Elizabeth Warren announces U.S. Presidential bid: A New Zealand view

Ms Warren who identifies as a fraction native American and hails from Massachusetts, announced her intention to stand as a Democrat candidate at the weekend.

At the moment I cautiously welcome Ms Warren’s candidacy. This is the Senator who worked for former President Barak Obama to introduce the Dodd-Frank laws intended to reduce the vulnerability of the banking sector to such huge failures as those witnessed during the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis. The collapses happened at Fannie Mac, Freddie Mac, Lehman Bros and other large financial companies that were considered too large to fail – yet did exactly that.

Through out the tenure of Mr Obama and the now nearly two years of current President Donald Trump, Ms Warren has been a constant activist for long term, comprehensive change in the banking sector. During that time talk of another G.F.C. type melt down by financial institutions that survived the first one more because they might not have had the asset profile that those that failed had, has been growing. Stock markets are once again showing signs of readying for a large scale failure, which I am sure Ms Warren has noticed.

Not surprisingly her announcement has been met with derision by Republicans and conservative commentators. The fact that it has been made so soon indicates that this is not a joke bid like those of other politicians, as it gives her time to consider her political platform, to talk to potential donors and work out what kind of campaign she wants to run.

But what of Ms Warren as a candidate?

So far she has done little – granted it is still very early in the set – to differentiate herself from Mr Trump. From a New Zealand perspective a number of questions will need to be asked and – in due course – answered:

  1. Will she view New Zealand as a stable reliable partner with which her United States can do honest business with?
  2. Because she campaigned against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement does she still believe it and its successor, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership, to still be the rotten lousy stinking deals they actually are?
  3. How will she conduct foreign policy – obviously Americans will want her to show a strong hand on national security; will she mend ties with European and other allies?
  4. Will she support a Universal Health Care system for Americans?
  5. Will she end the war on drugs which is fuelling a lot of the crime in the United States?
  6. What will Ms Warren do about the various environmental emergencies unfolding before ours and America’s eyes?

All of these are obviously questions that will be answered in some way or another over the next year whilst we wait for the primaries to start. We will also see whether former candidate and former First Lady Hillary Clinton stands again, as well as whether the Republican house under Trump still supports their man or demands a new President.

Before then though we have a potential National Emergency waiting to decide whether it will unfold on the American stage or in Mr Trump’s head. We will have to see whether a roller coaster stock market manages to stabilize or get even worse. We will be waiting to see whether Robert Mueller’s investigation is shut down by Mr Trump or shuts down Mr Trump.

Because two years after all is a long time in politics.


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