Harvard versus Harvard, Larry Summers vs. Elizabeth Warren: The fight, under very chic airs, is fratricidal, a year from the US presidential election. He opposed Bill Clinton's former Secretary of the Treasury (1999-2001) and Harvard President (2001-2006) to the Senator of Massachusetts, who was a law professor at the prestigious university, before incarnating the hopes of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Two left more and more incompatible. At age 64, Summers embodies the reformist Democrats, those of the happy globalization of the Clinton era, who trade with the business community and are well-born (son of economists, he is also the nephew of the Nobel of Paul Samuelson 1970 economy).
Mme Warren, 70, comes from a modest background in Oklahoma, where his mother, a homemaker, took a job because the family home was going to be seized by the creditors. Checked in to the Republican Party until the 1990s, this product of American elitism rocked left all, competing with Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Senator.
"His heart is in the right place"
A nationalization of health insurance and a wealth tax of 6% for billionaires, imagined by two French economists, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, it is too much for Larry Summers who receives us in his office at Harvard, to counter the Warren revolution.
"Revolutionary attempts sometimes turn against the causes of the revolutionariesasserts Mr. Summers. The biggest failures of the progressives were caused by their excessive programs. We saw it with the redistributive plan of Senator McGovern, who suffered the greatest democrat defeat (crushed in 1972 by Richard Nixon by 37% of the votes against 61%) and push back his cause. At the start of his first term, Bill Clinton attempted a universal health program that led to the worst election for Democrats in Congress. As a result, Newt Gingrich's Republicans were able to roll back progress towards more social justice. "
Of course, as a good Democrat, Larry Summers has some kind words for Mme Warren.
"I have no doubt that his heart is in the right place, unlike President Trump, and she would be a much better president than he is. But I'm worried about whether his approach is likely to beat him or whether, on the contrary, it's too focused on enclaves, like Harvard University where it comes from. I worry about his radicalism, which, if he was experienced, would distract many Americans from the progressive cause and could possibly be detrimental to the American economy. "