With the simultaneous events of CPAC and the announcement that Hillary Clinton is supportive of marriage equality, there have been the inevitable questions about the next Presidential election. After talking ad nauseam about the Republican Party’s prospects, let’s take a quick look at Team Blue.
The Democrats have one elite challenger in Hilary Clinton and she will be kingmaker (queenmaker?) on who decides to run. In the unlikely event that she demurs on a run, the focus of the Democratic Party will likely be on Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo both who have numerous flaws. Biden might be very well-known now but his propensity to have his foot surgically removed from his mouth could be a deterrent. Cuomo is very much a modern day “New Democrat” who will likely face some scorn from the left.
Other potential candidates such as Brian Schweitzer, Martin O’Malley, Mark Warner, Amy Klobuchar and Deval Patrick lack the immediate star power that would be necessary to mount a serious bid.
So with potential left-wing apathy and a lack of star power in the Democratic Party, where do you turn to? Who would be the most ideal candidate?
Enter Elizabeth Warren, of course.
Warren who has not disappointed the left in her continued attacks on Wall Street bankers and mega corporations continues to be the pre-eminent progressive amongst the netroots. Her presence alongside Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley have been a welcome change for those who grew tired of the continued presence of bankers getting preferential treatment on Capitol Hill.
Naturally, after her defeat of Scott Brown last November, speculation about a 2016 Presidential run has been a pipe dream of many progressives who wish to see a more pragmatic candidate than Hillary or Cuomo. It’s not impossible to defuse either given Warren’s prominence, national political name recognition and her rock star status amongst the most dedicated and fervent party loyalists.
In fact it would be more of a surprise if Warren’s name wasn’t mentioned as one of the top challengers for the Presidency in the next two election cycles.
But should we be expecting or encouraging a national run by the senior senator (technically, yes) from Massachusetts? Would she better off as being on a national ticket (which includes Vice President of course) or should we hope that she stays in the Senate?
Put it this way, if Elizabeth Warren is sitting in the White House in January 2017 (or 2021) it would be a good thing of course. But with the continued gridlocks on Capitol Hill, what good would it serve the public if Warren ceded her Senate seat?
While the Senate is looked down upon for its slow and tedious pace, it is still one of the best ways for a politician to actually help the people. As we’ve seen in her two month term, she already has a penchant for sticking up for the middle class and has been a valued member of the HELP and Banking committees.
Much like Ted Kennedy before her, Warren can stay in the Senate and forge relationships all while gaining seniority and moving up on various committees. She can hone in on Wall Street as she gains more power and the block of her, Sanders, Merkley and Brown could be one of the top alliances in the Senate.
To a lot of people who just see politicians as either national candidates or not, the idea of someone as nationally known as Elizabeth Warren staying put in the Senate is far’fetched. But it’s all about making sure Warren has as much power as possible and her serving as Vice President to a Democratic candidate essentially robs her of any power she could have.
Warren is best as an advocate for the working class, not as a a presiding force over two parties which already has one that has a penchant for manufacturing crisis after crisis.
A President Warren is a very appealing thought to plenty of progressives nationwide but let’s put our priorities in order and just remember that it’s not necessarily about winning elections but about making progress and staying in the Senate is Elizabeth Warren’s best way to help the public more than any President.