I took me a little while to get past the routine – here’s my story, so here’s the issues I care about, thing – but despite that I found Elizabeth Warren to be a very powerful voice for action. I understand why she draws an eager crowd, and I was excited to be a part of her crowd.
The difficultly that I think Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and others running on a similar platform will have, is it is the platform that we have been hearing about for a while now, and without much else to counter it. Honestly Trump and the Republicans don’t have a real platform, and I don’t think Hillary Clinton presented much of one either. (I’m not trying to start a debate there, just laying out how I see the status of things). That has made the Sanders platform the loudest platform in the room for a while. Many voters are already excited about that message, but it will take work to maintain that excitement, and draw those that haven’t yet adopted that message in. I think if it is doable Elizabeth Warren has the energy and passion to do so.
You may disagree with her policies, but I don’t think anyone could question Elizabeth Warren’s passion. It takes more than just a good applause line to get multiple standing ovations in just a ~20-minute speech. It probably takes a bit more to do so in response to town hall questions and that happened too. I think this came down to people not just liking the message, but also the messenger.
One of the more interesting responses came to a question about how to be bipartisan in Washington, DC. Her example was hearing aids, in which she wrote a bill and got bipartisan support under the radar, namely to avoid starting the spin machine. But she was clear that that is not a universal approach, there are times so fight loudly and head on as well, and that she does both, and is eager to read the situation and act accordingly.
I also got excited that she noted that she values scientific input when collecting facts related to policy making.
I stuck around after to get my question in, worded something like, “How will you, and your staff make decisions, particularly in the case of some new issue arising?” Her response focused on her guiding principles. Namely, asking how it fits into the current system. Does it help those that need help, or does it favor the few? That is, she approaches things from “first principals” and then gets into details and values the discussions with her staff to develop and craft solutions. So, she didn’t use decision analysis terminology, but there is some focus on strategic objectives as a guide to all problems, and a search for creative alternatives. I followed up by saying I hope she includes decision scientists on her staff, which she got excited about, saying, “Absolutely, I’m really getting into decision science”, or something with similar meaning indicating that the term isn’t jargon to her and she values the perspective that approach offers. So solid points on that front from her.
Summarizing: Very Strong Tier 2, maybe Tier 1 once I’ve evaluated more candidates. I’ve quickly come to really like Andrew Yang. If I hadn’t meet Andrew Yang already, Elizabeth Warren would be where Andrew Yang is to me right now. I will happily work for both.
Ranking of those I’ve meet so far:
- Tier 1: Andrew Yang
- Tier 2: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders*
- Kamala Harris
- Tier 3: Cory Booker
- Tier 4: Tulsi Gabbard
- Tier 5: tbd
- Tier Nope: tbd
- *(Based on past meetings, not 2020 events, and w/o the decision-making question response)
Expected distribution of candidates is:
- Tier 1: 1 or 2
- Tier 2: ~3
- Tier 3: ~1/4 of remaining
- Tier 4: ~1/4 of remaining
- Tier 5: ~1/4 of remaining
- Tier Nope: ~1/4 of remaining