Is Liz Warren The Next Nancy Pelosi?

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Following a series of weekend town hall-style events held on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, Massachusetts liberal lioness U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and other progressives learned the inevitable on Sunday night — that Republican honchos are bent on using her as a means of wounding potential Democratic Senate candidates in 2018, in addition to those seeking reelection.

The news came courtesy of a Washington Times report that GOP operatives are looking to make Warren “as toxic as [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi.”

The report quotes Republican National Committee spokesman Rick Gorka, who told the newspaper that “just like Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren is deeply unpopular with voters and and her policies are out of step with a vast majority of Americans.”

Gorka added that he thinks the strategy “will be an effective way to brand vulnerable Democrats.”

Warren’s popularity in Massachusetts notwithstanding, a recent Suffolk University/USA Today telephone poll querying approximately 1,000 registered voters scattered across all 50 states and the District of Columbia  found that while 367 said they hold a “generally favorable” view of the Cambridge Democrat, 349 did not, while 190 listed themselves as “undecided” and another 94 replied that they had never heard of her.

The Washington Times report notes that Warren’s approval rating is “underwater” in states like Missouri and Virginia, where Democratic incumbents could face stiff challenges. Her campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Warren, however, has proven herself to be a fund-raising machine. According to a recent POLITICO report, she raised nearly $3.5 million between April and June, a sum that boosted her overall haul to $11.03 million.

Meanwhile, her visits to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard predictably drew huge crowds:

The visits spawned some lofty coverage from the Boston Globe, the same newspaper that made an impassioned plea ahead of the 2016 Democratic primary calling for Warren to make a run at the presidency.

Globe columnist Joan Vennochi set her sites on the Washington Times report regarding the potential for Warren to assume the toxic mantle of Pelosi.

“Republicans are threatening to turn Warren into the kind of unlikable female lefty who can’t sell beyond her base — ‘as toxic as Nancy Pelosi’ promises a Washington Times headline,” Vennochi wrote. “If they think that will scare Warren away, they have a lot to learn about the senator from Massachusetts.”

Warren’s cachet is arguably about to be weighed in the state of Michigan, where rap-rocker and Detroit icon Kid Rock (ne Robert James Richie) has announced he will will be challenging U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat who has held down the seat since 2001. Warren was quick to pounce on Kid Rock’s announcement.

In an fund-raising email blast reported by the Boston Herald and sent out under the subject line “Senator Kid Rock (R-Mich),” Warren wrote, “I know a lot of people are thinking:  this is some sort of joke, right?”

“Maybe this is all a joke — but we all thought Donald Trump was joking when he rode down the escalator at Trump Tower and announced his campaign, too,” Warren added. “And sure, maybe this is just a marketing gimmick for a new album or tour — but we all thought Donald Trump was just promoting his reality TV show, too.”

The email message, according to the Herald, directs readers to a donation page in which contributions are divided evenly between the Stabenow and Warren reelection campaigns.

A likely Warren GOP challenger, state Senator Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman), told the newspaper that Warren’s quick move to try to quash Kid Rock is another indication that the Cambridge Democrat is more keen on a potential 2020 White House bid than on representing the Bay State.

“She uses any and every issue, whether it’s a celebrity Republican or it’s Hillary Clinton, to try to scare her support base into giving her more money so that she can reach that main goal I believe of running for president, [and] not of focusing on the concerns of her constituents in Massachusetts,” Diehl said.