One of my biggest issues with liberals lately has been this belief that Hillary Clinton is terrible and our only salvation for liberalism is Senator Elizabeth Warren – even though Warren has said repeatedly that she’s not going to run for president.
Listen, I love Elizabeth Warren. She is probably my favorite politician. But the bottom line is, her strengths aren’t suited for being president. I go back something a gentlemen said to me a few years back, “Just because someone is a great salesperson, that doesn’t mean they’ll be a great sales manager.” Their point being, just because someone is really great at one thing doesn’t mean they’ll be really good at another. It takes a different set of skills to be a salesperson than it does to lead a group of them.
What liberals need is someone like Hillary Clinton in the White House, and Elizabeth Warren leading the Senate.
Let me explain.
First, Hillary isn’t anything close to an “ultra-liberal” – but that doesn’t mean she can’t be pulled more to the left. Ultimately, no matter who is elected president in 2016, they’re going to be tied to whatever Congress they’re given. It doesn’t matter if it’s Clinton or Warren, if Republicans completely control Congress nothing “liberal” is getting passed – period.
But what Hillary Clinton has that Elizabeth Warren doesn’t is over two decades dealing with Republican bullcrap. She’s not going to take their nonsense with a smile on her face – something I feel President Obama has done far too often. While Republicans my loathe her (and while they’ll never admit it) they’re well aware that Hillary Clinton comes with a ton of political capital. And while liberals can deny whether that matters all they want, the fact remains that political capital is extremely important in politics.
In my opinion, Hillary Clinton would be the ideal president to have with someone like Elizabeth Warren leading Democrats in the Senate.
Warren as a leader in the Senate can say and do things that a president could not. She can focus on changing the Senate, pushing through groundbreaking progressive ideas which, in turn, changes the presidency. As president, she could never do that. She would be stretched too thin, and be too “tied to the office,” to fight for the changes we need to see in this country.
However, Hillary Clinton is a much different kind of leader.
She’s someone who needs people below her feeding her ideas, giving her something for which she can fight, because she’s not an idealist – but she is a damn good fighter.
Ultimately, the reason why I think Hillary Clinton is better for liberals is because she’s the person Elizabeth Warren can’t be – and that’s a good thing. I’ve maintained from the very beginning that Warren’s best suited for the Senate. She’s someone whose strengths are in her ability to shape legislation that can bring about real change and reform to this country. Hillary Clinton is that perfect person to take on Republicans, fighting for that great piece of legislation. Because while liberals often bash Hillary for not being “liberal enough,” let’s not forget that as First Lady she was one of the biggest fighters for health care reform long before President Obama officially signed the Affordable Care Act into law.
So let’s not act as if she’s unable to be liberal. In many ways, Hillary Clinton redefined what it meant to be First Lady.
But what Hillary Clinton can ultimately be is that person Republicans fixate on, leaving Elizabeth Warren free to use her talents to bring about the change we need in this country. Hillary is that person who can stand there unfazed by whatever it is Republicans throw at her, playing the part of the “bad guy” if need be, while Warren and a new wave of congressional progressives continue to push this country toward a new day and age of true liberalism and prosperity.
Because while many liberals might not want to admit it, heading into what is sure to be a brutal eight year stretch of politics between 2016 and 2024, Hillary Clinton is exactly the kind of fighter we’re going to need in the face of what’s becoming flat-out terrifying right-wing policies.
So, while I know Hillary’s far from perfect, I do believe that a combination of her as president and Warren as our progressive warrior in the Senate is exactly what we need. And as long as liberals show up to vote in 2016, I believe that’s exactly what we’re going to get.
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