David Frum’s naive delight in what he seems certain is Elizabeth Warren’s completely pure and altruistic populism leads him to insist that she’ll run for president, despite her repeated statements that she will not. He writes,
By now Warren knows (assuming she didn’t know before she arrived there) that the only thing the Senate can offer somebody like her is the velvety asphyxiation of every idealistic hope. If what you like best is the sound of your own voice and the deference of those around you, then a senatorship is a wonderful job. If you’re in politics to accomplish things, the institution must be almost unbearable. Can Warren bear it? The endless talk, talk, talk? The scoldings from White House aides whenever she says or does something they deem unhelpful? The merciless editing of her speech at the next Democratic National Convention —and the surgical exclusion from the innermost council of the party leadership? That’s the “unique role in the national conversation” in which a Hillary Clinton led Democratic party will cast Elizabeth Warren. Warren’s got nothing to gain from staying put in the Senate except drudgery, ineffectuality, and humiliation.
She’s simply too good for the Senate, and her beautiful soul can only be quashed and trampled in the Senate quagmire. The only way to save herself–and America!–is to run against and beat Hillary for the Democrat nomination, and if she is as sincere as Frum believes her to be, she has no other choice but to run. Frum explains:
If a politician expresses ideas that are shared by literally tens of millions of people—and that are being expressed by no other first-tier political figure—she owes it to her supporters to take their cause to the open hearing and fair trial of the nation. It would be negligent and irresponsible not to do so. Elizabeth Warren belongs to that unusual group who stick by their principles even when it might cost them something, including an election. But if you’re willing to lose for your principles, surely you should be willing to try to win for them?
However, what if Warren is not sincere but is, instead, inauthentic?
After all, she claimed to be a Native American to attain favored status, to, in essence, rig the system she claims should not be rigged, and we all remember her “spectacular hypocrisy” over the Cromnibus spending bill.
Noah Rothman at Hot Air makes a further interesting point:
Frum makes a good case, but the only factor he did not appear to consider is the possibility that Warren is as career-minded and ambitious as the next politician. If she is a truly selfless ideologue, she might take Frum’s advice and take a stab at the queen. If she misses, her supporters will find her sacrifice admirable and will respect her for enduring the subsequent consequences. And there will be consequences.
As anyone who didn’t back Clinton in 2008 and found themselves on her “enemies list” will attest, the former first family has a long memory. An attempt to unseat Clinton from her present perch as the Democratic heir apparent to Barack Obama will not be forgotten. If Warren lunges at Clinton and misses, she can expect the remaining three years of her term to be especially frustrating. What’s more, as Frum suggests, Warren is unlikely to be able to retain her present status as progressive icon until 2020. Is that risk worth a presidential bid? Maybe not.
In 2020, Warren will be 71 years old, not exactly a fresh-faced icon of all that is young and hopeful in progressive land, and one’s status as potential POTUS does have a shelf life (just ask Chris Christie). This may be her only, best, and last chance to run for president.
Will she or won’t she? And can we use her decision as a measure of her dedication to her principles as Frum seems to imply?DONATE
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