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Ash writes: "Twenty-plus candidates are officially running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, but the policy is being defined by the senators from Vermont and Massachusetts."

Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren greets Vermont senator Bernie Sanders at a 2017 Our Revolution rally in Boston. (photo: Steven Senne/AP)
Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren greets Vermont senator Bernie Sanders at a 2017 Our Revolution rally in Boston. (photo: Steven Senne/AP)

Will Sanders and Warren Defeat Each Other?

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

11 June 19


wenty-plus candidates are officially running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, but the policy is being defined by the senators from Vermont and Massachusetts. There are differences and distinctions, to be sure, but the core ideas and the tone are being established by Sanders and Warren.

Sanders and Warren have clearly defined track records, and that sets them apart. It’s not just what they say they will do, or what they think would be a good idea, but what their entire body of work in public office over decades illustrates that they will and actually can do. You know what you’re getting – they’ve proven it.

Some of the other candidates are certainly inspiring.

California senator Kamala Harris is razor-sharp. She exudes confidence and competence. She’s not going to get pushed around, period. But you do sense that she’s not likely to rock the boat or interfere with longstanding relationships on which Democratic leadership depends. It’s easy to imagine her moving to the right if elected.

South Bend Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg (Mayor Pete) just makes you sigh with relief as you listen to him speak: sanity and reason in a time of unreason and insanity. But you wonder what he might do if confronted by Mitch (Darth Vader) McConnell determined to thwart and defeat him at all costs. Would he approve yet another massive increase in military spending? If he were painted by the right as “soft on defense,” would he use the military in a foreign land to counter that assertion? Buttigieg is young and somewhat idealistic. You wonder if he fully grasps the utter ruthlessness that stalks the Oval Office.

Former Texas representative Beto O'Rourke, like Buttigieg, brings that fresh energy and spirit of optimism that provide badly needed oxygen to the debate. His voting record in Congress however wasn’t nearly as progressive as his supporters think, and like Harris, he gives the impression that if elected anything is possible.

That brings us to former Delaware senator and vice president Joe Biden. Jill Filipovic, writing for The New York Times, asked the simple question, “Does Anyone Actually Want Joe Biden to Be President?” It was an emperor has no clothes moment. We’re still waiting for the answer. Biden’s apparent lead in the polls, for now, seems to be based on the notion that he is the Democratic candidate most likely to defeat Donald Trump. Not that anyone is particularly enthused about him or his candidacy.

The notion goes something like this: Biden is not the most popular candidate with his own base, but his base will hold their noses and vote for him because they are desperate to rid themselves of Trump, and because of his conservatism he will do well with conservative swing voters and win anyway. That’s pretty tortured logic and pretty thin ice.

Conversely, Sanders and Warren not only have ideological solidarity and the enthusiastic support of the Democratic base, but are running as well if not better than Biden in critical swing states. #Enthusiasm matters. Presidential elections do not get won without it (ask Hillary Clinton). A groundswell of support is essential, not only to win the presidency but to carry the majorities in both houses of Congress necessary to accomplish anything legislatively.

While Sanders and Warren are the best known Progressive candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, the Progressive vote is actually fractured among at least Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Harris, and O'Rourke.

This is creating a perception that Biden is leading the race. In fact, it is the Progressive policies and direction authored by Sanders and Warren and adopted by several rivals that are leading the race and have the greatest support from the Democratic base.

If it were just Sanders or just Warren, one Progressive would likely be leading the race. Rightly, the battle for the nomination should be between Sanders and Warren. They’re both setting the tone Democratic/Progressive voters are most receptive to and the agenda for the campaign.

With Sanders, Warren, and Biden all running for the nomination and the Progressive vote divided, the policies the voters are most enthusiastic about are being overshadowed by what amounts to a red herring argument for electability, for which there is scant substantiation.

Much to the dismay of Democratic/Progressive voters, Sanders and Warren don’t interact particularly well. There is little communication or interaction between the two camps. They are natural allies behaving like ducks and cats. It may be the reason Joe Biden is still viable.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+35 # Jim Rocket 2019-06-11 09:35
I have wondered about this. There is so much talent in this bloated field and they would make a very impressive team...if they can bury the hatchet and pull together after the primaries are over. To not do so would be a tragic waste.
+60 # Forbes 2019-06-11 10:00
NO is the answer to Biden. Sanders and Warren have minimal differences. I think Sanders as President and Warren as Vice President is the unbeatable ticket for 2020. Then in 8 yrs Warren for President and maybe AOC as VP.
+23 # DongiC 2019-06-11 13:32
This is my view exactly. All three of them are children of destiny. They will lead us to the promised land of decarbonized America.
0 # lfeuille 2019-06-11 18:25
Sanders and Warren have real but not as obvious differences between them. Warren is committed to capitalism and seems to think that just tweaking it will solve all our problems. Sanders wants to protect people from it. These difference many not be made manifest in the near term, but in the long term they will lead to very different societies.

AOC is constitutionall y too young to become president if anything happens to the president so running her as VP is a total waste.
0 # Caliban 2019-06-13 22:46
AOC would, indeed, be too young to serve if needed if she were elected VP in 2020, but you should note that #Forbes was speculating about a 2028 AOC Vice Presidency, not an immediate run: "Then in 8 yrs Warren for President and maybe AOC as VP".

This would be a pretty appealing post-Sanders ticket.
+41 # rivervalley 2019-06-11 10:18
The Ideal Ticket: Sanders-Warren.
+36 # littlebird 2019-06-11 10:52
Bernie Sanders and Eliz. Warren would get this country back on the right track. They are both fighting for the same cause, against Wall Street greed and for a strong middle class. I don't know where they would not fit together. IS there some reason that they would not make good running mates, except that they both want to be POTUS?

We need to get rid of the Electoral College and go back to the popular vote for a fair election that truly represents the people's choice.
+10 # chapdrum 2019-06-11 10:54
That is likely what the DNC is hoping for.
0 # Lgfoot 2019-06-15 21:47
The DNC is hoping for continuous crony capitalism.
+12 # draak 2019-06-11 10:55
Let them debate each other - on the issues.
+8 # Rcomm 2019-06-11 11:03
Don't forget, the DNC will decide who gets their support.

Which of above do you think they will choose?
+39 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-06-11 12:02
Sanders/Warren or Warren/Sanders. Either one would win. Go home Joe Biden.
+23 # Moxa 2019-06-11 12:59
On the one hand, it's a good thing that there are several people running with progressive policies. But clearly, the major two are Sanders and Warren, and they ARE competing for a particular share of the electorate.

To me, Elizabeth Warren is a very distant second to Bernie Sanders. She has some very good policies, but I don't think she is the sort of person who will risk her own neck to do what needs to be done.

This description of Bernie in the early 1960's from Shaun King, the writer and civil rights leader, says a lot:

"Bernie stood in front of bulldozers and chained himself to two Black women to protest the horrible conditions of Black school children.

"He was arrested here - just days before he would attend the March in Washington."

I just can't see Elizabeth Warren ever doing anything like that. Where was her protest, for example, over Standing Rock when, in freezing weather, police were using fire hoses against Native Americans trying to save their land?

Warren may be better than most of the other candidates, but Bernie is the only one who will go to the mat for you, for the downtrodden and the underdog, even to use his own body in the fight.

I can't even understand how there can be any decision to make as to who the best candidate is. There is Bernie and then there is everyone else. To my mind, if you don't see that, you just aren't paying attention.
+12 # lfeuille 2019-06-11 18:28
Yes, good point. I agree. Bernie is the best.
+9 # dsfingers 2019-06-11 21:32
Obviously you haven't followed Warren throughout her career in Washington. You would know that she goes to the mat, but majorly armed with the details of how the system works (is rigged) The banks hate her because she knew her stuff and called their game in a way that left them sputtering. She backed it up by putting teeth to it by creating the CFPB, which the banks and the libertarians running the show with Congress and at the economic wheel for the last 2 and half decades at least have since gutted. They have ripped her apart ever since. Bernie has been a pure heart and dedicated to righting the wrongs but I don't think his research has been as detailed and exhausting and well thought out as Warren. He is a great communicator. Not sure of the best configuration but either of them in either POTUS or VP is good with them working together on a thought out approach and the ability to communicate the why's and the wherefores. We hope also they have the ability to grab the attention of the sleeping beast that is US.
+7 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-12 07:56
Moxa -- well said. I agree totally.

Sanders has been working toward this for 50 years, slow steady work. It is now his time.

Warren is a new comer. She used to be a Reagan Republican and came over to the democrats with Obama.
+5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-11 17:16
If this is a problem, it is a good one to have. I think the tandem of Sanders and Warren will build the momentum of the progressive democrats faster and more deeply than either could if running alone.

In the end, one of them will prevail. I would prefer Sanders. I'm pretty strong on that. But if Warren were the nominee, I would still support her and feel pretty good about it. Her foreign policy is pretty bad and she naïve about capitalism. But at least she is not a capitalist tool and she's willing to stand up for the little guy.

We should consider this a blessing of riches. There are now many very public progressives. Today a poll came out that say 55% of younger women (18 to 54) would prefer to live in a socialist country. That's great news! I want that, too. The momentum for a progressive victory in 2020 is building every day.

The bitter and backward looking Nadlers or Schiffs grow more disgusting every day.
0 # Lgfoot 2019-06-15 21:50
Please don't ruin their chances with your support.
+6 # Razzoo2 2019-06-11 17:36
This array of candidates strongly indicates the benefits of rank choice voting in the primaries. How could that be implemented? I think, unfortunately, it would require a change by the DNC.
-6 # ddd-rrr 2019-06-12 05:23
Wishing desperately to NOT "sound like a wishy-washy suck-up" with this comment,
I say that this is the best set of "brief summations" of the most likely presidential
candidates on the "good side" of things (i.e., the Democrats), and of
the "overall selection-situa tion", that I've yet run across.

I have made my choice: Warren for president (she's a woman, and it is time to have
such as president -- AND, she is bright, energetic, an excellent communicator,
and she's full of good ideas), with Buttigieg as VP (he is wise, calm,
and exceedingly bright, and he likely would serve well for
"filling in the gaps" that Elizabeth may have --
(and he would also be an excellent
"president-in-w aiting").
-3 # Colleen Clark 2019-06-12 05:55
Why do so many of these comments propose a Sanders-Warren ticket with Warren as VP?? Why? If Warren's agreeable that would be fine.
But I assume she wants to be at the top of the ticket. And why not? She's been more active in the Senate, as far as I know.
+5 # ljslotnick 2019-06-12 21:01
You would be incorrect about that. Look at their Senate records and bills they have sponsored. Sanders can beat Trump handily. And he took the political risks to float the policy ideas three years ago that the Democratic base is now enthusiastic about. Many republicans and independents, too.
+3 # librarian1984 2019-06-13 05:05
Warren's foreign policy is not good. She is too pro-Israel and military interventions.

She should also not be the Senate leader because she is not brave. She does not lead on important non-fiscal issues.

But she is brilliant on financial policy. She should not be VP or Senate leader.. That would be a waste. She should be Treasury Sec.
+3 # littlebird 2019-06-14 02:20
Elizabeth Warren would be a good choice for the treasury. It might a be a better fit than V.P. Bernie Sanders is a winner for POTUS. If he gets the nomination, I hope he would choose Warren as V.P. or use her strong leadership in his cabinet. They both have the talent and abilities and the determination to bring about a new direction for our floundering nation. They are both true patriots.

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