Tuesday’s midterms served up mixed results, handing both parties big wins and big losses. It will take some time to sort out what it means. Yet the evening did nonetheless provide one total, complete, unalloyed loser: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
For a decade Ms. Warren, 69, has been busy trying to remake Washington in her progressive image. Her role in creating a new financial regulatory apparatus gave her outsize influence over the bureaucracy. Her successful 2012 Senate bid gave her a megaphone to rail against “billionaires, bigots and Wall Street bankers”—and Donald Trump. The left begged her to challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016 and rebrand the Democratic Party as a populist, progressive force. Ms. Warren demurred, leaving the field to Bernie Sanders.
She instead carefully designed this year’s midterms as her launchpad to the presidency. Ms. Warren seeded into key races several handpicked progressive protégés, in particular Richard Cordray, former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (who ran for Ohio governor), and a former law student, Katie Porter (who ran in a California House district). Ms. Warren geared up a shadow war room, built ties with some 150 campaigns, directed millions of fundraising dollars to select candidates, and thereby earned chits. She dispersed staffers to early primary states and crisscrossed the country herself. A week ago she was dominating Ohio headlines at rallies for Mr. Cordray. If Mr. Trump was on the ballot nationally, Ms. Warren was on it in the Buckeye State.
The lead-up to Tuesday had already been brutal for her. Hoping to elbow her way back into the headlines after Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Ms. Warren chose in mid-October to release a five-minute video and piles of documentation aimed at proving she really is at least 1/1,024th Native American. The ridicule was ruthless, matched only by the anger Democrats directed at her for distracting from the election.
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