I support the movement to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts. If she runs, the race would be one of the most closely watched and potentially transformative campaigns of 2012.
A Warren candidacy for the Senate seat currently held by Scott Brown (R-Mass.) would reunite Democrats with the pro-worker, pro-consumer, pro-change, pro-veteran, pro-reform and women-friendly populist wave that elected Barack Obama in 2008, and was then lost and surrendered to the Tea Party movement in 2010.
To understand the political power and national impact if the Elizabeth Warren narrative wins back the Kennedy seat that was lost in 2010, consider a recent Gallup poll.
Gallup asked voters which institutions have too much power, too little power and the right amount of power.
Gallup found that 71 percent believe lobbyists have too much power, 67 percent believe major corporations have too much power, 67 percent believe banks and financial institutions have too much power, 58 percent believe the federal government has too much power and 43 percent believe labor unions have too much power.
When Gallup includes voters who believe these institutions should have more power, 24 percent actually believe labor should have more power. In the net too much power polling, lobbyists score 63 percent, large corporations 58 percent, banks 59 percent, the federal government 49 percent and labor only 19 percent.
It is a mythology of the right, accepted by a timid White House, that independents have become more conservative. Independents agree with the Gallup numbers quoted above, believe the national economy and jobs are urgent priorities and support the public option, rather than destroying Medicare as voters know it.
Elizabeth Warren could campaign and win on a platform to take back America from the special interests that rule Washington, for the American people politicians were elected to serve.
If Warren runs for the Senate, she would be the pure-play candidate for change and the true heir to the Boston Tea Party. She would rally the liberal base while appealing to working-class voters, middle-class consumers, reformist independents, women unhappy with savage Republican budget cuts, military families abused by financial institutions and the poor, who are largely invisible in official Washington.
I would prefer the president name Warren to formally head the new consumer protection agency. For very bad reasons he hasn’t, and won’t.
Imagine Elizabeth Warren unchained from what huge numbers of Massachusetts and American voters believe is a rancid and filthy system of business as usual in Washington, and free to have an intelligent and serious conversation with voters about issues that affect their daily lives.
Warren could discuss the fairness of finance with multitudes of voters who use credit cards, finance mortgages, seek small-business loans and are victimized by abuses against military families of heroes who serve the nation.
Warren could advance a thoughtful conversation with women who seek equity in pay, workers who seek fair-wage jobs, mothers and fathers who seek the best education for their daughters and sons and all who believe the dream should be the way of life of a great nation, not a campaign slogan that disappears the day after one election ends and fundraising for the next begins.
If Elizabeth Warren runs, she would bring the serious, honest, baloney-free and respectful debate that is long overdue in American politics. She would bring a debate that would inform and excite the voters, worthy of the Senate seat once held by the irreplaceable man we miss so much, Edward Kennedy.