OPINION BY BRIANNA BECERRA
The battle for the Democratic presidential nomination has been heating up in Iowa over the past month, but it has come to a head this weekend as the caucus is now in sight. Though many Democrats have decided to drop out of the race or focus their efforts on other states, there are still six candidates fighting tooth and nail for the Iowa Caucus victory. Among these candidates, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has distinguished herself as a front runner.
The sheer number of Democrats in the race makes it difficult to distinguish one candidate’s policies from another. Warren has been able to set herself apart from the others by continuing to fight for affordable education, call for the end of corruption in DC and demand that the government provides more benefits for working class families.
Every candidate has their big policies that they push and encourage their supporters to rally behind, but Warren is not exclusively about promoting her agenda in order to bring more glory to herself. She includes personal anecdotes in order to provide reasoning behind the changes that she wants to make while in office. This sets her apart from the others, as her ability to be candid about her life experiences makes her feel more like a regular person rather than a glorified political figurehead.
To open her rallies, Warren says, “I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself.” She begins by providing the audience with a general overview of her past: growing up in a working class family with three older brothers, marital trials and triumphs and her passion for being both a teacher and a student. Her own struggle to balance being a wife and mother along with taking on a full time career is relatable for many American women, as a single income household is rarely able to stay afloat.
Not only does she make herself relatable, but she also utilizes humor in order to break up the serious nature that is associated with politics. Warren storms the stage with a sunny disposition and offers a smile to everyone in the room. Both her energy and personality allow for a sense of familiarity and belonging, which is a similar feeling to being surrounded by beloved family. Her genuine excitement to hear the voices of the people is refreshing in the sphere of American politics.
Warren’s policies are similar to Senator Bernie Sanders’, and there are little to no differences when they are placed side by side. One of her major priorities while she is in the White House is to ensure that the department secretaries are experienced in the field that they are governing over. The crowd reverberated with cheers when she announced her plans for the Department of Education.
“Guess who the [Education] Secretary will be?” asked Warren in a moment of suspense. “A teacher.”
Her passion for education touches several aspects of her campaign, as free college and equal opportunity education for all children is a major focal point of her policy. This love stems from the time that Warren spent as a special ed teacher for elementary aged students as well as her years as a law professor. It is clear that she is experienced in all levels and realms of education, giving her the authority to cry out for these reforms to be made.
Warren does not attract supporters from only one age group or gender, as her volunteers are made up of drastically different characters. From a young man with blue hair and dangly earrings to an outspoken older woman with a pixie cut and hope for the future, her volunteers and endorsers are unique. The other candidates are not able to brag about this, as Sanders’ supporters are mostly made up of those who are either part of Generation Z or Millenials. This allows for a sense of unity to preside over her campaign, as it has brought together every gender, race, sexuality, religion and age for the same purpose; major structural change.
Though Warren is a woman, the misconception that she focuses her policies solely around women’s rights is flat out incorrect. Her plans for our country were made to benefit working and middle class families as well as the LGBTQ community. She has something to offer to anyone that demands that the government must face drastic change in order to ensure a democratic future for the nation.
Her rally at West High School in Iowa City echoed with cheers of “win with Warren” or “we need a woman in the White House”. Even though her supporters and volunteers are passionate about everything that she stands for, she will not likely take home the victory of the Iowa Caucus. This is not because of a major flaw in her campaign, but rather the vast similarities that she shares with Sanders. The Progressive Democrats can only be ruled by one, and Sanders is in good shape to take this position due to his run and popularity during the 2016 election.
Warren has shown her tenacity and hunger for political change as she balanced her duties with the Impeachment Trial while campaigning in Iowa at the same time. Her inability to leave Washington DC is likely the culprit of her struggle to keep the traction that she previously gained in Iowa.
She was heartbroken to inform her supporters that there would be no time for her famous “selfie” line due to her obligation to be elsewhere for other rallies. Though this was disappointing to many who had hoped to share a moment with Warren, she left her dog Bailey to get pictures with her supporters. Bailey was the ideal surrogate for actually meeting the woman herself.
Warren has proven that she is capable of juggling many responsibilities, and she is a wife, mother, grandmother, senator and presidential candidate all at once. Her passion and drive has elevated her above some of her fellow Democratic candidates, and Iowa will soon be tasked with choosing who is the best of them all. Only time can tell which Democrat will reign supreme in this pivotal political contest.