Trump’s tweets are still going strong about Hurricane Dorian and the Sharpie map that included Alabama in its wake. And the “fake news” is still reporting it.
Trump is mad. So much so that even his aides are worried about his mental state.
But, underneath it all, Trump is truly mad, and nervous, about Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Why? Because she can count. A strong economy is Trump’s best election-year bragging right—and it is teetering.
As a Harvard law professor who specialized in bankruptcy regulations, Warren—more than any other Democrat in the field—can argue on point about Trump’s finances—business, personal, corporate, foundation, inaugural, and tax filings.
It’s something he fiercely hides—probably with good reason.
Warren was also a champion debater. It’s doubtful she will wither from Trump’s put-downs or glares.
Furthermore, the Senator from Massachusetts has what most political observers would describe as “fire in the belly.” That, more than anything, defines the “authentic” quality voters seek in a candidate.
Warren’s schoolmarm finger-pointing—used in professorial lectures to drive home a point—is a bit off-putting, but she has dialed that back and switched to a more personal embrace of voters.
Now, she poses for post-rally “selfies” with anyone in the audience wishing a personal photo op. And she is good at it. She loves the personal contact.
Sometimes it takes Warren hours to get through the lines of avid fans, but she finds the ritual “energizing.” And it makes her more human and less “elitist.”
She laces up her sneakers and stays put—until every last cell phone click is completed.
By last count, Warren has posed for more than 42,000 such “selfies” after her rallies. That is more than three times the number of lies the President has committed—since assuming office.
And her crowds and the selfie lines keep getting bigger—10,000, 12,000, 15,000 in attendance—while the economy keeps getting wobblier.
According to CNN’s Chris Cillizza, “Warren’s crowds…are an indicator of genuine momentum and excitement surrounding her candidacy. No matter what any of her rivals might say behind closed doors (or in public) about what Warren’s crowds mean (or don’t mean), you can be sure that each and every one of them would LOVE to be able to draw in the numbers that the Massachusetts Senator is right now.”
And Trump angrily tweets about both — refighting the coverage of his inaugural crowd size.
She is rising in the polls. One puts her second to Biden, another in a three-way tie with Biden and Sanders.
Known more for her “I have a plan” themes—which she also has in great numbers—Warren garners support mostly from college-educated white women. By contrast, her progressive sidekick Bernie Sanders scores highest among non-college educated men.
Why does this distinction matter? It doesn’t, except if, as many believe, there will be a brokered convention and these progressive blocks then defeat Biden for the nomination.
It is widely known that Sanders and Warren have “a non-aggression pact” towards each other’s campaign. And it is highly likely that if the convention is deadlocked, their delegates will be freed up to bolster the progressive opposition to Biden.
So as this Harvard Law School expert gains in the polls, you can see the peril for Trump.
A serious reason he is mad about Warren? She is taking direct aim at his “billionaire, successful businessman” mantra.
But forget the multiple bankruptcies in his past (which she can recite like a litany). Focus instead on the looming economic downturn threatening the United States.
It is no mistake Trump is attacking the Federal Reserve and demanding a full 1% cut in the rates. Or that he keeps tweeting how great the economy is. It’s all because he knows the economy is wobbling.
Germany, Japan, and several other countries already feature negative interest rates.
Watch any business channel and see for yourself. The tariffs, the Republican Tax Bill and the $22 trillion federal deficit are not without great risks now.
Trump insists just “saying it makes it so.” But, the pattern is clear. The more he tweets, the more mad he becomes, and the more he attacks, the more fearful he really is.
And now he is really, truly mad about Warren.
Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.