by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If people wanted the intelligentsia, if they wanted someone on the coasts telling them what to do, Elizabeth Warren would be on her way to the Democratic nomination. Instead, she is soon to be packing up her campaign. Her job will have been to knife Michael Bloomberg before he could launch a sneak attack on Sanders on Super Tuesday.
Warren was clearly the favorite candidate of academics and journalists — the intelligentsia. Why? Because she was the quintessential “front row” candidate, to borrow a term from author and photographer Chris Arnade. The image of her campaign will be her on a debate stage, hand raised, ready with an answer — but losing support roughly every minute she speaks.
After her dismal showing in South Carolina, there is no chance of Warren becoming the electoral alternative to Bernie Sanders. The first three states tried Pete Buttigieg in that role. South Carolina resoundingly chose Joe Biden. Her campaign fell between two stools: the young, somewhat nervous Left, and an older, aspirational center.
Her campaign persona had a funny way of playing to each. To the Left, she offered her ambition: her plans to end private health insurance, institute a wealth tax, make day care universal and free. Her promise was to give them security. To the center, she gave her ability to do homework. Every issue had an elaborate plan. Every plan was drawn up in dollars and cents. Sometimes the figures weren’t quite right. To them, she offered her competence and attention to detail. …
… But the Left rejected her as a phony.