Biden/Warren 2016? Veep's Meeting With Liberal Senator Could Signal Presidential Campaign Power Play
Will Elizabeth Warren Endorse Joe Biden For Prez?
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Could Win Big by Allying With Joe Biden
Before U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) became a progressive phenom on the presidential campaign trail, Elizabeth Warren was a household name. Warren, a former Harvard professor and government appointee for consumer financial protection, became a Democratic rising star in 2012 as she sought, and won, a U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts. In fact, despite being a political rookie, she has been lauded as the most powerful progressive in America. Some even think she could jump into the presidential race and become the Democratic frontrunner.
News from Washington reveals that Warren might actually be jumping into the presidential race...as a supporter of vice president Joe Biden. Biden, who has been mulling a 2016 presidential bid as embattled Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton falters under the weight of scandal, reportedly met privately with Warren at his Naval Observatory residence. This, of course, is bad news for Hillary Clinton.
Should Joe Biden choose to run for president, he will immediately steal away support from Clinton, who is the current favorite of the Democratic Party establishment. A meeting with Warren substantially increases the likelihood that Biden will run, as the meeting probably dealt with political strategy and branding. An endorsement by Warren, who is immensely popular, would be political gold. Pundits are undoubtedly wondering whether the private Biden-Warren meeting signals a possible endorsement of Biden by the progressive rising star.
A Warren endorsement of Biden could increase Biden's support among women voters and progressive Democrats, both of which are largely allied with Clinton and Sanders, respectively. And, should Warren potentially be a running mate of Biden, his support from those groups of voters would be amplified. Women who support Clinton due to identity politics may be willing to switch their allegiance to Joe Biden if he hints that he will make Warren his running mate, thus ensuring that a woman cracks another glass ceiling.
Liberal democrats who are unsure of Bernie Sanders' viability in a general election contest may support a Biden/Warren ticket on the grounds that it puts a true progressive that much closer to the Oval Office.
Admittedly, even with a public statement that Warren would be his running mate, Biden stands little chance of clinching the Democratic nomination. Though he would likely erase Clinton's lead, Sanders' supporters are unlikely to be swayed. Many Clinton supporters, after becoming "free agents" when given a chance to choose between Clinton and Biden, the two establishment candidates, are likely to eventually support Sanders. It is likely that Biden's entry into the Democratic race will merely "dislodge" Clinton support...but not cleanly transfer it. A good portion of the dislodge, rather than going to Biden, will go to Sanders.
Warren, however, may be willing to endorse Biden in order to further her own presidential ambitions. As a rookie, she may have sat out the 2016 race in order to bide her time. Being on Biden's team gives her valuable experience, contacts, and inroads with donors and fundraisers. Warren may have avoided allying herself with either Clinton or Sanders in order to keep her options open. Biden seems to be a rather "neutral" Democratic candidate who will not solidify or damage Warren's future reputation.
Had Warren allied herself with Clinton, she might have damaged her populist rapport. Had Warren allied herself with Sanders, she might have damaged her potential to win the support of the Washington insiders. By allying herself with Biden, who is widely seen as a good and decent man, though not the savviest of campaigners, Warren's reputation remains largely unchanged. She is still a progressive, but she also has ties to the Washington insiders. She gets the experience without the baggage.
Given the advanced ages of both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren could run for president in 2020 without raising too many eyebrows. Perhaps this is her intention.