CHARLOTTE – Liberal rock star and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren just concluded her remarks before the Democratic National Convention. They were well received by the audience, but I’m not sure how much they helped President Obama’s cause.
The thing that I found odd about the speech was that Warren spoke in dire terms about the current plight of the middle class, as if Obama weren’t president and was challenging a Republican president.
“(F)or many years now, our middle class has been chipped, squeezed and hammered,” Warren said. “Talk to the construction worker I met from Malden, Massachusetts, who went nine months without finding work. Talk to the head of a manufacturing company in Franklin trying to protect jobs but worried about rising costs. Talk to the student in Worcester who worked hard to finish his degree, and now he’s drowning in debt. Their fight is my fight, and it’s Barack Obama’s fight too.”
The typical make up of a re-election speech is to portray things as bad before the incumbent took office and explain how he made things better, but Warren spoke of things being bad in the present tense, even though Obama has been in office for more than three and a half years.
“People feel like the system is rigged against them,” Warren said. “And here’s the painful part: they’re right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. And Wall Street CEOs – the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs – still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.”
Warren eventually touched on Obama’s financial sector regulation, but her case was undercut by the fact that she said upfront that “the system is rigged” rather than, “the system was rigged before Obama became president and instituted all these awesome reforms.”