There has been a lot of talk over the winter encouraging a Presidential bid by Senator Elizabeth Warren, the popular freshman progressive. But alas, all indications, including her own words, say she will not seek the Presidency or give Hillary Clinton a challenge in that race.
But progressives in Congress are beginning to clamor for Warren to make another 2016 run, for the leadership of the Senate. Actually, it would be officially a 2017 run after the Congress is sworn, in but the groundwork for whomever is in the running would be done before that ceremony in all likelihood.
Currently, the top candidate for the job is Charles Schumer from New York. The other leading candidate, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois has already endorsed Schumer in a show of centrist solidarity. But if Schumer wins, that doesn’t fare well for anti – Wall St. progressives. Especially if it’s a 1 candidate contest. As a spokesman for Howard Dean’s organization, Neil Sroka said:
If Elizabeth Warren doesn’t run for president, she should definitely run for leader of the Senate. The election for Senate leader is not going to be a slam dunk for any early front-runner, especially someone like Senator Schumer. He’s closer to Wall Street while the Wall Street wing of the party is dying and the Elizabeth Warren wing is rising. It only makes sense that the next leader of the U.S. Senate is either from that wing or deeply understands how to work with that wing.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee added:
Warren’s lifetime of fighting for the little guy against Wall Street power — including her upset victory on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — shows she can think big, wage tough fights against powerful interests, and win key votes in the Senate. She’s the definition of a leader, and that’s why her colleagues and millions of Americans respect her and are inspired by her rise.
Will she run? Hopefully. The progressive wing can use this as an opportunity to take the debate closer to where Warren and other progressives in the Senate and House want it to be vs. the “GOP Lite” version it has gotten under the current leadership of Senator Harry Reid, who is retiring in 2016.
Many feel Schumer would be more of the same.
And even if Warren didn’t win, a strong showing would certainly move the debate on a whole host of issues that liberals and progressives care about. This will be especially true if the Democrats can regain Senate control in 2016 making whomever is leader the majority leader.
Earlier this week, 42 Democratic Senators voted in favor of a measure designed to expand Social Security. Only a few years ago, that vote wouldn’t have even happened. It is because of the influence of the progressive wing and people like Warren that the vote was even considered. With Warren at the helm, and a Democratic majority, a bill like that could surely pass.
And if she doesn’t win the leadership position, there are still several good “deputy leadership” spots available like the Whip. Warren could be effective there too rallying actual votes for actual bills instead of just making speeches about them at fundraising dinners and on the Senate floor.
But personally, i’d rather see her win. It would be incredible to have both the White House and Senate being led by women. And if Nancy Pelosi’s House goes back in Democratic hands, it would be women in all 3 top leadership positions in our federal government. It will be a happy day indeed.