“I don’t think there’s anyone out there who can break out of just that left coalition like Warren could,” says the operative, who hopes to work for Hillary again. “She’s got a real message tailored to the middle-class and working-class people.” [TNR]
IT’S HARD to know what’s a bigger barometer for what’s going on in politics right now, as President Obama’s approval slips lower, his disapproval rating mounting. Someone finally writing what I’ve been foreshadowing for months, seen in Noam Scheiber’s Elizabeth Warren profile. Or Joe Scarborough playing the age card on Hillary Clinton today, as John Heilemann and Mark Halperin easily dismantle the latest political flatulence on cable about Clinton. This time that Democrats are whispering to MSNBC’s morning talking head that Hillary may not be running in 2016.
The idea that Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to openly challenge Hillary Clinton the most absurd prospect imaginable, if only because the battle on the Republican side is already shaping up to be the gift of all 2016 gifts for Democrats. Though there was no doubt that anyone writing about this fictional battle would certainly get attention.
I’m also more than a bit amused that Noam Scheiber comes at this without acknowledging the respect Democratic females have for Hillary Clinton, having signed a letter encouraging her to run. If he had closely watched what goes on among women in Congress he’d understand that girl on girl political fights isn’t something women are enamored over, as we still try to gain a foothold on the seats of power. But boys will be boys and they will hoist on to women the same ego driven testosterone battles, even if females have shown to be completely different in their views towards leadership.
Jay Newton-Small did an important article during the shutdown that Noam Scheiber should have read, except that this isn’t about reality. It’s about giving progressives a voice and publicly airing what’s going on behind the scenes, which is important, but should be done honestly, not through subterfuge, intrigue and the hopes of a political war that is nonexistent.
Close political alliances have developed among several of the women. Boxer has taken a special interest in Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren “” both are liberal firebrands. Democrat Claire McCaskill, who hails from a red state and faced a tough re-election campaign last year, made a point of courting Republican friendships early on. Sometimes those friendships trump party: Ayotte refused to campaign for fellow Republican Todd Akin, McCaskill’s opponent in 2012, and pointedly condemned him when he started sharing his theories about how women’s biology offers a natural defense against pregnancy from “legitimate” rape.
In private and public, strict rules of civility are enforced. At one recent dinner, Warren brought up antiabortion bills pending in the House, railing against Republicans for their “war against women.” Her complaint was greeted with admonitions from her fellow Democrats: We don’t talk about partisan issues here. Two of the 20 women are pro-life: Ayotte and Nebraska Republican Deb Fischer.
Perhaps Hillary Clinton will defy her own history of always answering the call to service, which has already gone out to her from Democratic female senators, including Senator Warren, and not run in 2016. Who could blame her if she didn’t? It won’t be because of her age, so let’s hope Joe Scarborough’s sexist insult today won’t be repeated.
It also won’t be because of progressive activists, who remain, at the very least, highly skeptical of Hillary Clinton, with Noam Scheiber’s column pretending to profile Elizabeth Warren, when it’s really about someone finally giving progressives the voice they have wanted in public, which mimics private conversations understandably going on in all levels.
From Scheiber, the bottom line of the entire piece, which may be making the case for Warren, but the foundation comes from this:
And then there’s the way Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses so perfectly align with the passions of the moment. “There’s very much a wait-and-see approach to Hillary among progressives,” says Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “I think it’s mutually exclusive to be a real hero for reform and accountability and to have a [fund-raising] strategy that relies on Wall Street.” A financial reform activist is more blunt: “Unless there is some major public break by Hillary Clinton with this disreputable crowd, then everybody will have to think long and hard before they support her as president. We do not need yet another administration packed full of Wall Street”“friendly politicians.” – Noam Scheiber [TNR]
Senator Elizabeth Warren most represents where Hillary Clinton ended her 2008 campaign. Remember fighting Hillary standing out in the rain? After Clinton began running behind Obama in delegates something happened. Hillary began fighting for the nomination, looking nothing like where she started, which began with sitting in her Chappaqua home on a beautiful sofa answering web questions. She was fighting for middle class families and railing about the plight of blue collar workers. Many die hard fans remember it well, because every one of them started wondering what might have been if Hillary had started her campaign like this.
There is no one who remembers the mistakes of 2008 more deeply than Hillary Clinton.
Since leaving the State Department, she has already staked out liberal ground on gay rights and voting rights, and she recently used the word “progressive” so many times in a single speech it was tempting to describe her condition as “severe.”
If Hillary decided not to run in 2016, though I believe she will because she must, as I’ve written before, there is no doubt in my mind that another female would emerge in the Democratic Party to take up the charge. There are others beyond Elizabeth Warren, which anyone paying attention knows to be true, even if Warren would be a progressive favorite.
“I know three other women [besides Hillary] who would be very credible primary candidates. But none of them is going to challenge Hillary. . . . These women are not stupid.” If Clinton took a pass, on the other hand, many believe Warren would be difficult to beat, and the pressure to run could be irresistible.
Back in 2008, when Hillary Clinton announced, I was against any inevitability cloak, because I didn’t think she was inevitable then.
Today, Hillary Clinton is the most formidable candidate, who also happens to be a woman with the resume that bests most of the men I’ve voted for over many decades. That in no way makes her inevitable and shouldn’t. Challenges are important and make politicians stronger, more accountable and help people align behind the best nominee.
One thing that’s missing in Schieber’s profile of Elizabeth Warren also happens to give away his purpose, which is a traffic driver, as well as finally putting the progressive temperature into the political dialogue. It’s that Senator Elizabeth Warren would be very important in the Senate should Hillary Clinton prevail as the nominee and go on to be president.
Of course, like President Obama did with Hillary, Elizabeth Warren might be asked to join any Clinton cabinet, simply because inside an Administration she’d have a different role than if she stayed in the Senate to continue her purpose, as Warren has stated herself: “I know what I am in Washington to do: I’m here to fight for hardworking families.”
If fighting Hillary shows up in 2016, Senator Elizabeth Warren will be Clinton’s closest ally, which is likely the relationship that will be built.
Absolutely nobody in the Democratic Party, including Senator Warren, wants to take the value of a Clinton candidacy, which is obvious to everyone, including smarter progressives, and turn it into a ideological dogfight, as the Republican establishment battles the Tea Party in what will likely be another Roman spectacle.
The purpose of any challenge to a potential Hillary Clinton nomination should be to make her stronger, by inspiring her to fight like she did at the end of the 2008 campaign.
Republicans and the right are already preparing to tear into her, beginning with Benghazi. Though as “60 Minutes” learned, it’s not as potent a weapon as people think. Talking to the converted, the people already against Hillary Clinton, is not how they’ll beat her.
Hillary Clinton’s “nightmare” may be in fact Chris Christie, not Elizabeth Warren. Looking at his skeletons, so aptly mentioned in the book Double Down, he just as easily could be a sweet target.