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a teachable moment
June 17, 2019

It's been a big week for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

The presidential candidate is gaining momentum, even surpassing her good friend Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in some recent polls, putting her in second place behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries. The Trump re-election campaign is starting to take notice, as well, after dismissing her in the past.

A profile in The New York Times Magazine, pointed out how Warren's penchant for churning out detailed policy plans has helped her appeal to voters. The Times notes that Warren represents an interesting combination — she is, the piece suggests, both a policy wonk and a "force and a symbol." But as a longtime professor, her academic approach is something some voters say she needs to work on in order to create the right balance between those two personas. "It's like teaching class," said Warren, "'Is everybody in here getting this?'"

While Warren has shot up the polls, Biden and Sanders both perform better with non-college-educated white voters. David Axelrod, former President Barack Obama's chief strategist, said that while Warren's ideas may resonate with people, her approach could stand to change. "She's lecturing," Axelrod said. "There's a lot of resistance because people feel like she's talking down to them."

Lola Sewell, a community organizer in Selma, Alabama, agreed. "Maybe she could bring it down a level," Sewell said. "A lot of us aren't involved with Wall Street and those places." Warren, who has only been a politician since 2011, is aware of the issue. "That's what I just struggle with all the time," she said. "How do I do more of this in a way that lets people see it, hear it, and say, 'Oh yeah'." Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

July 24, 2017

Among President Trump's most dramatic campaign promises was his pledge to "drain the swamp," to clear out unethical arrangements and backroom deals of all sorts in Washington, a feat made possible by Trump's outsider status.

Six months into the Trump presidency, Walter Shaub, who this month resigned as director of the United States Office of Government Ethics citing "the current situation," isn't quite sure Trump understands how "drain the swamp" works. He took to Twitter on Monday to offer an explanation:

Trump himself also had "drain the swamp" on his mind while tweeting Monday morning, suggesting that "drain the sewer" might be a more apt phrase:

To spare Shaub some time, let me go ahead and clarify that sewers already have drains — in fact, as this diagram helpfully shows, sewers are a systems of drains — while swamps are natural ecosystems known for their stagnant or slow-moving water. Bonnie Kristian

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