this debt ceiling thingie ain’t resolved yet, and it may be a necessary shock therapy to wake up all the lazy fuckheads populating the Home of the Slave living in the Land of the Fee.

        1. Jackrabbit

          this debt ceiling thingie ain’t resolved yet

          You don’t think that this is a bogus crisis? It seems to me that they have to scare ordinary people into accepting PAIN now or the TPTB will bear a greater burden in the future (that’s what passes for “responsible government” and “sharing the burden” these days).

    2. Veronica Sweigart

      Why are you all talking Senator from Massachusetts? I want her as the Vice President. Of course Biden is going to get out so Hillary can be VP. But I think EWarren would get Obama lots more votes.

    3. monte_cristo

      Frumpy is good.
      You want more super-slick self-aggrandising ‘thieves’.
      Or you want people to stand up for what is correct?
      Yes, with this post we see more clearly where Warren is coming from. She put out. My guess is a lot more than you evr did Polar Express. So she’s beaten?
      Well it’s a democracy (nominally). Until people back her you’re going to have more more “super-slick self-aggrandising ‘thieves'”.
      What are you suggesting? That the only way to beat these clowns is to be ‘badder’ than they are?
      That is why people talk of the necessity for a ‘sea-change’. It’s up to the American electorate. Sure we can also slag off the American electorate. And you.

      Give the woman a hand rather that call her ‘frumpy’. This woman would probably eat you alive, and she’s ‘frumpy’? No, she’s confounded. Aren’t we all?

  2. Keith Piccirillo

    Frankly, she sounds tired and not terribly interested in entertaining the question. As a seasoned political observer noted, “She can’t carry on like this and be viable, even for two weeks.”

    Why not? Sarah Palin and Donald Trump use classical conditioning by showing up to give the media their meat powder whenever it suits them and they have far less to offer.

    1. Carla

      OF COURSE Scott Brown beat Elizabeth Warren in a poll. The WHOLE POINT OF HER WAS THAT SHE WASN’T A POLITICIAN.

      That’s what the bankers couldn’t stand about her; Elizabeth Warren was not, and I surely hope IS not, a whore.

      Wall Street is unable to deal with anyone who does not prostitute him/her self. And Wall Street is simply a mirror of all the worst aspects of the country.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Polls are conducted by independent parties. The way you manipulate polls is via leading questions. Hard to frame “who would you vote for” in a leading manner. There is no reason to suspect the top line (the voter intentions) were goosed. The sub questions re what voters think re Brown could have been framed in a leading manner.

        I’ve done survey research, this is terrain I know pretty well.

        And Rasmussen in the pollster the Republicans use when they want to cook results.

  3. K Ackermann

    So let me get this straight… a poll, conducted by SCOTT BROWN, shows SCOTT BROWN leading by 25 points.

    An unpopular republican in the bluest state is beating an extremely popular potential democratic challenger.

    And in other news, polling indicates the most popular charity in Massachusetts is Mrs. Paul’s Home for Battered Fish.

    1. Dominik

      Exactly. Yves, pretty flawed logic to cite a source by the RNC showing Warren is trailing.

        1. Paul Tioxon

          Seriously, they are polling against her as threat assessment and general thespian oral mastication diversionary spin. Yves, this is settled business, stop with the Liz Warren commentary, you are just embarrassing yrself. Who are the newly minted targets of opportunity of the CFPB, use yr contacts to put some fires under the financial fraud and anti-compliance banks, lenders, brokers etc. The policies, not the personalities, are now the matters at hand in the operational organization.

          1. Valissa

            A bit harsh on Yves, who is making good points here… but I do agree I’d rather hear more from Yves on policy, finanical, and economic issues regarding the CFCB and any related strategic back-room political games and less on standard campaign and electoral politics.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        A Dem poll earlier in June showed exactly the same results, a 25 point spread.

        As I said earlier in the thread, raw popularity polls are not that easy to manipulate, if you have a decent sized sample. It’s the ones where the wording of the question can bias the answer that you have to watch.

  4. Bear_In_Mind

    No question she has the courage, as they’re be no CFPB if it weren’t for her assertiveness, but she’s not wired for being a senator. I’d love it if she were, as she strikes me as someone similar to Dianne Feinstein – strong, whip-smart, and flinty enough to not only survive, but thrive. But my gut says she’s too talented and smart to be shoe-horned into telling everyone what they want to hear. And unlike DiFi, she’s not a career pol. I think Warren has far more clout working from the outside… if only those inside the Beltway would listen. And therein, my friends, lies the real problem.

  5. mitchw

    obama can clear the field for her. He can fly in to raise money. He can use her as a way to appease liberals. Can she bargain for a decent committee in return for his support? Wouldn’t O. like one more D. in the Senate, especially as it’s Kennedy’s seat? Would the K people work for her? I’m much more positive on this than you, Yves. And I’m not a liberal,…I think.

    1. okie farmer

      Mitch, you and bear-in-mind fail to remember that the DNC would rather lose a senate race than elect a real progressive. And O is to the right of the DNC. He won’t help her, and the DNC is likely to commit to Kacize to block her if she declares. These are very nasty people running the D party machinery. Evil? Often.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Yes, Br’er Obama is quite comfy in the GOP briar patch, where he purposely positioned himself in 2010. He has consistently governed as an elitist neocon and conspicuously co-opted or undermined any progressive Dem in pushing his RW policies, especially the health racket bailout. In addition to SS and Medicare cuts, he now has new rigged-trade deals cued up, and he certainly does not want any more progressive dems mucking up his agenda. This is the most fundamentally dishonest president I’ve ever witnessed, and I do recall Nixon.

        Michael Hudson has him pegged in “Obama’s Debt Ceiling Doublespeak” by Real News Network

        On the debate: “I think it’s evil working with evil. I think the whole argument in Congress is a charade that was pretty much set up two years ago, when the Obama administration first took office and Mr. Obama appointed the debt reduction [“cat food”] commission of Republican Senator Simpson and Clinton manager Bowles.”

  6. okie farmer

    Even if the poll is bullshit, Warren could do better things with her time than run a MA senate race. Like I said yesterday, she can have the CFPB job if she wants it by declaring a Presidential exploratory committee and using that to blackmail O into giving her the CFPB job with a recess appt after the Senate blackballs Cordary. Or just whisper to one of O’s re-election staff that whe’s going to challenge O and the job his hers. Che can’t be swift boated – what are they going to do if she challenges?

    Of course she won’t do it – not her style, nor inclination.

  7. Jackrabbit

    My guess would be that she’s not very much interested in party politics. BUT that is not to say that she’s wouldn’t be interested in associating herself with a candidate that represented her values.

    I base this on what seems to have been her rejection of Raj Date, who seems to have been set up to be THE nominee.

    See below (which I originally posted in today’s “Links”)
    I think there may well be more to the Warren story.

    Obama could have made a recess appointment. He didn’t. I imagine that he came up with some excuse like that it would be against his basic philosophy of governing (consensus, “reaching across the aisle”, etc.) so in his view recess appointments are a last resort after the Senate has not acted.

    He might have also “reasoned” that the time leading up to a last-minute nomination was Warren’s chance to convince her critics that she was suitable. But her critics, of course, were simply hoping that she would self destruct, and when she didn’t they used the time to formulate their opposition to the leadership structure of the new Agency. Yet the time may have also also allowed for the “development” of an alternative – Raj Date.

    AFTER the GOP articulated their “concerns” it was clear that any (Warren!) nomination would go nowhere until they were addressed. So why NOT nominate her then? I wonder if maybe Obama DID talk with her about a nomination? Tying up Warren for months as she waited for a Senate confirmation that would never come would keep her safely “in the tent.”(*-see below) And a Warren nomination would’ve also thrilled “the base.”

    IF Obama offered her the nomination, then either she rejected it (seeing the futility of accepting the poisoned chalice) or it was shot down by Geithner because Warren had proven to be too good at moving herself/her agenda forward, or there was a different strategy afoot – installing Raj Date as Director?

    I see Richard Cordray as Warren’s choice. I think Geithner would have preferred Raj Date (Harvard MBA, Deutsche Bank, Capital One) – who was floated as likely to be Obama’s pick for weeks before. Then, a week after a “rumor” that Geithner might leave the administration, Cordray is picked.

    One can only speculate at this point, but its not hard to imagine that Date was “suggested” as an alternative once Warren had some to understand that GOP intransigence would mean that she would never be Director of the Agency. But if Geithner (and the FIRE industry) liked/supported Date, then one could imagine that some deal (as part of the debt ceiling talks?) might’ve been struck that allowed Date to ultimately become Director of the Agency.

    Why DIDN’T Warren accept Date? She must have pushed HARD for Cordray, who doesn’t have the same credentials, and who – if seen as a Warren protege – would have the same problem getting Senate confirmation as Warren. Prehaps the more that Obama/Geithner pushed for Date, the more suspicious Warren felt.

    So I wonder if there were machinations behind the scenes that will come out at a later date. Was Warren offered the nomination but turned it down (dodging a “bullet” that would’ve sidelined her for months *)? Why didn’t she accept Date as the nominee? Did she simply push for her own guy or did she suspect that GOP resistance might vanish once an industry-acceptable candidate were offered?

    Does any of this shed some light on her thinking about whether to run for Brown’s Senate seat? I just don’t see her as being too keen on being a politician. While she may navigate the political system to achieve an end, I don’t think she is comfortable with compromising her principles for self advantage. I think that this is reflected in her refusal to go along with a Date nomination.

    * Note: I believe/suspect that the acting head of the Agency until a nominee is confirmed is the Treasury Secretary and that Warren’s position as Advisor to the Treasury Secretary and President terminates upon a nomination (whether that is Warren or someone else).

    1. Jackrabbit

      Another indication of conflict surrounding the nomination was the overly flowery language of the announcement. “Stands shoulder to shoulder with the President” sounds suspiciously like Warren had reason to question the President’s commitment to consumer protection.

      The other question is this: we don’t really know where Warren stands. As I recall (and Yves recently mentioned) she is or was a republican. Her dedication to consumer protection could just as well be as a true conservative as as a true progressive. Having appeal to the “principle wings” of both parties makes her support VERY valuable to a third party candidate or “maverick” (Ron Paul?).

      We just have to wait and see what she wants to do.

      1. Tao Jonesing

        I take it that you haven’t read The Two Income Trap?

        Personally, I cannot (and do not) doubt Warren’s committment to consumer protection.

        I also do not doubt that Warren is committed to incremental change, not fundamental change, because that is how she (and all of us) have been conditioned to think of change.

        Not revolutionary. Not evolutionary. Incremental.

        And unless you actually tear out the rot, the rot will always be with you. Putting lipstick on a pig does not transform the pig into something else.

        What makes Warren so effective is that she speaks in a fundamentally different way– she exudes empathy– but she ultimately plays ball with the incrementalists. I don’t think that makes her venal. It just means that she ain’t gonna be the messiah that so many “progressives” hope she will be (any more than empty suit Obama was).

        1. Foppe

          Seems a bit unfair to draw that conclusion based on (presumably the last chapter of) a book written in/before 2004, tbh. I too suspect she would have a lot of trouble shaking herself loose from the spell the ‘american dream’ weaves, but if anything can, it would be Obama’s &co’s treatment of her over the past two years.

  8. David W

    As pointed out, Warren does not fit with the corporate Democratic Party. She is a natural, however, as an outsider and would be perfect in the spoiler role as a write-in for the upcoming uncontested Democratic primaries. In addition, also in the spoiler role in November. She would get attention and she has no problem making the case for the middle class. There is no Democrat, outside of the corporate wing of the party, who has national recognition that can raise these issues like Warren. I hope she publicly continues to advocate for financial reform and I hope she considers representing the financially strapped and unrepresented wing of the Democratic party.

  9. John Emerson

    “would be expected to defend Democrat/Obama policies”

    Senators areas independent as they want to be. Recently they’ve been mostly servile and corrupt, but independent-minded Senators and Congressmen are responsible for much of the progress that there ever has been in this country.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The party controls who gets on what committees. If you are not on important committees, you are a marginal player. The pay to play system increases the relative power of corporate funded Senators, and that’s a recent addition. She can’t buck that.

    2. attempter

      That’s a flat-out lie, and you know it.

      Name a single piece of “progress” that was Congress-led rather than forced upon it from the bottom up.

      What a born-again hack.

  10. Transor Z

    Brown already defeated one uninspired wonkette in Mass. AG Martha Coakley. Martha (who I really like as AG, incidentally) was up by 30% according to a September 2009 Suffolk University poll. A second Suffolk poll in November had her up 31%. She didn’t self-destruct so much as it became apparent that her heart just wasn’t in the Senate run.

    This Warren Senate run is manufactured bullshit that has taken on a life of its own. The fallacy of false alternatives is that her public utility is measured by her ability to fill the CFPB directorship, which she failed to obtain OR a senate seat, which she will also fail to obtain simply because she doesn’t want it.

  11. and i

    I would like to thank her for doing her best to make the CFPB functional and help people.

    Even if she does nothing else than play with ther grandkids she’ll have done more than Chuck f&cking Schumer, Bwaney Fwank, or Nancy Pelosi, for instance.

    More than me too.

    Cheers, Ms Warren.

    1. and i

      But I do hope she primaries Obama, then runs as an independent in the general. I want to vote for her.

  12. jcb

    “A poll conducted in late June by Scott Brown and the Republican National Committee raises an even more basic question: whether she even has a shot at winning.”

    Who else could you trust to do a more objective poll 15 months before an election?

    At least now we know who they’re scared of!

  13. maynardGkeynes

    Scott Brown is a tremendously appealing individual. He would be 25 points ahead of Jesus. This is not about Elizabeth Warren. Scott Brown may well end up as President, and it would not surprise me if he does so as a Democrat.

    1. Fractal

      heh. “Scott Brown would be 25 point ahead of Jesus.” I love it. So Jesus and Elizabeth Warren are neck & neck, trailing Scott Brown in the early going ….

      Meanwhile, Scott Brown is THIRTY POINTS AHEAD and THIRTY-SIX POINTS AHEAD of the other two supposedly viable Democratic choices.

      Corrected hed: “Elizabeth Warren Outpolls Both Incumbent Democratic Mayor of Newton and Other Potential Democratic Candidate for Senate by Eleven Points and Five Points, Respectively.” Subhed: Elizabeth Warren Outpolled Other Democrats A Month Before Leaving White House Job & Even Before Throwing Her Hat in Ring.”

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        First, this all looks like a Democrat and fanbase fantasy. She’s just been treated badly by Obama. Why should she do the hackocracy’s bidding? I have yet to hear anyone give a convincing reason why trying to win a Senate seat is better for her and her aim of helping middle class families than other courses of action. For instance, she could to more if she got a major network TV show. She’d have more autonomy and a better bully pulpit.

        You forget she got the CFPB created with no political apparatus or role. She has been enormously powerful and effective outside the system.

        Second, in the highly unlikely event she were to go ahead, Khazei would contest her in the primaries. She would not have a big warchest as a non-corporate candidate, and would dissipate a lot of her funds in the primary. And Patrick (the state governor) and Menino (the mayor of Boston) are unlikely to back her.

        1. Fractal

          Your last sentence in the main post said “As a seasoned political observer noted, ‘She can’t carry on like this and be viable, even for two weeks.’ ” You actually put double quote marks on it, which I changed to single quotes.

          When you made a similar remark next to the Boston Globe story in Links 7/20/11, you put it like this:

          Leaving D.C., Warren ponders run for Senate Boston Globe. She does not sound eager at all, and as an astute political commentator noted, ‘She can’t carry on like this and be viable, even for two weeks. ”

          In one version you have it coming out of the mouth of “a seasoned political observer” and in the other version you have it coming out of the mouth of “an astute political commentator.”

          Who is/are this/these wise person(s)? There is no such quote in the Globe article you linked to.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            It’s one of my sources, he’s in Mass and is on a first name basis with most of the Dems who count in that state. He knows this beat far better than you do.

          2. Anonymous Jones

            “He knows this beat far better than you do.”

            Oh, boy, where to start?

            Sure, you have an opinion that he is knowledgeable. Right. Those people *never* make mistakes. A very experienced political strategist not accurately predicting the electorate? Never happened. I don’t believe it! It’s truly impossible!

            You’ve repeated his claim again and again. Yes, I don’t have as much experience as he does, but what he said smelled stupid the first time I heard it, and it smells worse each successive time it is repeated. In fact, I’m sorry, but it’s preposterous to make such a claim, because, let’s face, *even if this is generally true*, it is *incredibly unlikely* to be a categorical truth. I mean, please, I *cannot* believe I have to point this out to you, of all people.

            I’m sorry, I really like your analysis generally, but to creatively use the stem you’re using again and again in this thread, this is hackery on par with the hackocracy (maybe worse).

            Above, you claim the only way to bias the results in a poll like this is to ask leading questions. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Um, yeah, hi, it also depends upon your RESPONSE GROUP. It depends upon whom you ask. You know that, right? Seriously?

            I don’t know why you are so upset about fanboys, and I have no idea why you think this topic is so important, but I think this is a ridiculous sideshow. I cannot understand why this gets so many posts on this great site or why you have made at least a dozen comments on this thread alone. What is your personal interest in this? Puzzling and saddening.

            In the immortal words of Brian Fantana, “Take it easy, Champ. Why don’t you sit this next one out, stop talking for a while?”

            [with all due respect…]

          3. Yves Smith Post author


            This guy has been making calls of how things will play out in the Beltway and in Mass and his record over the last three years has been stellar. He also does very granular work on elections. And he knows most of the key actors personally (including Warren, BTW), many over decades. And he’s more pinko than most people who show up in comments.

            Brown will easily raise 2-3X the money Warren would. In fact, the threat of a Warren run has INCREASED his donations. And Warren would dissipate funds in a primary fight.

            You just don’t like hearing the equation and keep shooting the messengers. Sorry, but just because YOU like her does not mean she will win.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It’s patently silly to raise money for someone who has expressed no interest in the job.

      1. Fractal

        Yves, by your analysis, there are no viable opponents for Scott Brown and the Democrats and everybody else should just give up and go to the beach for the rest of the summer. Nobody can raise significant money, you say; Brown has gobs of cash, TPM and others say; none of the potential candidates can get close to Brown in the RNC’s poll; and you have a source who is on a “first name basis with most of the Dems who count in that state.” Who is relying on the “hackocracy” now?

        Who does your “first name basis” source think should run against Brown? What have the “Dems who count in that state” told your source they want to run against Brown?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          You seek to fight winnable fights. You don’t waste your effort on not winnable fights. Patrick and Monino are behind Khazei. No one from Mass. was pitching Warren to run. It was Chuck Schumer, the Senator from Wall Street.

          And as I said, there is NO indication that Warren is interested. She’s just been used and discarded rudely by the Dems. Why should she do them any favors?

          1. Transor Z

            Alan Khazei? Huh? Yves, who the hell is this inside political source that says Khazei beats anybody in a primary? He’s a palooka perennial also-ran barely above Jimmy “The Rent is Too Damn High” McMillan on the political heft scale and not nearly as entertaining.

            Its Boston Mayor Menino, not “Monino.” Deval Patrick has a weak base and Menino is likely in his last term as mayor. Menino can deliver a machine but his machine tends to only deliver for… Menino. Good luck with that. The Globe backed Khazei, by the way, in the special senate election.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            The state Dems still have a political apparatus, which you acknowledge is an useful asset independent of their popularity. I’m typo prone and Menino may be on his way out, but Patrick is not likely to support Warren.

            And Warren isn’t the only kid on this block. Martha Coakley polls better than she does. Rachel Maddow does too.

            You seem to forget that no one has yet to make a case as to why this is good for Warren, and better than other options open to her. You can see from her standing up to the assault of Republicans that she is remarkably immune to pressure, which seems to be the only strategy being used to try to get her to run.

          3. Transor Z


            You can see from my earlier comment that I agree with you completely. This Warren senate candidacy is manufactured and silly. My critique was directed at the bad info you’re being given by your source on Massachusetts politics. Khazei is a zero.


      2. attempter

        It’s patently silly to raise money for someone who has expressed no interest in the job

        I’d amend that to, it’s silly to give money for someone who has expressed no interest in the job.

        But the “progressives” have proven time and again that you can get them to give attention, energy, and money to counterproductive things like this. They’re the most easily astroturfed rabble out there.

        As for those organizing this, they know exactly what they’re doing. They’re conscious astroturfers.

  14. TC

    Isn’t the Tea Party demonstrating that, straight line party politics is a dying breed? I am by no means arguing in favor of the Tea Party’s policy, yet its basic objectives no doubt bring it power over the status quo of many decades past. It seems this potential is ripe for other, bolder manifestations. Hell, I could see Elizabeth Warren running for President and burying the two well-known Republican ladies who are no doubt vulnerable to being labeled “in with the fascist crowd.”

    Whether politically viable or not, ideas need leadership and y’all glow so for Ms. Warren that, I have to ask where’s your fighting spirit?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This isn’t a fight that serves her. This is a plan by mainstream Dems to use her. Big big difference.

  15. Jesse

    Yes, that’s the ticket.

    No worthy person should attempt to run for office because it is futile and probably beneath them.

    Only scoundrels and hacks need apply. Sounds like the stuff that the patriots had in mind.

    1. Jesse

      I wonder what advice you might have given if Liz Warren had told you a few years ago about her desire to create an agency called the CFPB.

      That was viewed as much longer odds back then.

      1. Fractal

        It was a historic achievement, and Obama has just threatened to veto any bill that defunds or undermines the CFPB. The Bureau is not going away. It is born as of today, in fact!

        Happy Birthday Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. July 21, 2011.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Obama lies. Not only that, he seems proud of lying. When asked by the media, on more than one occasion, he was completely unembarrassed and said that politicians lie.

          You believe him at your own risk.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        She had nothing to lose. She did this on the side while at Harvard. She now has a reputation and independent power. Completely different calculus.

        And most important, this “opportunity” does not fit well with her agenda (which is actually comparatively narrow) and what one can infer of her temperament (she is aggressive, even a tad domineering, which is great in an executive, not so hot in a collective body).

        I write a blog, which is an even more quixotic exercise.

    2. vlade

      Running for office – or any other stuff – should be compared to other choices. The problem is not whether she would win or not per se, but what could she achieve of what she wants to achieve with the office – the office is a means to an end (at least I’d assume it for her, of course, if the office is the end in itself, we’re in an entirely different situation).

      If her goal is to achieve (say) better consumer protection, then running for the office is not the optimal way to do it. The optimal way was to head CPFB, but that’s now gone.

      Probably the second best way is to become a highly medialised govt-independent consumer advocate/watchdog. It gets the coverage, it gets the attention, and it drags the politicians in in a reactive way (which is good thing, as they have to react to explicit problems, which is a bit harder to shove under the carpet – although we shouldn’t underestimate their ability to do so).

      The office, at the very best, is a long-distance slog, where it’s easy to become institutionalised and fail to see the world outside, caught in the internals of a DC world (and that holds even for the best of them).

      To exagerate quite a bit, think of it as if M.L.King was offered to run for a senator so he could push his agenda there, instead of doing as he did.

  16. Hugh

    I would be careful using a GOP poll that just happens to show what Brown wants it to show. Conflict of interest, much?

    Warren has several problems. First, she would have to want the job. A fact not in evidence. Second, she would have to run against the Obama record. Supporting it would be poison. Third, to counteract the money deficit, she would have to go populist. This would be different from going on TV, a venue that she feels more comfortable with.

    This is all doable but it is a narrow window. Personally, for any and all of the reasons above though, I don’t see her doing it. My impression is that she would much rather return to Harvard and maybe confine her input to some public appearances. I could be wrong but that’s the way I see it.

    1. Yves Smith Post author


      I indicated earlier in the thread a Dem poll showed the exact same results, a 25 point lead by Scott over Warren. Polls that have wordy questions are very susceptible to manipulation, small changes in wording can produce big differences. Raw “would you vote for X or Y” much less so.

      But we are in pretty close agreement as to how this plays out. She’s been through a brutal slog and at a minimum it sounds like she wants a serious break. And that doesn’t sit with the timetable of the people pressuring her to run.

  17. Woodrow

    Scott Brown won in Massachusetts because he was able to get the Independent (I) vote here in Massachusetts. We outnumber both Democrats and Republicans by a margin of 2-1 here. When Scott Brown was running, he was everywhere, from big events, to the most obscure, the man was literally a machine (which for the average fat slob, would have landed them in a hospital).

    Scott Brown may not be perfect, but he’s doing exactly what we Independent Voters asked him to do, “something”. He may have been a little too flexible on some issues for my taste, but I give him kudos for not being purely ideological 100% of the time.

    As recent history proves, The Commonwealth is arguably one of the most corrupt, one-party States in the country. For better or for worse, Scott Brown has been a major release from that aspect of Massachusetts politics and policy for decades.

    This, coming from an Independent Massachusetts voter, who does in fact like Elizabeth Warren. What CONgress did to her, and the fact that CONgress apparently doesn’t want any extra oversight, is proof to me that the criminal cartels will continue, Democrat and Republicans alike. They BOTH fail.

    1. Valissa

      Kudos for the most sensible comment on Brown yet. As a fellow MA independent I concur on your reasoning. He’s also NOT one of the elites by background or inclination, though as a senator he’s in the process of becoming one. He’s a solidly middle class guy who after many years of working his way up the ladder (see his Wikipedia article for details) finally got into the big game. After the snooty old money types like Kennedy and Kerry, he’s a breath of freash air. As Jon Stewart pointed out, he’s more liberal than many southern Democrats.

      1. Heritage Conspiracy

        He’s a conservative douche bag. In fact, 95% of the time he voted with the leading party of douchebags. Look at his f$#%ing voting record so far.

        1. Valissa

          In times of trouble some people find comfort in hate and fear. – Odo (DS9, Season 7 #551)

  18. rob

    I think she should run for president under a third party. The right wing of the Republican Party will probably prevent anyone with a chance of beating Obama from getting the nomination. Romney is probably the only one who has a chance, at least of those who have announced so far, and I do not see him getting the nod. And, Obama unfortunately seems to be more of a Chicago party hack than anybody expected.

    Perhaps if Obama thought a Warren/Romney ticket was a potential, he would be scared straight and do something good for the country. Reversing his decision and appoint Warren to head the CFPB comes to mind . .

  19. Wasabi

    If Brown wasn’t afraid of Warren, why did the Repubs do their own poll so soon in the middle of the summer? They’re obviously trying to scare Warren off. She’s fairly well known on the North Shore, where I live, but I’ve seen a lot of posts from MA people asking “Who’s Warren?” and the two independent polls I’ve seen had a high number of “not sure” answers. It’s too soon to judge Warren’s popularity, and Brown has yet to be tested, but in those two polls, which you can see at Real Clear Politics at “Massachusetts Senate – Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren,” the results were:

    W. N.E. College (3/6-10): Brown 51% Warren 34%

    PPP (Public Policy Polling) 6/2-5: Brown 47% Warren 32%

    The PPP poll was more detailed and had a much larger sample, and the full list of questions asked (along with the results) is available online.

    If Warren herself thinks it would be a good idea for her to run, then I will trust her judgment and vote for and support her. If she declines to run, I will also of course accept and trust her judgment. She knows best what she needs to do with the rest of her life to be most effective for her cause. If she wants to run as a presidential or VP third party candidate in 2012, I think that would be fantastic and give great visibility to the need to regulate Wall Street, though the campaign itself would be likely to fail, to say the least. Even a failed Senate campaign might also have rewards we can’t see now. So I say let’s not try to be definitive at this early stage and instead wait at least until we hear what Warren herself really thinks.

    1. Fractal

      I think your pragmatism is the right way to look at this. Could you please provide links? I roamed around over at RCP and could not find anything older than mid-June and could not find anything specifically about MA Senate race.

  20. kares

    Some one wrote on this lively blog that Warren is an incrementalist. A possibility: her thinking might “evolve” on subjects that she hasn’t given much thought to, at least publicly. I would be however be concerned if she is currently registered as a Republican in MA.

    There seem to be some very good Democrats from MA with excellent voting records in the House of Representatives according to Public Citizen’s 2009-2010 Congressional Scorecard, e.g., Michael Capuano (100%), Bill Delahunt (90%), Jim McGovern (100%), Frank Tierney (90%). Stephen Lynch is at 70%, while both Markey and Barney are at 90%, though they lack the fire in their bellies.

    I would love to see McGovern run, and win if the progressives get behind him. Don’t know much about Capuano.

  21. Throw Aways

    She might as well arm Newark to defend against Manhattan. You know, even things up a bit. But seriously, the entire country should secede from the Wall Street / Washington tyranny.

  22. JTFaraday

    Warren has some credibility.

    If the D-Party doesn’t want that credibility to actually *mean* something by having her produce results that are in the public interest, then Warren should remove herself from the D-Party. Sometimes it really it is that simple.

    It really is a little ridiculous that *even* Suze Orman is not to be tolerated by polite society because her ideas are too radical. It really has come to that. I think *her* TV show airs (aired?) on CNBC, of all the radical press outlets.

    F the Senate.

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