Maryann Tobin

On the surface it might seem like Mitt Romney and Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren are polar opposites. Romney is the quintessential conservative Wall Street CEO, and Warren has devoted her public life to championing consumer rights and reigning-in Wall Street. In fact, if there was a Super Hero for liberalism, it would be Warren.

The fact that Warren won and Romney lost in the 2012 election cycle is where their differences converge. The focal point is the American electorate and a changing mood in the country.

After years of being the victims of the Wall Street greed and corruption that reached its pinnacle when the financial system collapsed in 2008, people simply got tired of listening to politicians promising them improvements that never appeared.

Spin can only take a political party so far and this is where the Republican Party failed. You can’t tell 23 million unemployed people and another 15 million living in poverty that the answer to their problems are in voting for a millionaire who wants to take away whatever help the government has provided and give more money to the rich.

That was Romney’s message, without the balloons and party streamers.

The concept might have worked, but for the fact that there are not enough rich white people left in America to elect one of their own to the White House.

Elizabeth Warren is a liberal’s liberal, light years away from the gates of Romney-world.

A defender of the working class, Warren was instrumental in crafting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and was a staunch supporter of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Not surprisingly, her election has Wall Street bankers running scared.

“Lobbyists and trade groups for Wall Street and other major banking players are pressuring lawmakers to deny Warren a seat on the powerful Senate banking committee,” according to Mother Jones.

Elections do have consequences. Warren and Romney symbolize a shift in political fashion. Conservatism is out and liberalism is in. It's all about personal economics, something few Republicans seem to understand.

Romney and the Republicans want to live in an unattainable, unrealistic past. They see civil rights, worker’s rights, and ethnic diversity as unwelcome aspects of the national evolution, instead of part of its strength. That might be because they look at the world from the top-down.

People who work for a living for 30 or 40 years want to retire without spending the rest of their days eating cat food in a trailer park. They don’t mind paying taxes if they get a return on their investment. It’s capitalism, without the vultures.

It turns out that the 2012 election results were not simply about job creation. They were about quality of life.

Romney represented more hardship for more Americans. Warren is an icon of how government can work to protect the middle-class and working poor from people like the latest failed GOP presidential nominee.


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