The first time I became aware of Elizabeth Warren was when she was a guest on The Daily Show in 2009. I listened to what she had to say about finance reform, turned to Ken, and said, “I would vote for her if she ever ran for President.” At that time, I was just as convinced as I had been in 1998 that Hillary Clinton would never be elected President (especially after her failed 2008 campaign) because she just had too much baggage. Fast forward 7 years, and we all know where we are today: Warren is now a Senator, and there are many others who would also vote for her; I was dead wrong about Hillary (who now has even more baggage); and I’m more convinced than ever that Elizabeth Warren would make an excellent President, despite her lack of experience (what experience did Obama have, after all?)
I was very excited when Warren ran for Senate and won against Scott Brown in 2012. And by that time, she was a liberal darling, which made me happy and hopeful. I was more than disappointed when Warren kept insisting that she wasn’t going to run in 2016, so I felt strangely validated to read an opinion piece in the Orange County Register (of all places!) a few weeks back called, “Warren could have averted Democrats’ ‘hold your nose’ election.” The article says pretty much everything I feel about the Democratic nominees (Bernie is a strident, one-note candidate; Hillary has done so much I can’t feel good about). Although I encourage you to read the whole thing, this paragraph pretty much sums it up: “’Americans are not satisfied with their choices in 2016,’” concluded Raymond D. Strother, a political consultant who worked on Bill Clinton’s gubernatorial campaigns and Gary Hart’s presidential run. “’The solution for Democrats in this “hold your nose election” was always in front of them, Elizabeth Warren. I would call her the Hill/Bern candidate, a perfect blend of policy and integrity. She would have blown away the field.’” Sigh. Oh well.
Thursday in Politico.com, I read another article about Elizabeth Warren which makes me again hopeful: “Between Warren’s powerful fundraising chops and the potential for a Donald Trump candidacy to push Senate seats into Democratic hands, the next Senate could see a whole new power bloc with Warren at the head.” Some people speculate that Clinton will pick Warren as a running mate, (somewhat doubtful, I think, and I don’t know if that would even be a good idea), but anyone looking at the aftermath of the 2014 elections (2010 really) can have no doubt that Warren can probably do more good at this point by helping Democrats take back the Senate and getting them to come out to vote.
It is a crazy election year. This past week shocked Republicans and Democrats alike when Ted Cruz and John Kasich both dropped out of the race. I hope that galvanizes even the most jaded American to vote instead of sitting out in protest on election day. In my fantasies, someday we’ll have to choose between two excellent candidates who won’t throw America under the bus (think Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits in The West Wing). In the meantime, I’m supporting Elizabeth because she gives me hope that there’s a future to believe in.