Elizabeth Warren says she’s not running for President in 2016. As a liberal, I say good. And if I were a conservative, I’d be concerned about this development. Here’s a look at what it means for the upcoming races in both parties, what is says about her specifically, and why she may have just ushered in the era of President Hilary Clinton:
Confession: I love Elizabeth Warren. I love everything about her, from her uniquely populist stance at a time when even most democrats have to give credence to major corporations, to the fact that she just won’t budge when she knows what she’s fighting for is vital. But she wasn’t going to defeat Hillary Clinton in the democratic primary primary. If she ran, it would only divide liberals and make it harder for Hillary to win. By not running, Warren ensures that she can cleanly steer her fans toward voting for Hillary while also forcing Hillary to veer liberal in exchange for getting those votes. That helps ensure the next President is a democrat, meaning the nation stays on a forward track, and means that Warren can continue to use her position in the Senate to carry forward the liberal agenda in conjunction with the White House.
We’ve seen this week just how powerful Elizabeth Warren has become, forcing President Obama to withdraw a regulatory nominee who wasn’t nearly liberal enough to do the job right. It also shows how uncompromising she is when it comes to getting things right – something which she would have had to rein in if she wanted to make herself more appealing to moderate voters who tend to favor the appearance of reason over actual reason. Hillary Clinton, a moderate liberal, already appeals to moderate voters. All she needs is large turnout from liberals, and if she makes enough concessions to Warren, she’ll get those votes as well.
It takes a real patriot to decide not to run for President when you know you’e the best candidate, simply because you also know that by running, you’d be increasing the odds of a terrible candidate winning instead of a pretty good candidate. Elizabeth Warren will never get the glory she deserves. But as we’ve seen throughout history, those who get the toughest decisions right are rarely given the credit for the potential disasters they helped avert.
Hillary Clinton, a proven leader and moderate liberal, in the White House. Elizabeth Warren, a progressive liberal crusader on behalf of the people, running the Senate. As a liberal, I call that a win-win. So what does that mean for my conservative fellow citizens?
It means that the republican party had better hurry up and find itself a candidate who can appeal both to conservatives and moderates. With Hillary Clinton already being popular with moderates, and with liberals now likely to turn out for her in large numbers as well, the republicans need someone who can split the middle vote while motivating conservative voters to turn out in large numbers. That isn’t Jeb Bush, who isn’t seen as conservative enough by far right voters but isn’t seen as palatable by those in the middle either. And it isn’t Mitt Romney, who failed to inspire the center or the right in 2012. Nor is it anyone else currently in the conversation. The GOP now has a relatively short window to find itself an outsider candidate who can take on an Elizabeth Warren-backed Hillary Clinton campaign. That won’t be easy.