Warren eyes role as Clinton convention gets underway
By State House News Service | July 25, 2016, 6:18 EDT
The Bay State’s senior senator won’t be on the presidential ballot this year, but on the Saturday before the Democratic National Convention she appeared with President Barack Obama for his weekly radio address.
Obama and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren praised one another’s strength and toughness in taking on the financial industry.
The short broadcast marked half a decade of existence for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Warren championed before winning election four years ago. It also preceded a convention where Democrats will attempt to unite supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders behind soon-to-be nominee Hillary Clinton.
Clinton, the former senator from New York, has taken flak from both Sanders and Republican nominee Donald Trump for her connection to financial institutions symbolized by New York City’s Wall Street.
Warren, who noted in an email to supporters that Saturday was her first White House radio address, has laughed off entreaties for her own presidential campaign from the same liberal set that turned Sanders into a serious contender for the nomination. When Clinton chose Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate over the weekend, it brought to a close speculation that Warren might be tapped to join the ticket.
The Cambridge Democrat is reportedly scheduled to address the convention in Philadelphia on Monday, when Sanders is also set to speak in night of oratory billed as “United Together.”
Divisions in the party exposed during Sanders’ meteoric run against the clear establishment favorite deepened late last week and over the weekend. Wikileaks released a trove of private Democratic Party emails on the eve of the convention, including one where a party staffer appears to suggest questions about Sanders’s religious belief.
“I think I read he is an atheist,” the party’s chief financial officer, Brad Marshall, said in the email.
Following the revelations in the leaked emails, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz on Sunday reportedly decided to step down at the end of the convention.
Earlier in the day on Sunday Sanders called for Wasserman Schultz’s resignation on ABC’s “This Week.”
As Trump seeks to paint Clinton as a key figure in a corrupt political system, her Wall Street ties remain a liability for the Democrat.
“Crooked Hillary Clinton is bought and paid for by Wall Street, lobbyists and special interests. She will sell our country down the tubes!” Trump tweeted last weekend, before accepting his party’s presidential nomination in Cleveland.
Celebrated spokespeople for Democrats’ vision, Obama and Warren both have a connection to Harvard Law School, where Obama attended and Warren taught.
In the address Obama said Warren is “one of our strongest advocates for families and consumers like you,” and noted that one of his first tasks after taking office in 2009 was to tend to the economy then reeling from the 2008 financial crash.
“President Obama delivered. He signed into law the toughest Wall Street reforms and strongest consumer protections in generations. Now trust me – I’m a pretty tough grader,” Warren said. “These new rules are making our financial system more transparent. They’re getting rid of a lot of fine print, and they’re making sure that if the bank screws up, you have someone to call so you don’t get stuck with the bill.”
A tradition passed down from administration to administration, the president’s weekly radio address now contends with a chorus of voices online and on the airwaves pushing various agendas, perhaps diminishing the impact of messages from the White House.
When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke to the nation through his “fireside chats,” the broadcasts sometimes reached 80 percent of households, according to the Society of American Historians’ history book of the presidency. The same book, titled “To The Best of My Ability,” notes Massachusetts Republican Calvin Coolidge accepted his party’s nomination at the first national convention ever broadcast on the radio, in 1924.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh used Facebook live to broadcast a press conference before he, Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman Tom McGee, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins and others took the train down to Philadelphia.
— Written by Andy Metzger
Copyright State House News Service