This is getting insane!
My Huffington Post piece "The Speech That Could Make Elizabeth Warren The Next President of the United States" has gone totally viral.
Since it was posted last weekend, it was been Liked by over 217,000 people, been reposted to over 34,000 Facebook pages, been commented on by 1,800 people, and been tweeted over 1,800 times (including by Mark Ruffalo to his 1,200,000 followers). The numbers are still growing by the thousands every few hours.
In my eight years of writing for the Huffington Post, this is a record by more than 10 times over, and, from what I can tell, is one of the most followed blogs ever on HuffPost. I may write well enough, but I can't really take credit for this extraordinary viral phenomenon.
Instead, it seems to have tapped into a political and cultural zeitgeist of hundreds of thousands, or millions of people who are longing for an authentic leader like Sen. Warren who speaks truth to power and is willing to stand up to the most powerful forces in the country, whether it's calling out Wall Street banks by name, or even opposing the President and Majority Leader of her own party.
It's a zeitgeist that's Not Ready for Hillary, a corporate Democrat with deep financial, political, and personal ties to Wall Street.
And with Jeb Bush seriously exploring running on the Republican side, it's a zeitgeist that's definitely not ready for Bush vs. Clinton redux 2016. How's that for back to the future? But with the money-raising prowess of Clinton, Inc. and Bush, Inc., and the backing of the most powerful corporate interests for the corporate wings of both parties, it's a distinct, and disturbing possibility. To use a saying from the Bush/Clinton '90s, "gag me with a spoon".
Meanwhile, Warren's influence only seems to be exploding. After being dismissed by the mainstream media as, at best, a protest candidate to Hillary's coronation, she's increasingly being seen as a serious contender who could actually win the Democratic nomination and the Presidency. Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks just wrote a column entitled "Warren Can Win", declaring,
"Clinton is obviously tough, but she just can't speak with a clear voice against Wall Street and Washington insiders. Warren's wing shows increasing passion and strength both in opposing certain Obama nominees and in last week's budget fight. This history of populist candidates is that they never actually get the nomination. The establishment wins. That's still likely. But there is something in the air. The fundamental truth is that every structural and historical advantage favors Clinton, but every day more Democrats embrace the emotion and view defined by Warren."
300 former Obama campaign officials signed an Open Letter calling on Warren to run, stating:
"We know that the improbable is far from impossible.
Now, former staffers from President Obama's campaigns, along with former staffers from OFA, are joining with the thousands of Americans who are calling on Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016.
Rising income inequality is the challenge of our times, and we want someone who will stand up for working families and take on the Wall Street banks and special interests that took down our economy.
We urge Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016."
In a poll of its 8,000,000 member mailing list, MoveOn found that 81.3% supported the organization starting a $1 million campaign to convince Warren she has the support to run and win, hiring staff. opening offices. running ads in major media outlets, and mobilizing an army of volunteers. (You can support them by clicking here.)
Proving Warren's point that opposition to Wall Street bailouts and crony capitalism is not just a left-right issue, even some conservatives are saying positive things about Warren's speech. For example, conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham posted Warren's speech on her website and said,
"Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, can say, 'I fought against the big banks' "I mean, what position would you rather be in? Warren's position or, like, Paul Ryan's position? Mr. budget hawk!"
On Monday, Sen. Warren told an NPR interview several times, "I am not running for President." I don't doubt that she means it for now. But Sen. Warren knows how to use words, understands the language of professional politics, and she was careful to make her statement in the present tense. If she wanted to entirely rule out a Presidential, she knows the proper words of the Sherman pledge (after Civil War Gen. William Sherman): ""I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected." Or as Lyndon Johnson said in declining to run for a second term, ""I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president."
Warren consciously did not use such words. So she did not rule out responding to the calls of a growing mass movement for her to run.
Here's my plea to Sen. Warren to run:
Dear Sen. Warren:
With your fight for a Consumer Protection Bureau; your efforts to block watering down Dodd-Frank to prevent making the next bailout more likely; your willingness to courageously speak truth to power and take on the big banks and even the leadership of your own Party right up to the President; your fight to reduce economic inequality; your critique of the way concentrated wealth is leading to anti-democratic corrupt concentrated power, you have taken us to the mountaintop. Do not retreat now. Help lead us to the promised land.
I realize that a Presidential run involves huge personal sacrifice. And real change takes more than a Presidential candidate--It takes a grassroots movement at the local, state and national level. But we are at a unique historic moment when transformational change might just be possible, and the moment must be seized or it can easily slip away again leaving us with the tired old status quo or worse. Millions of Americans are standing up against the oligarchs and demanding a fairer and more democratic nation.
Please don't allow the only viable choice for the next President be a Wall Street Democrat of the corporate center or a Wall Street Republican of the far right..
Please offer the American people a real alternative. Millions will have your back. Run, Liz, Run.