Elizabeth Warren Could Threaten Hillary from Left in 2016

Image: Elizabeth Warren Could Threaten Hillary from Left in 2016

Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 09:32 PM

By Greg Richter

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It isn't Republicans such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should fear if she chooses to run for president in 2016, writes Noam Scheiber of The New Republic.

Instead, she should keep a wary eye on fellow Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

Warren, currently serving as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, represents the more socialist wing of the party, which is growing in popularity among Democrats under 30, Scheiber writes, citing a recent Pew poll.

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Clinton represents the "Democratic elites" associated with her husband's presidency, who moved left in support of the economic stimulus and larger unemployment benefits of President Barack Obama, though they still think the economy needs a "large, powerful, highly complex financial sector."

But socialists have held the upper hand recently, Scheiber says. He cites New York City Public Advocate and former Sandinista activist Bill de Blasio's capturing of the New York City mayor's race, Larry Summers' forced withdrawal from consideration as chairman of the Fed, and former Obama chief of staff and JP Morgan executive Bill Daley's dropping out of the Illinois governor's race over bad polls.

These are bad omens for Clinton, Scheiber argues.

He describes Clinton's likely Democratic challenger as someone from the socialist wing of the party who likely would be a woman, since Democrats would want to follow up the historic election of the nation's first black president with another historic first. She would also need to be able to raise vast sums of money.

"As it happens, there is precisely such a person," Scheiber says. "Her name is Elizabeth Warren."

But Warren also strikes fear into the hearts of her fellow Democrats, he says. Clinton is a team player, and is therefore predictable. For that matter, Cruz, on the Republican side is also predictable as he bucks his party's leadership. With Warren, they never know what they'll get.

She entered the Senate seeming to defer to party leaders, but at her very first hearing as a member of the Senate Banking Committee, she pounced on bank regulators, saying, “Tell me a little bit about the last few times you’ve taken the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street all the way to a trial."

"The question, though eminently reasonable, violated an unstated rule of committee protocol, in which members of Congress are allowed to rant and rave at length but generally abstain from humiliating appointees, especially from their own party," Scheiber writes.

Schieber notes that most presidential race watchers don't expect Warren to run, as it would most likely be a suicide mission. But her past has shown that, like Cruz, she cares less about her own political ambition than she does about her mission. In her case, she wants to advance her economic agenda for what she believes will ease the burden on the middle class.

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