Friday, July 25, 2014

Progressives Should Stop Pushing Warren To Run For Prez

 Regular readers of this blog will know I am a progressive, and proud of it. Most of the time I have little patience for conservatives and/or moderates who call themselves Democrats. But having said that, I'm probably going to make a lot of my progressive brothers and sisters upset with this post.

That's because I am serious about the headline of this post -- I honestly think progressives are making a mistake by continuing to push Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. First and foremost because Sen. Warren has said repeatedly that she does not want to run. She even repeated this again last week to the Boston Globe, saying:

“I’m going to give you the same answer I have given you many times. There is no wiggle room. I am not running for president. No means no.”

If there's one thing I am sure of about Sen. Warren, it is that she is a woman of her word. If she says she will (or won't) do something, then you can take that to the bank -- because that is what is going to happen. Anyone who truly respects Sen. Warren surely can't believe she is lying, or even worse, teasing the progressive Democrats.

And frankly, I don't think Sen. Warren could win in 2016 -- neither the Democratic nomination nor the general election. She simply is not well enough known to most Americans, and has not yet convinced them that she can be trusted to lead this country.

Hillary Clinton has established that trust with the American people (as poll after poll shows us). Clinton will not only easily win the Democratic nomination (no matter who runs against her), but she is the odds-on favorite to win the general election. And that is important, because we must keep the Republicans from winning back the White House in 2016. Any of the current Republican nominees would be a disaster for the economy and the country.

Is Hillary Clinton as progressive as Sen. Elizabeth Warren? No. Sen. Warren (and Sen. Sanders) are by far the most progressive politicians in Washington. But Clinton is, I believe, more progressive than most people currently give her credit for (and more progressive than her husband, Bill). And I honestly believe that if Clinton is elected, and given a Democratic Congress to work with, that she will get the economy back on track by raising the minimum wage, strengthening unions, passing a substantial jobs program, rebuilding our infrastructure, and helping hurting Americans get back on their feet.

We need to remember that right now the American people don't have much more faith in Democrats than they do Republicans. They are angry with both parties. But if Clinton can get the economy back on track (and keep us out of any new wars), that will restore the public's faith in the Democratic Party -- and if will set up an opportunity for an even more progressive Democrat to run in the future.

Don't get me wrong. I think Sen. Elizabeth Warren would make a great president -- and I would like to see her run for and win that office. I just don't think the time is right in 2016. What we need to do right now is unify behind Hillary Clinton, and make sure none of the extremist Republicans (Cruz, Huckabee, Ryan, Paul, Bush, Christie, Perry, etc.) can win in 2016.

(The caricatures of Warren and Clinton above are by DonkeyHotey.)

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