If she's planning to run for president in 2020, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., may have just shot herself in the foot.
Because if (and admittedly, it's a big if) the U.S. economy keeps up its present pace, President Trump will have a very strong foundation on which to win reelection. Certainly, tax reform will be viewed by many Americans as a resounding success that created jobs, kept more money in more wallets, and improved the nation's long term investment potential.
If so, Warren will have a problem. Because she's come out as one of the leading Democratic voices against tax reform. In an interview with Vice News which aired Tuesday, Warren derided Republican claims that tax reform will boost wages. GOP tax cuts, she said, have always led to wage growth that's as "flat as a pancake." According to the senator, the current tax reform isn't simply bad policy, "It's just delivering one gut punch after another to hardworking people."
Now, let's play a little imagination game and jump ahead to May 2020.
Supported by an alliance of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the donor class, and the liberal intelligentsia, Warren has just secured the Democratic nomination for president.
Then comes the nationwide Trump ad buy.
Booming and bombastic Superman-style statistics fill the TV screen:
"40 months of sustained job growth and real wages up $5,000 over 2016."
"GDP growth up from 2 percent to 4 percent."
"Unemployment down from 4.7 percent to 4 percent."
"Inflation holding low and steady."
We jump to a clip of Trump addressing a jubilant rally: "They said it couldn't be done, but we are making America great again! And together we are going to so much more, like you can't even believe!" the president roars.
A rising image of Elizabeth Warren fills the screen. The narrator speaks solemnly, "Some never believed it was possible. Here's what Elizabeth Warren said President Trump's tax reform would mean for your wages."
The narrator continues, "And here's what Elizabeth Warren said President Trump's tax reform would mean for American families."
We jump back to Trump at his rally. The president, perhaps with a reference to "Pancake Pocahontas," offers a blistering rebuke of his opponent and says, "That gut punch felt pretty good, right?"
The screen fades out with the Trump-Pence 2020 logo: "Let's make America even greater!"
Perhaps Warren will be proved right, but I doubt it.