'They’re trying to turn Elizabeth into a boogeyman'
Republicans are already trying to make Elizabeth Warren the face of the Democratic Party — and the 2018 midterms.
Republicans need a new campaign villain — and Elizabeth Warren is looking increasingly like their choice.
With Barack Obama and Harry Reid out of office and Nancy Pelosi toiling deep in the minority, Republicans are in search of a figure so reviled by the conservative base that he or she motivates donors to open their wallets and voters to go the polls.
Party strategists believe the liberal Massachusetts senator’s brand of politics is a serious turnoff to voters outside the coasts — and will be a liability for at least five Democrats up for reelection in states President Donald Trump easily won. So Republicans are already making plans to raise her profile — in the worst way possible — ahead of the 2018 midterms.
Warren is getting top billing in news releases by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Senate Leadership Fund, a prominent Republican super PAC with ties to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The NRSC is launching a new round of digital ads on Wednesday dinging incumbent Democrats for voting with Warren, officials said. And it’s just a matter of time before she’s featured prominently in TV ads, too.
“Elizabeth Warren is the face of the Democratic Party," said National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (Colo.). "She's extremely popular with their base, and that's why she's leading them right now. That's why [Democrats] are voting 100 percent of the time with Elizabeth Warren."
WASHINGTON AND THE WORLD
The Insurgent in the White House
By JAMES KITFIELD
Republicans have long tried to personalize off-year election cycles, driving a wedge between vulnerable incumbents and their lightning-rod leaders. In 2010, the GOP spent $75 million on advertisements featuring then-House speaker Pelosi. To a lesser degree they tried it again in 2014 with Reid, the Democratic Senate leader, who was often featured with Obama. Both GOP wave elections were cast as referendums on Obama.
There are fewer targets now with Donald Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress. Schumer has relatively low name ID and a reputation as a dealmaker, not a partisan warrior.
So Warren it is. Her liberal profile makes for an inviting contrast to the image of moderation that swing-state Democrats will be aiming to project in a host of conservative-leaning states next year, Republicans say. And to the extent they can knock Warren down a few pegs, it would diminish an early Democratic frontrunner for president in 2020.
In interviews, Democratic senators said they're prepared for millions in ads linking them to Warren, whose office declined to comment for this story.
It's not a surefire play for Republicans. Warren electrifies the Democratic base more than perhaps any other senator and is frequently used in Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee literature to raise money or build fundraising lists. Her favorability rating is slightly above water — better than Schumer's and Pelosi's, though worse than Bernie Sanders'. If the strategy backfires, it could boost Warren's White House prospects.
Expect more memes like these, accusing Warren of the standard things like hypocrisy and lying, along with the thinly-veiled misogynistic accusations about her being an uppity bitch who doesn't know her place (Pod's favorite line of attack) and then culminating eventually with crazed accusations of Satanic child molestation rituals in her back yard.