Their reputation for irony notwithstanding, the British sometimes have startlingly counterintuitive names for products and companies. For example, we wouldn’t seriously call a betting organization “Ladbrokes” in America, even if the second syllable is supposed to sound like “brooks.” (But then, America has a city that sounds suspiciously like “lost wages.”) It’s a name made somewhat less ludicrous by the fact that this very betting organization may well have just told me who the next President of the United States is going to be.
Never mind the polls, ask a bookie. According to the British tout Ladbrokes, Elizabeth Warren has just surpassed Joe Biden as the next Democratic nominee for President, by 9/4 odds. Joe stands at 11/4, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris are tied for third at 6/1.
Meanwhile, Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council, said Sunday on Meet the Press that he saw some “really blockbuster numbers” in the current economy and he didn’t see a recession coming. Parroting the same Republican water-carrying drivel he parroted in 2007, just ahead of the second worst economic downturn in American history, Kudlow insisted, “What recession? I don’t see a recession.” But, just in case, to hedge his bets against the possibility of an actual recession, Kudlow scapegoated the Fed for rate hikes, so he’ll have something other than Trump to blame.
Compare and contrast Kudlow, on the other hand, with Elizabeth Warren. Back in 2007, when Kudlow was singing the praises of George W Bush’s “wonderful economy,” Warren stood alone and opposite to virtually all other prognosticators with her sober and sobering analysis of how things really looked. Warren noticed that credit card defaults were up 55% in just seven years, mortgage foreclosures up 45%, bankruptcies up 33%, and adding the poignant human touch, she commented on polls disclosing the fact that America’s number one New Years’ resolution, for the first time ever, overtaking even the pledge to lose weight, was the resolution to pay off some debt.
Today Elizabeth Warren is intoning again her 2007 caveats. She noted in a recent tweet the growing household debt, corporate debt and a growing manufacturing recession. Nor does it help that the average American today is in over $5,000 in credit card debt, with no end in sight.
When she speaks, Elizabeth Warren sounds like a woman who actually knows what she is talking about. Her overtake of Joe Biden comes as a relief, because when Biden speaks he always sounds like he’s just one flub away from a disastrous misstatement.
The signs may be too early to be hopeful, but perhaps the absurd narrative that only a man is electable against Donald Trump, particularly when one considers how thoroughly Hillary Clinton trounced Trump in the popular vote, may no longer hold sway. Of course we must vote, and vote enthusiastically, for whoever the Democratic nominee turns out to be. But America has had 45 male presidents, it’s long overdue that we make the 46th a woman.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.