The rhetoric of class and inequality is back in force, and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren -- the standard-bearer for a combative new progressivism -- made the case to MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell last night that members of the Senate shouldn't own stock.
“I realize there are some wealthy individuals – I’m not one of them, but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios" she told him.
Hard to see how Warren wouldn't be, by most standards, wealthy, according to the Personal Financial Disclosure form she filed to run for Senate shows that she's worth as much as $14.5 million. She earned more than $429,000 from Harvard last year alone for a total of about $700,000, and lives in a house worth $5 million.
She also has a portfolio of investments in stocks and bonds worth as as much as $8 million, according to the form, which lists value ranges for each investment. The bulk of it is in funds managed by TIAA-CREF.
Warren would not, of course, be particularly wealthy by the tony standards of the Senate. But she's also unlikely to draw the sort of popular identification with her financial status that might attach to Marco Rubio, whose home is underwater.
And efforts to pass herself off as one of the 99% for whom she aims to speak appear likely to backfire.
UPDATE: Warren spokesman Kyle Sullivan emails, "Elizabeth was making the point that, unlike many members of Congress, she does not have a broad portfolio of stocks in individual companies. If elected, she'll get rid of the one stock she does own."
Warren's stock, an aide says, is all in mutual funds, with the exception of holdings in IBM which she has had for decades.