She has some pretty big ideas. Taking on the cult of the CEO and the notion that shareholder value is all that corporations should care about is a pretty fundamental assault on how capitalism has worked in America. But it’s not just sloganeering. Codetermination is a model of corporate governance that is entirely plausible, because it’s the way things work in Germany. Warren is not just an advocate. It’s thanks to her we had a Consumer Finance Protection Bureau in the first place. Very few of her primary opponents can make any comparable claim, and she wears fierce Republican opposition to her accomplishment as a badge of honor.
The point is not that she’s the only potential candidate with a compelling biography or resumé or ideas. It’s that her story about why she’s in politics, and what the purpose of politics is, connects to the passions of the moment and is also fleshed out with specific but substantial ideas. It’s the whole package — and it has the potential to get inside the argument that Trump himself has been making. That’s what makes her potentially compelling as a general-election candidate and not just comfortable as a nominee.