Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren won't run for president "unless lightning strikes," according to The Daily Beast's Eleanor Clift
. But she has every intention of becoming a political power broker on financial issues and a left-wing populist voice on economic matters.
With surveys showing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a commanding lead over the rest of the potential Democratic primary field, Warren would face a huge uphill battle if she sought the party's presidential nomination.
A more achievable goal is for Warren "to influence the debate and move Clinton as the nominee to a more populist left" by using her Senate position "to inflame or blow up issues to advance her agenda," Clift writes.
Warren's opposition to the nomination of investment banker Antonio Weiss to a senior Treasury Department post has delayed the appointment and created bad blood with the Obama White House.
But by doing so, she's sent a message to the administration and other Democrats that they will pay a price if they try to keep her out of the loop on future nominations.
Among Warren's objections are the $20 million "parachute" Weiss received in leaving Lazard, a financial management company, and his role in shaping Burger King's inversion deal
— which includes moving to Canada to escape high U.S. taxes.
Aides say Warren sees her role as speaking out on behalf of Americans who cannot afford to hire expensive lobbyists and do not receive multimillion-dollar golden parachutes when they switch jobs. They point out that she has voted for many people from Wall Street, including Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
"It's not a litmus test; it's more like a balance issue," an aide said in explaining her position on Weiss. "You put it all together and it’s just too much."
Clinton has not taken a position on the Weiss nomination, and the fight over it will long be over by the time she announces her candidacy, most likely in the spring.
Warren is "playing a long game," Clift writes. "If there is another Democratic President, and its Clinton, she wants some say over who is the next Treasury Secretary, and who gets all those big policy-making jobs."
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