As Hillary Clinton's next presidential campaign looks more and more inevitable, some liberals are trying to recruit Elizabeth Warren to run in 2016. The freshman Massachusetts senator has repeatedly said she has no interest in running. But, The New York Times' Jonathan Martin reports, "The interest in Ms. Warren… is swelling as some Democratic activists worry that Mrs. Clinton is too close to Wall Street — a major source of her fund-raising in previous campaigns — and is insufficiently committed to challenging the economic status quo."
Warren's name is the second-best for bringing in money from fundraising letters, following only the Clintons', the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee discovered last year. Warren raised $42 million for her Senate campaign, the Times reports. The only Senate candidate to ever raise more was Hillary Clinton in 2006. Warren's speech at the AFL-CIO convention in September had people standing on chairs shouting and applauding. In an interview with CNN, Bill Clinton pushed back against the idea that his administration was full of "maniacal deregulators."
Earlier this month, The Daily Beast's Peter Beinart argued that the lines of political debate set by Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan could disappear as Millennials emerge as a bigger voting bloc. They "are entering adulthood in an America where government provides much less economic security. And their economic experience in this newly deregulated America has been horrendous." Someone like Warren, a frequent critic of Wall Street who created the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, could appeal to them. Beinart explains why the Clintons should fear her:
First, as a woman, Warren would drain the deepest reservoir of pro-Hillary passion: the prospect of a female president... [Warren has] already shown a knack for going viral. A video of her first Senate banking committee hearing, where she scolded regulators that “too-big-to-fail has become too-big-for-trial,” garnered 1 million hits on YouTube... After Bill Clinton and the Obamas, no other speaker at last summer’s Democratic convention so electrified the crowd...
And in one of the biggest applause lines of the entire convention, taken straight from Occupy, she thundered that “we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.”
Warren won her Senate race by 6 points, but young people by 30 points. But New York's Jonathan Chait says it's not just young people who could pose a challenge for Hillary 2016. Millennials are more Democratic than people older than them, but they are not more liberal than older Democrats, Chait says. But anti-Wall Street outrage has wide appeal. The real danger for the Clintons is if they don't recognize that, Chait writes:
There are proposals floating around Congress to break up the big banks that enjoy the simultaneous benefit of appealing to the Democratic left and appealing to the populist center. If Clinton doesn’t grasp on to such a plan, one of her opponents will, and she’ll have no response.
As the Times notes, Bill Clinton told CNN that he "ran on income inequality in 1992."