There are 2020 Dems who believe things. And other 2020 Dems who just strategically shift and rebrand to play the field.
Warren, a former Republican who glommed on to free marketers once upon a time, is as bad an example as Joe Biden. And, formerly, Warren tried to distinguish herself from Bernie Sanders by positioning herself as a moderate, not a socialist.
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said Saturday that she is not a Democratic Socialist, drawing a line between herself and her Senate colleague and 2020 opponent Bernie Sanders whose views draw frequent comparisons between the two.
"Bernie has to speak to what Democratic Socialism is," replied Warren, who represents Massachusetts in the Senate.
"And you are not one?" Giridharadas asked."I am not. And the centrists have to speak to whatever they are doing. What I can speak is to is how I am doing," Warren said.
She continued: "All I can tell you is what I believe. And that is there is an enormous amount to be gained from markets. That markets create opportunities."
That was back in March.
Moderation didn't work so well for Warren. Releasing a whole bunch of five-year-plans for socialist everything, including government internet, did. And here's a telling moment from Iowa where one of her supporters all but pleads with her to deny that she's a socialist, and she doesn't.
Ron Rosmann, 69, whose family farm in Harlan, Iowa, hosted a Warren visit Thursday, warned the senator she was losing the messaging battle against Republicans.
"The press right away brands you as a socialist, and I know how that goes over in rural areas. With healthcare and all that, they're going to say, 'Well, you know, socialism was in my early lifetime associated with communism.' We know why we grew up with all that kind of thinking, and rural people have long memories," Rosmann said.
Warren, in response, defended her campaign, including its calls for "Medicare for all" and generous student debt forgiveness programs.
"I didn't hear it as a concern about the actual policies. I heard it as a concern about the name-calling. And that when you hear the actual policies, folks say, 'Oh, no, I'm in favor of that,'" Warren told reporters afterward. "I think this is really about the truth wins out, you get out and talk about what you really fight for, what you really stand for. It matters."
Warren could have repeated her denial that she's a socialist. Instead she dismissed that as namecalling and made the traditional socialist argument that Americans actually like socialism and that if you tell them they're getting free stuff, they'll be in favor of it.
Socialism, they insist, has a branding problem.
That's effectively what Warren said, while carefully avoiding the use of the 'S' word.
Warren isn't yet ready to call herself a socialist. instead she tries to have it both ways, releasing socialist plans while refusing to use the word.
But she's no longer denying it.