Political debate stages can often be a rote affair. There’s not much that’s redeeming about watching politicians act like children and snipe at each other while offering empty, pre-written platitudes as “answers” to debate questions.
But those debates do offer some fodder for social media. And Elizabeth Warren certainly had her Twitter moment during Thursday’s Democratic primary debate when she slammed fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for “selling” access and his time.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States.”
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) December 20, 2019
“Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” Warren proudly said.
“I do not sell access to my time,” she later said.
The moment was a great soundbite and social media certainly ate it up.
There’s just one small problem with Warren’s viral line: It’s utterly and completely dripping with hypocrisy.
As The Associated Press noted, Warren had a fundraiser in June 2018, which in and of itself is nothing noteworthy. But some of the details about that fundraiser are certainly going to raise some eyebrows.
Warren, who still hadn’t quite announced her 2020 candidacy at the time, was charging some eye-popping numbers for some very special “access” to her “time.”
According to the AP, top donors would could contribute $5,400 per couple, or $2,700 for individuals, would get an exclusive VIP photo op and premium seating. Anyone who could contribute at least $1,000 would get a souvenir wine bottle.
Nothing about those numbers exactly screams “everyday American.”
The kicker to all of this? Warren’s fundraiser took place at the City Winery Boston.
What’s the old phrase about throwing stones from glass houses?
The hypocrisy may not be all that surprising, given that this is the same Elizabeth Warren who previously made some good money speaking to corporations and financial firms, but that doesn’t make it any less pathetic.
Warren has characterized herself as some sort of middle class hero insistent on ridding politics of corporate money.
That strategy could backfire, according to President Barack Obama’s former campaign finance director Rufus Gifford.
“Challenge Pete on everything from his age and experience to his record in South Bend,” Gifford said. “I think that’s totally fair.
“But this is just disingenuous. It implies a level of corruption and cronyism that is inaccurate and ultimately plays into the hands of Republicans.”
Hate to break this to Gifford, but given the sheer circus that the Democrats have turned impeachment into, they’ve already played into the hands of Republicans plenty.
Elizabeth’s hypocritical narrative is just the icing on the cake.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.