Just two short months into a presidential primary campaign, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) scares off her finance director Michael Pratt after a decision to scale back on big-bundling donors and big-dollar fundraisers. In a candidate-laden field where millions are already banked by competitors, it appears Warren’s campaign may be running on fumes.
A February meeting pitted Pratt against two of Warren’s closest allies, Dan Geldon and Joe Rospars, who made the case for Warren to eschew big donor dinners and receptions and instead focus on freeing up her schedule in order to meet with the nation’s commoners. Pratt, however, equated big money with future voter support.
His rationale obviously lost out to Warren’s pals, who chose optics over cash infusions, and Pratt is now updating his resume and shopping his skill set.
A campaign aide downplayed the finance director’s imminent departure while shoring up support for Warren, claiming Pratt is “still a consultant but winding things down and transitioning out since we made the decision not to have (Warren) do high dollar events.”
One hardly needs a campaign finance manager if there is no need for courting big money or Super PACs.
It’s a feel-good story – and they are sticking to it.
Reality Based Campaigning
All campaigns require a lot of money. To make a run for the highest office in the land, well, that requires ungodly amounts of capital resources. From leaving a huge carbon footprint while jetting across the country every week to ordering car services, security, media ad buys, mailers, buttons, signs, and cases of Tums for eating that steady diet of diner food, a nationwide race isn’t cheap. Heck, then the campaign must staff offices in key states, advance teams for primaries, and make sure someone is trolling the other candidates on social media.
It’s a costly process. And mind-boggling numbers tell the tale: In 2008, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, and Green Party candidates spent $2.8 billion. It was $2.6 billion in 2012 and $2.3 billion in 2016 in the quest to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Warren is apparently lagging greatly behind Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and the also ran for U.S. Senate, Robert Francis O’Rourke. They both raised over $6 million in the first few days of announcing their intentions – pace of fundraising that will drop off dramatically fairly quickly.
Frankly, there is only so much individual donor grassroots money to collect along the way. And when the bill comes due, big money donors and powerful PACs may have to be called.
Warren’s Trail of Tears
Why Warren felt she had the support from America to run for president remains unclear. The claims of Cherokee heritage all too recently backfired spectacularly. Her hometown newspaper, the hard-left Boston Globe, wrote after 2018 Midterms: “[H]er margin of victory in November suggests there’s a ceiling on her popularity.” The New York Times even intimated that she stole the identities of real Native American voices. Ouch.
She’s an old guard Democrat attempting to achieve what is most certainly a life long dream she feels entitled to. But in today’s reality, Warren is as relevant to the Democratic Party as a Fauxcahontas signed copy of Pow Wow Chow; her time came and went years ago.
Pratt is right to search for bigger, greener pastures and take his experience, connections, and abilities to a candidate that may connect with the American public. A journey with Warren is just a political trail of tears – a death march into obscurity.