Sen. Elizabeth Warren is not as toxic as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi at the moment, but Republicans intend to change that, possibly implanting into the electorate an indelibly negative image of the woman President Trump may face in 2020.
According to the Washington Times, the proximate agenda is to harm the prospects of Democratic Senate candidates:
The Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Republican-aligned groups such as American Rising are testing out the depth of the anti-Warren sentiment, hoping to inject her into Senate races the way Republican operatives have made Mrs. Pelosi a drag for House Democrats.
At the very least, they hope to make vulnerable Democrats have to declare whether they side with Ms. Warren on some of her most liberal causes.
“Just like Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren is deeply unpopular with voters and her policies are out of step with a vast majority of Americans, and we think that will be an effective way to brand vulnerable Democrats,” said RNC spokesman Rick Gorka.
But the effort to harm Warren will help Trump two years later should she be the Democratic nominee, which I think is a logical step for the Democrats. Populism captured the party in 2016, but Sen. Bernie Sanders was perhaps a little too old and a little too radical to make it to the finish line. Besides, he faced an “inevitable” candidate in Hillary Clinton who was tough to beat.
Warren shares Sanders ability to excite the base, and it may well be the populists’ turn in 2020.
One thing Republicans have often not done as well as Democrats is to define their opponents before their opponents have a chance to define themselves. The GOP, for example, was never quite able to erase the glow Barack Obama attached to himself before Republican operatives had a chance at him.
By defining Warren early, Republicans will be greatly aided in the effort to defeat her should she be the Democratic candidate in 2020.