Elizabeth Warren offers best choice for Democratic presidential nominee

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GRAPHIC BY ANGELA VASISHTA / THE FLAT HAT

If you had asked me who I supported for the Democratic nomination a year ago, it definitely wasn’t Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Unlike most of her rivals, she had a somewhat rocky entrance into the presidential race and I initially thought that she would be best suited to stay in the Senate. However, over the last year Warren grew on me. I was originally a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016 and Sen. Kamala Harris earlier in the election cycle, but Warren steadily drew me into her camp. While solidly in the liberal bloc of the Democratic Party, Warren’s pragmatism and her popularity position her as the candidate best suited to unite the deeply divided Democrats against President Donald Trump.

A big part of what drew me to Sen. Warren was her many complex and detailed plans. She represents bold, progressive ideas unmatched by the rest of the Democratic field, and all containing plans on how to pay for them. Some of her ideas are original, such as her signature Wealth Tax which would only affect fortunes upwards of $50 million, and which according to the campaign would “generate nearly $3.75 trillion [over] the next 10 years — enough to fund universal childcare and pre-k, a high-quality public education for every kid in America, universal college, cancelling student debt, and Medicare For All.” In addition to her many self-designed plans, Warren has also adopted many outstanding policy points from her former Democratic rivals, such as Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate change policy and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s paid leave program. Recognizing that the best policies might have been written by others is an important quality and Warren’s willingness to adopt these proposals speaks to her ability to build broad coalitions within the Democratic Party.

It’s worth mentioning that while many other candidates have similar policies to Warren, an important aspect of her campaign is that Warren actually has a plan to get these policies passed. Under the current rules of the Senate, most major legislation can be blocked by a legislative filibuster. This means that even if Democrats manage to win 51 Senate seats this November, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell would still be able to block any meaningful legislation from passing. Warren has long recognized this, and she is committed to ending the filibuster under her presidency. Other candidates such as Sanders are not committed to ending the filibuster and would see most if not all of their plans defeated.

A largely underrated part of Warren’s appeal is her background. Warren is from a deep red state, Oklahoma, and grew up living a lower middle class lifestyle that shaped her entire career and her presidential run. Warren didn’t go to an ivy league school or follow the typical path of a politician. Rather, she enrolled in a commuter college and became a mother at the age of 22. As the daughter of a maintenance man, Warren often talks about the big breaks she received — her mom getting a minimum wage job at Sears, being able to attend college for only $50 a semester, and having relatives who were able to watch her children while she couldn’t afford child care. These opportunities that Warren received yet so many Americans fail to afford every day have shaped Senator Warren’s entire life. She’s spent her life fighting for working people as a bankruptcy lawyer, a financial expert and a bank regulator under President Barack Obama. She created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and has a proven track record of holding the rich and powerful accountable in Washington, D.C.

Warren is a winner. She’s spent a career delivering wins for working people. She beat the big banks and special interests that subjugate working people and fuel the rich. She beat a popular incumbent Republican senator, and she’s beaten Trump’s corrupt cronies in the Senate. You’d better believe that she’ll win the Democratic nomination and defeat Donald Trump in November. And she won’t stop there. Once she’s in the Oval Office she’ll continue to deliver for the people of the United States and restore the American dream as she’s done for her entire life.

Email Owen Williams at orwilliams@email.wm.edu.