While running for the Senate, Elizabeth Warren informed Lawrence O’Donnell and his MSNBC audience that she didn’t understand how Congressfolk could keep playing the stock market while in office. She trotted out the notion of stock management via blind trusts.
She and O’Donnell understand that members of Congress have apparently irresistible opportunity to leverage for their private benefit insider information and their power to change policy. It’s no secret: many a pol enters Congress as moderately upper middle class only to leave lining his coffin in gold.
“I realize there are some wealthy individuals — I’m not one of them — but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios,” she insisted.
Her clumsy, folksy “lot of stock portfolios” statement let her pretend not to be rich, when, in truth, she’s a multimillionaire living in a $5 million house . . . but with stock only in one company.
In the Washington Examiner recently, Byron York explained her nuanced answer to the question of whether she was “going to run for president”:
Warren’s response was, “I’m not running for president.”
That’s the oldest lawyerly evasion in the book. Warren, a former law professor, did not say, “I am not going to run for president.” Instead, she said she is “not running,” which could, in some sense, be true when she spoke the words but no longer true by, say, later this year.
How Clintonian. She pretends not to be wealthy while running on “inequality,” and then — while pitching a campaign book — pretends not to be running for the presidency at all.
And misses the obvious anti-corruption planks: complete, minute-by-minute Web-based congressional investment transparency. And term limits.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.