But it may have been two candidates from divergent sides of the ideological spectrum—Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Montana Governor Steve Bullock—who most often soared above the small-arms fire. Warren, who has been both mocked and praised for her plethora of specific policy proposals and plans—truly in the weeds—chose last night to fly mostly at 35,000 feet.
“Democrats win when we figure out what is right and we get out there and fight for it,” Warren told Tapper when he reminded her that Democratic voters have told pollsters they’d prefer a candidate who can beat President Donald Trump to one they agree with ideologically. “I am not afraid, and for Democrats to win, you can’t be afraid either.” At another point in the night, when Delaney pooh-poohed her support for ideas like Medicare for All and decriminalizing illegal border crossings, Warren lowered the boom with a withering putdown: “I don’t know why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for President of the United States just to talk about what we can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.” And down went Frazier.
No one asked Warren, in so many words, just what she would do to, ahem, make America great again, but over and over, her answers amounted to an emphatic, unambiguous response to that question all the same. More than most of her rivals, Warren seemed to acknowledge that Trump won office in 2016 with a brutally simple macro message—one that easily fits on the front of a baseball cap—and one that, for all its sinister and cynical undertones, was at least partly aspirational for millions of voters.