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Sunday, December 28, 2014

A female candidate for US President?

As we move into 2015 the newspapers have already started to speculate as to who will be running for the office of US President. This also gives me the opportunity to indulge in one of my hobbies, following US politics.

Jeb Bush has already announced that he is running for the Republican nomination, whilst Hilary Clinton is favourite to head the Democratic ticket. However, as the Observer relates there is another woman who many would like to draft in to run as the Democrat nominee, namely Elizabeth Warren:

Warren’s path was more fraught with difficulty. Her family – whom she has claimed, controversially, to be loosely descended from Cherokee, Native American ancestors – came close to financial ruin when her father had a heart attack and lost his janitor’s job; she watched their station wagon be repossessed, saw her mother forced out to take a telesales job at 50. Warren herself gave up a full scholarship to George Washington university in order to marry her high school sweetheart, and struggled through college once she had two children; by the time she was a professor, she had experienced divorce, single parenthood and remarriage. Her chosen teaching subject at Harvard, when she arrived there at 40, was, pointedly, bankruptcy. “My daddy and I were both afraid of being poor, really poor,” she writes in her book. “His response was never to talk about money or what might happen if it ran out – never ever ever. My response was to study contracts finance and most of all economic failure to learn everything I could.”

That determination has given her the most expert grounding in the key political issue of her times – the imbalanced structure of the “rigged” economy and the vast resultant inequalities of wealth and opportunity. It is the grounding that provides her point of difference not only with Clinton, but also with Obama – who brought her into government but backed away, in the face of Republican opposition, from appointing her as the first chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she had worked to create. “He picked his economic team and when the going got tough, his economic team picked Wall Street,” she says of Obama’s administration. “They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. Not young people who were struggling to get an education. And it happened over and over and over.”

Warren believes it must not happen again. It is the kind of argument that leads inevitably to that other question: Can Elizabeth Warren be the change she describes? There are, it seems, a growing number ready to respond: “Yes she can.”

This video shows Senator Warren in action:

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