For the longest time, a lot of people who were not thrilled about a Hillary Clinton candidacy were pleading with Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016. Some went so far as to start the Ready for Warren super PAC in order to try to convince her to get into the race, something Senator Warren repeatedly said she would not do. Now the effort to draft Elizabeth Warren has ended, and Ready for Warren has become Ready to Fight – and they’re endorsing Bernie Sanders.
This morning, Ready for Warren announced that a majority of their supporters asked them to back Bernie Sanders and launched readytofight.org, which will support the Sanders campaign.
According to a source close to the organization, Ready To Fight will advocate for many of the same initiatives as Ready for Warren, which formally ended its effort to draft Warren earlier this month.
Those initiatives include more regulations for Wall Street as well as expanding Social Security and backing Warren’s effort to refinance certain student loans by raising taxes.
It will also seek to move Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton to the left. (Source)
As we’ve seen recently, polls show that Bernie Sanders is gaining ground on Hillary Clinton, especially in the critical early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Should he win those two initial contests, Bernie Sanders would be in a position to make the rest of the primaries very interesting, especially if other candidates were to drop out and support him instead of Hillary. While I am a Bernie fan, I’m also fully aware that his campaign is a long shot and that Hillary Clinton has a lot more money than he does, at least at this very early point in the race with the Iowa caucus still months away.
However, with social media today, money doesn’t make quite as much of a difference as it used to – and enthusiastic followers can offset an opponent’s financial advantage. The Ready for Warren campaign demonstrated the fervor with which many on the left oppose the idea of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in 2016.
As Jonathan Easley at The Hill points out, it’s time for her to take the Sanders campaign seriously, without directly attacking him.
One of the problems that the Sanders surge poses for Clinton is that Democrats say there’s a risk in taking him head on.
Doing so could rally his supporters, alienate liberals the Democratic nominee will need in the fall of 2016 and elevate Sanders as a challenger.
“They’re not going to go after him publicly, and it’d be wrong to do so,” said Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf, who worked on then-President Clinton’s 1996 reelection bid. “She needs to keep slogging along and make the kinds of policy arguments that will eventually make some of the uniqueness around Sanders dissipate.” (Source)
The Republican Party is locked and loaded for the possibility that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee, but how would they handle Bernie Sanders? This is a guy who doesn’t care if he’s called a socialist, because he is one. This is a candidate who didn’t just start talking about income inequality when it came time to run for president, he’s been trying to do something about it for decades. Anyone who becomes the next Republican nominee will talk, as usual, about how trickle-down economics really do work and how we just need to keep cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans in order for the economy to get better.
The decision for Ready for Warren to endorse Bernie Sanders isn’t a huge surprise, although it is certainly disappointing to the Clinton campaign. It’s also a major boost for Bernie Sanders and shows the influence the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has. If Hillary Clinton fails to win them over and refuses to move any further to the left, she can’t win the nomination – it’s as simple as that.
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