The beloved Massachusetts Senator could’ve potentially coasted to a primary victory, and her next chance may not come until she’s 75.
Rumors were swirling for months around Elizabeth Warren and whether or not she’d run for the democratic nomination in 2016. In an attempt to quell the fervor, in late March of last year, Senator Warren stated that she had no intention of running for president in the next election. Democrats still held out hope, groups like Ready for Warren and Run Warren Run popped up in the subsequent months, attempting to persuade the senator to reconsider. But it didn’t happen, Warren stuck to her word.
Warren would’ve provided a concrete, middle-ground between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, she’s held an outsider spirit while fighting from within. Liberals adore her: she’s brilliant without being disconnected, and her toughness and tenacity does not outshine her personality—as it often does with Hillary. Moreover, she’s been fighting in the trenches on the same issues that much of the Sanders campaign has run on.
If the rise of Bernie has taught us anything, it’s that income inequality and Wall Street regulation are issues the democratic base (and millennials) care deeply about. She has been a long-time proponent of financial reform, and has become known as a fearless, anti-Wall St. crusader. Her work on TARP and the CFPB has proven she’s not only an outspoken, eloquent leader, but a successful and meticulous legislator—and she doesn’t have half of Hillary’s baggage.
Its impossible to say with any certainty that Warren would’ve been able to topple the significant, albeit shaky, Clinton infrastructure, or that her message would’ve resonated as deeply as Sanders’ has—perhaps she would’ve been lost somewhere in the middle. But it’s unlikely. If she ran, there’s a very good chance Sanders never ascends the way he did, and Warren is able to rake in independents and millennials while offering those in the market for a female commander-in-chief another viable option. And for those who find Bernie’s brand of politics too unconventional and prefer their politicians with a bit more polish, Warren checks that box as well.
We don’t know exactly why Warren decided not to run in this cycle but if either Sanders or Clinton wins the election come November, the window for a Warren presidential bid will likely be closed. She’d be 75 at the completion of two terms. Of course, if Clinton or Sanders are elected and his/her tenure is disastrous, she could potentially mount a primary campaign against the sitting president in 2021. But she’d be 71 at that point, and even if she could win the primary, a semi-decent Republican candidate would likely win the general. Since term limits were introduced, via the 22nd Amendment in 1947, a political party has never held office for more than three consecutive terms. So to go up against an unpopular president in an attempt to right the democratic ship would be a fool’s errand. The Republicans retaking the White House this year is the only scenario that keeps a Warren presidential run truly alive. The inevitable dumpster-fire of a Cruz or Trump presidency could lead to the democratic base collectively rallying behind Warren—but it doesn’t seem likely that either of those candidates would win a general election.
Of course, there’s also the distinct possibility that Elizabeth Warren simply doesn’t want to be president, and that this so-called window or door or whatever metaphor we choose is of no concern to her. She’s accomplished a great deal as senator without having to deal with the 24/hr calamitous, insanity of being POTUS.
If, however a presidential run was in her plans, then this was the year to hop in the ring.
by Jesse Mechanic