2020 Election: THIS is the Democrat Trump would most like to run against

Hours after Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren kicked off her 2020 campaign, President Trump tweeted he would see her on the “trail,” twisting the knife deeper into a potent political wound.

Trump is relishing a match-up with Warren because he views her as damaged beyond repair. On that point, he might have found a rare piece of common ground with his liberal opposition. In the aftermath of the recent scandal around Warren, a column in her hometown Boston Globe ­­– which has always treated the Cambridge Democrat with kid gloves – declared: “With latest revelation, Elizabeth Warren can’t beat Donald Trump.”

The president is partly responsible for Warren’s campaign being on life support. By using his bully pulpit to introduce a mass audience to the Native American controversy that has followed Warren since 2012, Trump goaded Warren into releasing the results of her DNA test last fall.


But at its core, much like Hillary Clinton’s email server, the fiasco is a problem of Warren’s own making. It’s a result of her being deceitful about questions about honesty and integrity. It’s never really been about ancestry – it’s always been about character.

From high cheekbones to family lore, Warren has trotted out a range of excuses to explain her decision to self-identify as a minority. But she has never addressed why her ethnicity changed – or whether it benefitted her professional career.

Last week’s bombshell revelation came from the Washington Post, which found conclusive evidence that Warren had called herself an American Indian. The smoking gun came in Warren’s own handwriting on her application to join the Texas bar in the 1980s.

The revelation shed more light on Warren’s bizarre decision last week to proactively apologize to a leader of the Cherokee Nation. Her best efforts to get ahead of bad news did no good.

From high cheekbones to family lore, Warren has trotted out a range of excuses to explain her decision to self-identify as a minority. But she has never addressed why her ethnicity changed – or whether it benefitted her professional career.

Warren was soon back in all-out apology mode. Give her credit for one thing: Warren may be lagging in the polls, but she’s the undisputed leader of the Democratic apology tour. Ironically, during her first campaign for public office in 2012, Warren was demanding apologies from her opponent, then-Sen. Scott Brown (on whose campaign I served as communications director) when he raised similar questions. Now, the issue is the same, but the apologies are coming from the other side.

Warren’s presidential exploratory committee endured a rocky first month. The rollout of her only significant policy proposal, a wealth tax, didn’t go off without a glitch. First, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, hardly a right-wing demagogue, dismissed the scheme as “probably unconstitutional.” Then phenom freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY,  stole headlines with her own 70 percent tax proposal.

Since her New Year’s Eve announcement, at least seven viable contenders – including four fellow Democratic senators – have joined the field with dozens more potential heavyweights not far behind. One of her colleagues, Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif, has eclipsed Warren not just in media coverage but also fundraising dollars. Harris raised $1.5 million dollars in her first 24 hours as a candidate, a haul nearly four times larger than Warren’s $299,000.

Which brings us back to the other fundamental problem of Warren’s candidacy. Hardly 24 hours after announcing, Warren’s news cycle was hijacked by another liberal Democratic senator, Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar. By Monday, as a fresh news week begins, the political world has already moved on, and Warren feels a lot like yesterday’s news. Meanwhile, there are still dozens of other Democratic luminaries – including former vice president Joe Biden and last time’s runner-up, Bernie Sanders – moving closer to campaigns of their own.


Even if Warren could do what Hillary Clinton couldn’t and put her character questions to rest, the damage is done. That bell can’t be unrung. Unlike 2016, liberal voters drawn to Warren’s message have other options to choose from. If you think Warren’s attacks on free enterprise or her wealth distribution schemes are what this country needs, there’s a host of other candidates to choose from without Warren’s scar tissue.

In a press conference with reporters before her announcement, Warren was asked if she was considering dropping out. She avoided the question, but the political consequences of her past decisions have caught up to her and won’t be ignored – by the media, her opponents or voters.