To Stay in the Race, Elizabeth Warren Drops Opposition to PAC Money

To Stay in the Race, Elizabeth Warren Drops Opposition to PAC Money

For some on the Left, Elizabeth Warren's debate performance in Las Vegas represented a return to the Warren that they came to lionize during the summer only to abandon when they could not quit Bernie Sanders. Desperate and sinking in the polls, Warren abandoned the above-the-fray mentality that kept her from attacking her fellow Democrats and laced into Republican-turned-Democrat Mike Bloomberg and effectively ended his hopes of buying the White House with one punch. That was not the only about-face for Warren. The candidate who famously swore off PAC money in a bid to appear inscrutable is now accepting support from a PAC that is working on her behalf.

In a February 2019 social media post, Warren vowed that she would not accept any outside help in this presidential election. Long regarded as a moralist who wears her virtue on her sleeve, Warren staked out her position that she would fund her campaign solely from the donations that she raised. Warren has always been on record preaching to the public about campaign finance and the insidious role that PACs play in the American political landscape.

What a Difference a Year Makes

Fast forward a year to a time where Warren's campaign is perched on the edge of irrelevancy. The Massachusetts senator was unable to finish higher than fourth place right in her own backyard and is one or two more bad election showings away from falling too far out of the race to be a factor. Now, her previous hesitancy to accept PAC help has become an open embrace.

Like she has been known to do, Warren framed her reversal in gender-based terms, using it as an excuse to cover for what others would term hypocrisy. Specifically, Warren pointed out that all of the male candidates were benefiting from the help of a PAC. According to Warren, she would be placing herself at a disadvantage if she allowed the men to have an advantage over her. This was notwithstanding the fact that she proudly proclaimed at a New Hampshire debate two weeks before that she and Amy Klobuchar were the only two candidates who were swearing off the help of a PAC. Then, the New Hampshire voters spoke and now Warren's position has evolved.

Perhaps Warren is afraid of being drowned out by the hundreds of millions of dollars that Bloomberg is showering on the race. However, the $800,000 being spent in support of her is a drop in the bucket compared to what Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are spending to buy exposure. Warren looks at risk of being perceived as abandoning her principles when she is desperate to stay in the race.

When asked if she wanted the PAC working on her behalf to stand down, Warren said that because nobody else joined her in her call to keep PACs out of the race, she would be at a disadvantage if she stuck to her original word of "not taking a dime" from lobbyists. It is amazing how idealism falls by the wayside when it meets the stench of desperation. Now the only "big structural change" that is being talked about in connection with Warren is the structural change to her long-held positions.

Still, someone should tell Warren's position to her own campaign website. Her website still proudly proclaims that she will not accept support from PACs. However, she refuses to disavow this PAC spending on her behalf. Apparently, Warren has chosen to abandon the positions that could advance her no higher than fourth place in her neighboring state. It will be interesting to hear if the gadfly still decries the influence of big money in campaigns so long as she remains in the race. At this rate, it will not be much past Super Tuesday.

Rip Billionaires at Night and Take Their Money During the Daytime

She is not alone in railing against billionaires on the debate stage and then turning around and accepting their help. Bernie Sanders has also tried to turn the word "billionaire" into a dirty word. Yet, Sanders also gets help from the shadowy dark money groups that can pour money into a campaign without any disclosure of where the money is coming from or further information about the funding. Sanders will claim that he does not get PAC help even though the source of the money spent in support of him is murky.

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