Friday, December 12, 2014

Warren Has Drawn a Line

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is not only a bona fide liberal and a star on the rise, she’s been playing her cards extremely well lately. She’s picked the cause she was born to champion. She’s picked the right time to draw a line on an issue that voters are likely to remember. 

On top of that Warren has been smart enough to bat away all attempts to make her current outspokenness about a particular issue instead about running for president in 2016. This is hardly the best time for Warren to begin striking the limiting pose of a presidential hopeful. (She doesn’t need to.) This way, right now, she owns the Wall Street issue. For Warren to suddenly pivot into a fundraiser mode would be a huge mistake. The line Warren has drawn is clear -- which side are you on?

If Warren eventually does become a candidate for the Democratic nomination, it should happen within the right context. She would be best served by being a late entry, drafted by a nationwide movement. Some aspects of that movement should probably be independent of the Democratic Party.

In other words -- portable. It would be fueled by a burgeoning liberal populism -- get-tough-with-Wall Street and anti-war -- and frustration with the so-called “inevitability” of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. The movement would depend more on social media than establishment media.

Maybe something like that will play out next year. Who knows when Clinton will make her announcement? Maybe other candidates will emerge that will change the dynamics. Next summer we'll have seen what the Republican majority in both houses of Congress will have wrought.

But for right now, with the Senate poised to vote, I’m delighted to see Warren focused on an issue in a way that has the potential to make proper regulation of Wall Street a populist cause modern Democrats will embrace more enthusiastically.

Update (8 p.m.): Warren on the floor of the Senate: "Enough is enough!" 

-- Image from Facebook

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