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Budowsky: Why Warren masters Trump


As Democrats gather in Philadelphia for the purpose of nominating America’s first woman president, the heir to a legacy of leadership that began when Jefferson and Madison formed the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose rule by aristocracy and monarchs in America, one of the defining convention moments will be when Elizabeth Warren takes the podium and electrifies the convention with the passion and purpose of her presence. 

The Massachusetts senator’s speech will be reminiscent of the give ’em hell speeches of Harry Truman in 1948, when he eviscerated Thomas Dewey and the do-nothing Republican Congress. 

{mosads}Donald Trump, the billionaire tycoon whose staff spreads the word that he models his politics after Richard Nixon, the most disgraced president in history who escaped being convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors by resigning from office, is no Thomas Dewey, who was at least qualified to be president. And Elizabeth Warren is no Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz, who allowed themselves to be bullied by the childish nicknames and vindictive insults that Trump has hurled against women, Hispanics, POWs, the disabled, Native Americans and his GOP opponents.

In one of the most fascinating developments of the 2016 campaign, which will be dramatized when Warren rouses the Democratic convention to standing ovations and deafening applause, the gentlelady from Massachusetts has repeatedly bested the ungentlemanly braggart and heir to Nixon who preternaturally divides the nation, believes he is right about everything, and has a problem dealing with brilliant and powerful women.

As Warren continues her fusillade against Trump, it is comical to watch the befuddled GOP nominee reduced to nothing more than repeatedly and lamely calling her Pocahontas. Why has Warren mastered Trump so thoroughly?

While Warren has spent decades battling for workers, consumers, minorities and women against those who would cheat and defraud them in a rigged economy, Trump has spent decades abusing and exploiting countless Americans who were unwise enough to trust him. Like Bernie Sanders, who has enriched our political discourse throughout the campaign and whose speech supporting Hillary Clinton will offer another golden convention moment for Democrats, Warren is a powerful and authentic champion of men and women of all races and backgrounds who want an American dream that thrives for the many and not merely the few. When she castigates Trump for making money from his dubious “university” that “teaches” its “students” to prey like vultures against citizens whose homes were foreclosed, she speaks the truth.

While Trump masquerades as a populist while behaving as a crony capitalist, Warren, like Sanders and Clinton, champions the well-being of the people in the cause that is the soul of the Democratic Party. While Warren spent decades battling against corruptions of money and power, Trump spent decades committing them. Warren knows this, and it gives her confidence. Trump knows this, and it gives him fear. Democrats know this, and the rafters will shake when she says it in Philadelphia. This is why Trump reacts to Warren the way Count Dracula reacted to the cross. Her truths are the antidote to his poisons.

In her convention speech, Warren will again offer the ultimate message, which is both positive and negative: positive supporting her egalitarian vision of an America with a rising tide that lifts all boats, and negative against the cold and cruel forces of selfishness, greed, division and the politics of bigotry that Trump personifies so perfectly as he exploits the pain of others to profit himself.

There is indeed a progressive populist majority waiting to be born in America. This is why Sanders led Trump by huge margins in virtually all polls throughout the campaign. This is why it is so powerful that Clinton, Sanders, Warren and a united Democratic Party all rally together — for free public college tuition for many Americans, for a public option to make healthcare more affordable, to seek a Supreme Court that will restore equal justice for all, to champion fair immigration laws, to stand for full equality for LGBT Americans and to call for the end to the corruptions brought by the Citizens United decision that is turning the land of the free and home of the brave into an oligarchy of aristocracy.

Elizabeth Warren masters Donald Trump because she speaks for an America that is the birthright of all Americans, while he exploits the darker impulses of the spirit that tear Americans apart and would keep most Americans down. When she says this in Philadelphia the ground will shake and Democrats will roar as she speaks the truths that set us free.


Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors blog and reached at

Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Hillary Clinton Marco Rubio Ted Cruz

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