Why “President Elizabeth Warren” Would be a Huge Waste of a Great Senator

sen-warrenI think anyone who follows me knows I absolutely adore Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.  She has skyrocketed to being one of my favorite politicians.  Her straight-forward talk, her tendency to say what many Americans have been saying for years and the way she comes off as someone who genuinely believes in what she’s saying — as opposed to the typical politician who seems to just say whatever they think will get them the most votes — is simply refreshing.

That being said, I think her running for president would be a giant mistake.

Listen, while I absolutely love her as a United States Senator, her power and charisma is best left where she can make the most difference — and that’s not in the White House.

I think at least one thing President Obama has taught many liberals is that being the president doesn’t really give you a whole lot of power.  Sure, in this country the president is the one who takes the brunt of the blame because it’s a singular figure and it’s just easier to blame them. But the reality is that being the president doesn’t give you a great deal of power to create policy, let alone pass it.

The most a president can really do is threaten to use their veto power in hopes that the threat will force Congress to send legislation to their desk that they support.

But in our country, like it or not, Congress has most of the power.  And Congress is where I think someone like Senator Warren can make the most difference.

While many liberals (including myself) are huge fans of Ms. Warren, she’ll never be a figure that gets real mainstream acceptance.  She’s not a centrist.  Which is a good thing for liberals when it comes to the Senate, just not as a president.

One of the issues I’ve always had with President Obama is I feel he needed a little more “seasoning.”  He was idealistic, bold, full of bright new ideas and campaign promises — without knowing exactly what it is he was getting himself into.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe he’s been a good president, I just think the way in which he handled certain situations made them worse than they needed to be.

It didn’t help that Republicans weren’t going to, under any circumstances, help him achieve anything.  But he continually failed to control the message and often allowed Republicans to dictate “truth” to the American people.  “Truth” which was almost always some right-wing lie.

Also, as senator, Warren can be more idealistic.  She can say more of what’s on her mind.  As president, like it or not, you’re forced to be a little less confrontational and must abide by a different set of rules.

I want to see Senator Warren rise to Senate leadership.  I want to see Senator Warren turn the senate into a progressive movement against rampant corruption that’s taken over Wall Street and big business.  I want to see her take on fools like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul year after year on the senate floor.  I want to see her have the ability to stand there in the same room with these people and tell them we’re not taking their crap anymore — it’s time for real change.

Plus presidents are simply stretched too thin.  As senator, Warren can focus on the handful of issues which she’s most passionate about.  And in doing so, she stands a much better chance at bringing about real change.

Presidents just can’t do this.  Sure they can be very influential, and we need the right person in the White House to help bring positive change to this country, but a president at their best is often one who has the right people behind them, with them bringing everything together.

Elizabeth Warren doesn’t strike me as that type of person.  And again, that’s a good thing.  Not everyone who’s a great political leader should be president.  I see Warren’s best strengths as being an antagonist.  She’s someone who can go blow for blow with right-wing insanity in the senate — and win.

But as president you can’t be that confrontational.  You can’t be someone who’s always “shaking things up.”  Presidential leadership and congressional leadership aren’t exactly the same.  In fact, they’re often very different.

It’s like coaching.  Some coaches make fantastic coordinators or assistant coaches, but they’re not nearly as effective as a head coach.

Now I’m sure plenty of liberals will completely disagree with what I’m saying here, and that’s fine.

I would just like to see Senator Warren make her legacy as the senator who changed the Senate.  Because I believe that’s where her true strengths lie, and can be showcased for many years to come.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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