Growing Pains in the Warren Campaign

June 10, 2019

Blending 2016 Sanders & Clinton Supporters Is Causing Some Turbulence

Bridging the Fault Lines of A Necessary Coalition

By Al Giordano

(This is an extended excerpt from Issue #79 of Al Giordano’s América newsletter, which goes out to subscribers as a printer-ready PDF document. Subscribers also receive additionally free backstage access to all the content on Organize & Win, can vote in our presidential straw poll and submit comments in the subscribers’ sections. To subscribe follow the link below the excerpt – from page one of this online platform.)

Times have been good for Elizabeth Warren and her supporters of late. She’s climbed her way into a top tier of Democratic presidential hopefuls, keeps inching up in the polls, and especially so in early caucus and primary states. Her momentum has taken a wrecking ball to the early “conventional wisdom” that the contest would be between two septuagenarian white men, their names escape me for the moment: Are they Joe Sanders and Bernie Biden? Something like that!

Early in the year, Warren was underestimated. Not so much anymore.

But with fast growth comes new challenges: How to hold a coalition together that draws from 2016 supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders when there is lingering bad blood between key sectors of the two camps.

In a private Facebook group with thousands of Warren supporters (not having declared a preference I am not a member of it or any group of anyone’s supporters, but sources often tell me stories or send screen shots of what goes on inside such online groups, which enriches my coverage of the campaign), one sincere woman said that she felt torn between the candidacies of Warren and Kamala Harris and asked for help in discerning which would be best.

I’m not going to name the group out of respect for its desire to create a safe and private space. One problem it and other groups like it have already had is infiltration attempts by partisans of other candidates who only come to troll and disrupt. Successful groups are having to moderate with a heavier hand to keep them afloat.

It did not take long for one college professor with famously strident views on Israel-Palestine and other foreign policy matters – one who is known to me and with whom I had a falling out in 2016 when he was dragging on Hillary Clinton’s candidacy long after she had locked up the nomination – to chime in. His name is not important because this is not about him, but, rather, to put a spotlight on the counterproductive behavior he displayed which is too typical of so much online discourse.

The professor wrote: “Harris has positive points but Warren is far more progressive and experienced on the issues. And Harris is pretty hawkish on foreign policy.” Then he did what 2016 Bernie Bros love to do: He added a link to a hit-piece trashing Harris for not being sufficiently anti-Israel.

The woman who had asked the question then clapped back deliciously:  “I am not interested in tearing down Kamala Harris.” Mic drop! That was gratifying to watch, much like that scene in Game of Thrones when Sansa Stark tells a bloviating Edmure Tully, “Uncle, please sit.”

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