Elizabeth Warren Is Running Like a Woman

  
Via:  bob-nelson  •  one month ago  •  17 comments

Elizabeth Warren Is Running Like a Woman
In relentlessly grinding it out, the Democratic presidential contender is showing America what a president should be: an overachiever.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


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There is an old quote:

“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men
to be thought half as good.

Luckily, this is not difficult.”

It was uttered in 1963 by feminist and politician Charlotte Whitton, the first female mayor of a major Canadian city (Ottawa). Now, Whitton was not without her faults—she was an outspoken and virulently anti-immigrant eugenicist—but the quip, itself, still holds true.

Take 2020 Democratic presidential contender and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. For the first six months of her campaign, Warren seemed stuck in single digits as first choice among Democratic voters for national polling, seemingly bogged down in questions of “likability” and residual sexism.

But there’s been some movement as of late. In Tuesday’s Economist/YouGov poll, Warren just hopped into second place of Democratic primary voters’ first-choice candidate, at 16 percent, behind former vice president Joe Biden and just ahead of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. And in the Monmouth poll for swing-state Nevada, the same: Warren debuted in second place at 19 percent, while in Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN poll for Iowa, she’s nipping at Sanders’ second-place heels within the margin of error (15 percent versus 16 percent).

After a stumble out of the gate, launching her campaign with a video on her heritage that angered some Native Americans and rejecting PAC money to a collective shrug, Warren has managed to kick-start her own momentum by grinding it out—out-policy-proposing, out-tweet-thread-explaining, and out-hustling every other contender in the race. In other words, she’s running like a woman.

Beyond cheeky aphorisms, we have some pretty solid evidence that girls, on average, work harder than boys. In a New York Times opinion piece asking why girls beat boys in school but lose to them in the office, psychologist Lisa Damour asserts, with a litany of studies, that: “from elementary school through college, girls are more disciplined about their schoolwork than boys; they study harder and get better grades. Girls consistently outperform boys academically. And yet, men nonetheless hold a staggering 95 percent of the top positions in the largest public companies.”

While sons do “just enough to keep the adults off their backs,” Damour writes, “daughters relentlessly grind, determined to leave no room for error.” Her solution was not to probe at the policies, like childcare or housework, which some research points to in accounting for gender inequality in the workplace (or the possibility that girls may very well intuit that society was not set up for them to glide by in the ways in which straight white men do). But to suggest, like Sheryl Sandberg before her, that it was the girls who needed to be less like Tracy Flicks and Hermiones and more like, well, Joe Bidens, confident in their just-enough-ness.

Warren, however, seems to reject the premise of winning on the appearance of inspiring ease—of running like a just-enough man, like former C-student president, George W. Bush, or the current one, Donald J. Trump, who rode his way to the presidency on school-yard slogans (build that wall! lock her up!) and simplistic promises (repealing and replacing Obamacare will be “so easy”).

Instead, Warren not only wants to work for the job but to show us that she’s relentlessly grinding for it. In a New York Times article on the ascendent campaigns of Warren and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, he is described as riding “a wave of positive press about his personal story,” while she, rather “than lean into her biography… rolled out unusually detailed domestic policy plans to grab headlines and inspire activists...and [taken] photographs with every attendee at her events who wants one—more than 30,000 to date.” In the early going, as she started putting out policy proposal after policy proposal, it seemed like a lost cause, but slowly and surely, she has reframed the Democratic race, making her opponents look like slouches by comparison and birthing the meme and unofficial campaign slogan, “Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that.”

As overperforming female politician, she’s hardly alone. A study in the American Journal of Political Science shows that, between 1984 and 2004, women congressional members, on average: raised $49 million more than men for their districts, introduced three more bills per session, and co-sponsored 26 more pieces of legislation than men. The study’s co-author theorized that it wasn’t that women were just better than men, but: "If it's harder for women to succeed in politics, then those that do succeed are likely to be the most talented and hard working." They had to, in other words, not merely be twice as good but exponentially better. (See: the last Democratic presidential nominee.)

Warren wasn’t just slapping up policies, pulled together by a team of nameless, faceless wonk underlings, on her website, either. With each ambitious, detailed plan, Warren made an event of it, with an explanatory Medium post and long Twitter thread written with the patience and clarity of a favorite professor (which she also was). Her plan for providing Puerto Rico with debt relief was released in both English and Spanish. Her plan for cancelling student loan debt includes specifics on both alleviating current debt and preventing it in the future—and, the icing on the cake, a calculator for estimating how much of your own student debt would be alleviated by it. In the process, Warren transformed a rote political act—typically the point at which eyes glaze over watching the debate stage—into a point of civic excitement. At a recent rally in Lansing, Michigan, Washington Post reporter Michael Scherer reports: “her fans start jumping from their seats like pistons, firing with cheers and applause each time she rattles off another new policy punchline.”

Meanwhile, Biden—aptly dubbed That Guy by New York’s Rebecca Traister—put a climate change plan on his website that appeared to include passages lifted from literature from a fossil fuel-backed group. And that’s not the first time he’s fielded accusations of plagiarizing.

It’s not just the policy proposals either. Warren has also staked out principled, thoroughly argued positions on moral issues. While fellow Democrats—Sanders, Buttigieg, and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar—appeared on their own Fox News town halls, she turned one down, calling the network a “hate-for-profit racket” in a long tweet thread, clearly laying out her reasoning. You might not agree with her conclusion, but she showed her work.

Likewise, she was the first Democratic presidential candidate to call for the impeachment of Trump after reading all of the three-volume Mueller report investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. “[When] the Mueller report came out, and the afternoon it came out, I sat down and started reading it. And I read it all afternoon. And I read it all night. I read it into the next morning, all 448 pages,” said Warren breaking down its implications when host Chris Hayes asked her about impeachment on an MSNBC town hall. “If he were any other person in the United States, based on what’s documented in that report, he would be carried out in handcuffs.” Meaning Warren pulled an all-nighter, and, in doing so, made the rest of the political establishment hemming and hawing about impeachment look like they hadn’t done the reading for their book report.

Warren doesn’t sound like a politician who has focus-grouped and consultant-calibrated every position to maximal inoffensiveness to various constituencies—she sounds like someone who wants to do what’s right. You know, the student that does the extra homework assignment and doesn’t throw spitballs when the teacher’s out of the room. So while Biden is still the Democratic front runner, he’s slipped in the polls since launching his campaign, down 8 points since an April high in Quinnipiac, while Warren is picking up steam. And the debates haven’t even started yet. You can bet that Warren, a literal high-school debate scholarship champ whom a former student described as a “Socratic with a machine gun,” will be ready to roll.

Some time ago, the argument went that Democrats needed to “fight fire with fire”: Michael Avenatti, the disgraced lawyer formerly representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels, claimed that the next Democratic nominee “better be a white male.” He flamed out in a poof of Trump-like fraud accusations. But as any student who paid attention in school very well knows: it may very well be better to fight fire with water. And after two years under the current administration, it is indeed a cold drink to hear a law school professor propose policies and principled stances.

Wouldn’t it be a better America, after all, if we held the highest office in the land, not to the standards of the guys doing “just enough,” but to the overachievers? On the campaign trail when Warren meets young girls, she asks them to "pinky swear" to remember: "I'm running for president because that's what girls do." More and more voters seem to agree.

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Bob Nelson
1  seeder  Bob Nelson    one month ago
Warren wasn’t just slapping up policies, pulled together by a team of nameless, faceless wonk underlings, on her website, either. With each ambitious, detailed plan, Warren made an event of it, with an explanatory Medium post and long Twitter thread written with the patience and clarity of a favorite professor (which she also was).

...

Warren doesn’t sound like a politician who has focus-grouped and consultant-calibrated every position to maximal inoffensiveness to various constituencies—she sounds like someone who wants to do what’s right. You know, the student that does the extra homework assignment and doesn’t throw spitballs when the teacher’s out of the room.
 
 
 
Jack_TX
2  Jack_TX    one month ago
But to suggest, like Sheryl Sandberg before her, that it was the girls who needed to be less like Tracy Flicks and Hermiones and more like, well, Joe Bidens, confident in their just-enough-ness.

Somebody is starting to get it.

While sons do “just enough to keep the adults off their backs,” Damour writes, “daughters relentlessly grind, determined to leave no room for error.” 

As a society, we teach our sons that it's OK to make mistakes, but not OK to be afraid.  We teach our daughters it's OK to be afraid, but not OK to make mistakes.  Guess which one of those philosophies wins in the real world....

And it's why Elizabeth Warren won't win.  The more details she presents, the easier it is for her opponents to bog her down in her own homework.  The people she most wants to help have no clue what she's talking about anyway, and are not going to be interested in her detailed explanations of it.  

Intelligent Democrats are starting to understand (finally) that elections are won in the middle, and if they want the WH back, they are going to need to win the middle.  Warren plays well with the academic left, who are going to vote Democratic anyway.  She does not play well with the "not political" center, who will decide on or about November 1 who they will vote for on November 3 and care much more about the college football outcomes that week than the election.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @2    one month ago

I'm not sure she hopes to be President. She's a professor giving the nation a civics lesson.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
2.1.1  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.1    one month ago

Maybe so.  It seems that would be better done with a talk show.

Helluva lot less expensive and she would reach more people.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1.2  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.1    one month ago
... she would reach more people.

Kinda doubt that.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
2.1.3  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.1.2    4 weeks ago
Kinda doubt that.

Well....600k people a night tune in for Maddow.  

Three million watch Fox.

She's not reaching anywhere near that number.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1.4  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.3    4 weeks ago

Surely Fox NEWS gives Warren's proposals serious coverage...

 
 
 
Jack_TX
2.1.5  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.1.4    4 weeks ago
Surely Fox NEWS gives Warren's proposals serious coverage...

I dunno.  I don't watch cable news.  

I can't imagine why they would, though.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1.6  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.5    4 weeks ago
I don't watch cable news.

So... Why did you post about cable news?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
2.1.7  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.1.6    4 weeks ago

Because if somebody doesn't actually hope to be president, as you accuse Warren, then the best place to "give America a lesson" is on a cable news/infotainment program.

It's simply a case of reaching people by the hundreds of thousands vs reaching them by the hundreds.  It's also a case of advertisers paying or campaign donors paying.  I promise you the donors hope she becomes president.

So she can give her "lesson" on the backs of working families donating money, or she can do it on the back of Unilever selling soap or ice cream.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1.8  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.7    4 weeks ago
accuse

Curious choice of word...

on the backs of working families

idem

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3  JohnRussell    one month ago

I think Warren has as good a chance as any to be the nominee. 

She is doing a good job and would be a 1000% improvement over what we have polluting the oval office right now. 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
3.1  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @3    4 weeks ago
I think Warren has as good a chance as any to be the nominee. 

She doesn't.  She's a terrible candidate, and everybody but the highly political far left understands that.

You need Biden.  Or Beto.  You need somebody who engenders confidence among average people without them having to understand how the money supply works or banking regulations or Medicare reimbursement rates.  They don't care about all that.

That's how almost every president since Kennedy has won the election.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
3.2  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  JohnRussell @3    4 weeks ago
I think Warren has as good a chance as any to be the nominee. 

that's true enough...   currently, I have warren and biden dead even.

cheers :)

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
4  Freedom Warrior    4 weeks ago

Let's just say Warren has a snow ball's chance in hell of being elected.  But I do hope fauxcahontas gets the nomination.  That bitch will be a laugh riot on the campaign trail.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
4.1  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Freedom Warrior @4    4 weeks ago

fauxcahontas... bitch...

Impressive.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
4.1.1  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1    4 weeks ago

Can I get an Amen!

 
 
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