Editorial: Elizabeth Warren for President

Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke at a town hall co-sponsored by the Dorchester Reporter in April 2018.

The primary season has arrived at our doorstep, Massachusetts. Those of us looking for an alternative to Donald J. Trump have a range of options to choose from on the Democratic ballot.

The run-up to our ‘Super Tuesday’ primary has been a bit chaotic. The results of the early voting in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada have given an early lead and strong momentum to Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has clearly built upon the strong base he amassed in 2016. Good for Sanders. And if he ends up being the nominee, I will enthusiastically support him. Truth be told, I’ll be all-in for whoever gets the Dems’ green light to unseat Trump.

But let’s put that aside for a moment. Let’s believe national polls that show any one of these men and women can beat Trump. Let’s be a community paper for a moment and focus on who is in our best interest, locally, in addition to being a solid choice to lead the national ticket. In that respect, the person whom I’ve been most impressed with— all along— is Elizabeth Warren.

So, yes, there’s a pinch of homerism mixed into this calculus. Warren is a known quantity in our neighborhoods. She has pressed the flesh at Greenhills and crisscrossed the avenue during the Dot Day Parade. She has scarfed pancakes at McKenna’s. Her first big political pow-wow before she unseated Scott Brown was at Joyce Linehan’s Dorchester home. Her Senate campaign headquarters was in Dorchester until last year.

It’s more than just a ‘Hey, I’ve met the future president’ reflex. It’s not for a lack of trying, but Massachusetts hasn’t had a “resident president” since JFK. (George Herbert Walker Bush, RIP, was born in Milton, but was never really a local.)

It’ll be good to have someone in the White House who knows what the Fairmount Line is and why it should be transformed into the Indigo. A president who can direct the EPA to lean-in on cleaning out the filthy sediments from the Neponset’s muddy bottom, and who can steer more dollars into public housing and city schools.

In April 2018, before she was officially a candidate for president, the Reporter hosted a Dorchester town meeting with Warren at the Boston Teachers Union hall. She was running for re-election to the US Senate, a race she won handily over Trumpist Geoff Diehl. But clearly she was tuning up for the race she is in now.

“These are tough times. It’s grim out there and I am optimistic,” she said. “I am optimistic because I went to the inauguration, I saw Donald Trump sworn in. And this was an important thing for me. It’s burned into the back of my eyeballs. Whenever I feel tired, I close my eyes, see Donald Trump being sworn in and I’m back, I’m ready.”

Warren hasn’t lost any of that fight, even as she’s absorbed three disappointing results, particularly in New Hampshire. In some circles, she’s already considered electoral toast. But she has seen a surge in donations since she dismantled longtime Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage in Las Vegas last week. On Tuesday, she sought to position herself as a viable, more practical alternative to Sanders.

That’s how I see her, too. With the right partner on the ticket, Warren can beat Trump and shore up Democratic ranks in Congress. And once in office, she can move the needle on major issues and govern. Sanders, who seems intent on waging a two-front assault on both parties at the moment, is less likely to accomplish that feat.

All that said, Elizabeth Warren needs a strong showing on March 3 to carve a path forward. Here in Massachusetts, she’s earned that shot. We should back her up.

Bill Forry

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