Kate McKinnon's Elizabeth Warren impersonation on SNL has a raspy southern accent and a lot of swagger. She's what Warren would be if her attitude matched her high polls numbers: cocky, trash-talking, and quick to point out the dumb pundit hand-wringing over her candidacy. On Saturday night, McKinnon played Warren addressing an Iowa auditorium fresh off the unveiling of her new health care plan: "Look at me, I'm in my natural habitat, a public school on a weekend."
She starts off with a tribute to the fallen: "First I would like to pour one out for Beto O'Rourke who just dropped out of the race. Thank you so much fro running a great campaign and for sticking around long enough to call me 'punitive.' That was so badass. Lemme know how my dust tastes, alright?"
From there it turns pretty quickly into questions about universal health care, and, of course, costs. There's a solid jab on Biden skating past any questions like this ("No one asks how we're gonna pay for 'remember Obama'"), and her response to a question about whether her plan would cost $20- or $30-odd trillion is actually brilliant: "Let me stop you right there, we're talking trillions. You know, when the numbers are this big, they're just pretend. There ain't no Scrooge McDuck vault. You ready to get red-pilled? Money doesn't exist. It's just a promise from a computer."
McKinnon-as-Warren starts to really bring the fire after one specific audience question: "How are we going to get swing voters on board with a radical idea like universal health care?" She goes off:
Ooh, way to subtly ask if I'm electable. Careful, that's my kink. You know why lobbyists are so against universal health care? They're afraid you're gonna like it! Cause it's awesome. In Footloose, they banned dancing—they didn't ban broccoli. Look, the bottom line is, people are afraid of change. They only like their current insurance because they already know what it is, not cause it's good. Some things seem scary until you try 'em and find out they're great. Like sushi, or butt stuff.
All of that's the build-up to the real come-to-Jesus moment of the sketch, when she makes an impassioned plea to anyone who feels a personal attachment to their vampire-like private insurance: "Your insurance is like a bad boyfriend. Girl, listen to me. You need to leave him. He's draining you! You deserve better! Dump his ass!"
Julia Ioffe joins Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail, where the surging senator has spent the season overcoming her campaign's wobbly start and getting down to business—trouncing debate foes, climbing in the polls, and somehow making a slew of policy plans feel exciting. Suddenly, she's winning over Democrats by making the grandest ideas sound perfectly sensible, including her biggest pitch of all: That she's the one to beat Trump.
Originally Appeared on GQ