Elizabeth Warren’s Foreign Fourth Of July Trip Seen As Bid To Bolster 2020 Presidential Bona Fides

Bay State U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent another Fourth of July visiting troops overseas as she bolsters her foreign policy credentials — a crucial step if she plans on running for president in 2020.

Warren left Iraq and Kuwait yesterday after visiting with military personnel, foreign service officers and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. In a series of tweets, Warren described her trip, praising U.S. troops, but also called for more global effort to help maintain Iraq’s security.

Last year, Warren, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2016, spent the Fourth of July on a trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates along with a bipartisan congressional delegation. And earlier this year, she visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone on a trip to South Korea, Japan and China.

The trips are part of a pattern to provide Warren foreign policy experience that would be necessary for a presidential run, said Republican political consultant Ford O’Connell.

“Obviously she’s trying to put together her foreign policy portfolio in case there’s a opening for her to get the Democratic nomination for the presidency,” O’Connell said. “It’s a smart play.”

Warren’s image is more tied to domestic issues, particularly the economy, O’Connell said, so the trips give her a showcase in an arena she needs to demonstrate her bona fides.

“It’s not something she has a passionate stance on already, like consumer protection, where she feels a certain way,” O’Connell said. “If she runs for president she needs to get her ducks in a row on foreign policy.”

And it gives her an advantage over some — but not all — potential Democratic challengers, O’Connell said.

“Bernie (Sanders) is not that tested on foreign policy ... it gives her a leg up on (California) Sen. Kamala Harris,” O’Connell said. “On the other hand, Joe Biden was vice president ... he has that gravitas.”

Read more from Dan Atkinson at the Boston Herald

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