Monday, July 21, 2014

Everywhere you look...

...all of a sudden, conservatives seem to be just dying for Sen. Elizabeth Warren to make a run for the White House in 2016. (Some liberals, too).  And why wouldn't they? Republicans feel the need to put up some roadblocks in front of the former First Lady, senator from New York and secretary of state. As I've mentioned before, absent a recession, Hillary is a lock for 2016. Who in the GOP can beat her, Rand Paul? Please.

So in the hope of bloodying her a little, conservatives are pushing the idea, that, yeah, Sen. Warren should run for president. Yeah, that's the ticket! (Scott Conroy is the latest.)

Now as someone who keeps moving left as he gets older (go figure), I think Warren would make a terrific president (except for the fact that she has no foreign policy experience). What she does have, ironically, is cojones, which seem to be in short supply in both parties.

Ms. Warren, unfortunately, also bears a close resemblance to another Democratic standard-bearer, George McGovern. Remember him? He carried exactly one state (and the District of Columbia) in the 1972 presidential election, against a guy who was later run out of office. Warren could suffer a similar fate. So it's no mystery why the GOP is positively salivating at the prospect of her winning the nomination.

Am I looking forward to the Hillary Coronation? Not especially. Like most Democrats, though, I'm more interested in keeping the White House than in who exactly inhabits it. (Unlike the other party, we're not into suicide -- yet.) Do I think Hillary would make a good president? Absolutely. (And, just like Theodore Roosevelt did, I'll bet she moves further left as her two terms progress; it's in her political DNA.) Do I like the idea of a Warren candidacy in 2016? Mostly no. (Let's not shoot ourselves in the foot like the tea party base of the Republican Party has for the last five years.) But is there any advantage at all for a Warren run in 2016? Yes, and John Dickerson points out several in his piece in Slate.  But the most important reason is one he didn't mention: a Warren primary challenge would ultimately make Hillary look that much more centrist in the general, even against an establishment candidate like Chris Christie or Jeb Bush.

So, go ahead, Sen. Warren, give it a shot. Just don't win.

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