Elizabeth Warren

Nathan C. Dallon
3 min readJan 3, 2020

The Iowa Caucuses are now 30 days away! Lets take a quick look at Elizabeth Warren.

Elizabeth Warren is a technical master. She understands the ins-and-outs of laws and regulations better than maybe any candidate ever. She has time as a US Senator and was a law professor who focused on the US Commercial Code. She even wrote a text book on the subject. She is a specialist in writing and using law and regulations to achieve policy outcomes. Look no further than the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While a professor at Harvard, Senator Warren designed a small agency to help protect consumers from Banks. She deftly maneuvered the agency into the Dodd-Frank bank reform bill (while not being a politician), and the agency has had an enormous impact in getting money back to consumers. Surprisingly, the Trump Administration hasn’t tried to rip it apart.

Senator Warren has outlined her top priorities if she were elected president. They include:

  1. Use executive powers to sign a moratorium on new drilling, offshore drilling, and new mining on federal lands.
  2. Ban on members of Congress trading stocks while in office, ban politicians from becoming lobbyists, require federal politicians to make their taxes public, new code of conduct for the US Supreme Court.
  3. Tax reform, 2% tax on assets of the super rich to generate income needed for her legislative priorities.

Notice that her first moves include a large number of non-legislative actions. She understands that existing codes and laws empower her to achieve her progressive ends WITHOUT a cooperative Congress. Her progressive bona-fides are not in dispute. However, she still advocates for keeping a robust free market BUT with new rules for that market that would be better for the working class and disenfranchised. She wants to make significant changes, but wants to do so inside the structure that currently exists. Her intellect, experience, and skills may make her a more effective, even if less progressive, candidate than Bernie Sanders.

Senator Warren consistently polls in the top 3 candidates running for the Democratic nomination. She even had a stretch of time where she was running dead-even with the frontrunner. Senator Warren needs to find a way to pick up more moderate voters to broaden her support. Her core group of supports is less consistent than Bernie Sander’s core, although the two clearly compete for the same progressive supporters.

My gut

Senator Warren is less interested in radical change to government and society than Senator Sanders. Even so, she is very progressive and focuses on fairness, access, and support for working class and disenfranchised people. Senator Warren wants to rewrite the rules of the capitalist market to allow common people a better opportunity to reap the benefits of the market. If I were a progressive, I would be most interested in Senator Warren’s skills as a technical master. She can accomplish an enormous amount to forward progressive causes through executive action without a need for Congressional support. I think down the stretch she will be in a dead heat with Joe Biden for the nomination. However, it is likely that Senators Sanders and Warren split supporters and dilute each other’s chances to beat Joe Biden and the Centrists in the party.