Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Could Elizabeth Warren lead a progressive insurgency against Hillary in 2016?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It's one of the speculative non-stories du jour, if still an enticing one, and, as Scott Lemieux over at LG&M writes, Noam Scheiber says yes while Jamelle Bouie says, er, not so much. Lemieux hopes that the former is right but agrees with the latter:

[W]hile I take Scheiber's point that it's too early to declare anyone inevitable, it's just going to be very difficult for anyone to beat Clinton. Clinton is a much more popular figure than Christine Quinn, so I don't think the de Blasio example gets you very far. Since I don't see a better possible candidate to challenge Clinton at this point, I hope Warren runs, but she'd have to be considered a massive underdog against Clinton.

I agree.

I want to win in 2016, and so Hillary seems like the obvious pick, and I'll back her if she wins the Democratic nomination, of course, but I have my concerns, as I did with Bill, not least because of her Republican-friendly centrism and the cadre of corporate cronies that make up so much of the Clinton inner circle, and ideally would like to see a more progressive nominee or at least for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party to have more influence in the party, particularly after the less-than-impressive progressivism, to put it mildly, we've seen from Obama thus far.

And I really like Elizabeth Warren.

But let's face it, barring something crazy happening, if Hillary runs, she wins. She's already seen as more or less inevitable, and I suspect that Democrats will jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later -- those that haven't already jumped on, that is.

Still, it would be a shame if Hillary were just crowned the nominee without any serious challenge, whether it's from Warren or some other credible progressive. At the very least, there ought to be a serious discussion of the issues that matter to us, a presentation of the alternatives, before Hillary is selected. That would be healthy for the party and also an important reminder to Hillary that there is more to the Democratic Party than her inner circle of loyalists.

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