It’s Time We Believed Elizabeth Warren. She’s Not Running. And That’s OK


Elizabeth-Warren banking committee

Sure, the thought of Sen. Elizabeth Warren running for President of the United States got me excited there for awhile. Warren is a progressive’s progressive, and I’ve said before right here on PoliticusUSA that in many ways this woman is my hero. Anyone who isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with the big banks in the way that she has is someone who deserves a monument erected in their honor right on the front lawn of the White House. Or maybe even a great big cast iron middle finger stretching toward the sky on Wall Street. Warren has identified and doggedly challenged the same threat to democracy that Teddy Roosevelt took on at the turn of the 20th century when  he made it his business to bust the trusts. All that power and influence in so few greedy little hands was  perhaps the biggest threat to the sustainability of democracy during Teddy Roosevelt’s time, and now here we are over a century later caught in that same trap. And the only high-profile politician making any real noise about this threat, apart from Bernie Sanders, has been Elizabeth Warren.

So sure. How could I not get excited that someone like this would run? Hell, after being alive to witness the election and two-term presidency of Barack Obama, I don’t know if my poor widdle heart would be able to withstand all that joy to follow up eight years of President Obama with another eight of President Warren. It would have been a blast to watch her use Jeb Bush for firewood during the debates.

But Warren is not running. It is not going to happen, and I think it’s time to accept that fact. As my colleague Jason Easley pointed out in his post earlier this week, if Warren had any intentions of running then it’s highly unlikely she would have accepted Hillary Clinton’s personal invitation to come on by the house and chat awhile. I think it’s safe to say they probably weren’t knitting. Clinton wanted to get Warren’s ideas, but she also wanted to clear the field and broadcast the none-too-subtle message nationwide that Warren will not be a factor, nor does she want to be. Warren is not being bullied because, well, good luck with that one. Warren is being courted, and she is being asked in as polite a way as possible if she wouldn’t please oh please mind playing the role of team player for Team Hillary. And by accepting Hillary Clinton’s invitation – combined with every other flaming denial she has issued time and time again – she effectively said that this was fine with her. If there could be a headline attached to that meeting between the two, it could have been, “Warren to Hillary: I’m not your roadblock.”


Because in the end this doesn’t come down to how far ahead the polls say Hillary is over Warren at this early stage of the game because it doesn’t even matter. Hillary hasn’t even formally announced and Warren has done everything short of shoot her supporters in the face to convince the electorate that she’s sitting this one out. So exactly how reliable could such a poll be? Warren wasn’t scared away by those polls any more than she was scared away by the money behind Hillary. It takes more than that to scare Warren. Warren is kinda like Omar in “The Wire” once she sets her sights on something; Warren don’t scare.

What this is about is Warren really not being interested in the presidency, possibly because she doesn’t want the massive headache and has never really had designs on running an entire country, but also because she believes she’s more effective where she is right now. What this is about is acknowledging Hillary’s glaring shortcomings – at least to progressives – but then looking around the room to see who else we (realistically) got. What this is about is acknowledging that not only is Hillary a far better option than any Republican candidate, she just might make a really good president.

Better than her husband.

16 Replies to “It’s Time We Believed Elizabeth Warren. She’s Not Running. And That’s OK”

  1. If it cost a quarter to go around the world I couldn’t get out of sight. But I swear if I’d win the Powerball I’d let her sign the back if she’d promise to run.

    She isn’t a hell raiser, not a loud mouth. When she amplifies her voice it rings of truth and the words fly straight to the heart of the matter. She sees through the shenanigans of the right wing thieves as soon as they finish their sentences.

    She would need a running mate who is half street fighter to block for her so she isn’t wasting time disproving the inevitable lies that would clutter any reasoned discourse.

    Unfortunately, she, like Al Franken, were taken aside and warned that newbies don’t make waves. And who knows what intimidation the Clintons have produced?

  2. I admire Elizabeth Warren so much; however, I admire more that she wants to do the right thing which is being senator and learning the ropes and run for President in 2020. Besides the Republicans would love for her to throw her hat in the ring because she or Bernie Sanders is the only thing that would cause the Democrats to lose in 2016 – to split any kind of vote. Democrats need to have one real strong candidate like Hillary Clinton, not like the Republicans who have 15 super mediocre candidates.

  3. aside the sickening fact of another bush v clinton. is to get hillary in and most important try and get her a majority in the house. but thats a tall order with gerrymandering and gop koch voter suppression. but its a rigged game, the house always wins… and we get f’d.

  4. While I agree with most of your comment. I can not figure out the “not like the Republicans who have 15 super mediocre candidates” part. I would not give them that much credit.

  5. NOOOOOOO, don’t waste her by putting in the VP position. Elizabeth can do the most “damage” right where she is. She, as a freshman Senator, could have a whole line-up of the country’s top bankers quivering in their boots before her questions. She knows what she is talking about and they know it.

  6. Dream ticket for Democrats:

    Hillary Clinton and Julian Castro.

    John Ellis Bush is going to the be the one the Republicans will push into the general election. Why? He speaks Spanish fluently, and he’s married to a Mexican-American. They only need 40% of the Latino vote in order to win the White House, and they’re banking on him.

    With Texas-born Secretary of HUD, Julian Castro, at the top of the ticket, there’s NO WAY Latinos will fall for John Ellis Bush’s Latino connections because they’ll have the real thing.

    We might even win Texas’ 38 electoral votes and you can bet your last dollar, with a Mexican-American at the top of the ticket, one heartbeat away from the White House, Latinos will come out EN MASSE and drag their eighteen year old kids to register and vote as well.

    NO WAY will the Koch Bros Party get that crucial 40% of the Latino vote.

  7. Senator Elizabeth Warren should be made Senate Majority Leader in 2017 when Democrats take back the Senate. Harry Reid is of the old guard, and his friendliness with a changed Koch Bros Party is hurting the move forward in this country. It’s time he’s retired.

    It’s high time Senator Elizabeth Warren becomes our powerful and progressive Senate Majority Leader, especially should Hillary Clinton run and win the presidency with Julian Castro as her VP. [WINK]

  8. The sad fact is that it isn’t about divergent values, it’s about needing enough money to match the “dark side” punch for punch. In the end, it was really decided when the “armchair” Democrat voters, knowing full well that if she became a presidential candidate, Warren’s verbalized need to regulate Wall St. might have negative ramifications for their 401K’s in the short term. Hillary, on the other hand, is a dutiful Wall St. apologist.

  9. Even if, the Dem’s have a good turn out in the next election, I fear, really fear the Koch’s and the rethugs have gerrymandered manipulated and suppressed so much, the election may be over before it takes place.
    The great dream plan of the rethugs may happen in 2016. The idea of a nation for the people, by the people is in danger.
    WAKE UP AMERICA the fire of destruction has grown and will destroy you, UNLESS,the vote is so strong, the rethugs are over turned.

  10. The article is eminently agreeable until the conclusion. I deny that when you look around There Is No Alternative (TINA) to Hillary Clinton. The person who could most benefit from refocusing our attention from someone who does not want to run to someone who does is Bernie Sanders. I think his understanding on what it would take to turn this country around is actually superior to Elizabeth Warren’s. I say that based in part to whom he selected to be his chief economist on the Senate Budget Committee. I know who Stephanie Kelton is, so I know the significance of her selection. If you don’t know who she is, you need to find out.

  11. Elizabeth Ann Warren (née Herring; born June 22, 1949) will be 71 years old in 2020. She’ll be 75 in 2024. If she were ever going to run, this would be the year.

    Bernard “Bernie” Sanders (born September 8, 1941) will be 75 in 2016. I am not completely sure he isn’t too old to run. Although looking at the comparative ages, I suppose Warren could run in 2024.

  12. Unless Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Elizabeth Warren all stand behind Senator Sanders in order to get him the $1 billion necessary to win the White House and to get him the national name recognition he needs, I don’t see how Senator Sanders can win, although I – and I’m guessing, 95% of Americans – agree with him 100% on the issues.

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