To be clear, there is no indication that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to run for president in 2016 and every indication that she doesn't. But if she did, not even her new book could possibly help her chances more than reports that Wall Street would be a-okay with President Hillary Clinton.
This is the "dark secret" of Wall Street Republicans, according to Politico's Ben White and Maggie Haberman. Last November, White reported on the Jeb Bush boomlet on the Street, Bush being the most palatable candidate for the folks whose lives are laser-focused on the numbers that follow dollar signs. (It used to be Chris Christie but … you know.) If Bush can't or won't run — shhh, don't tell anybody — Clinton will suffice.
[T]he most palatable alternative to a nominee such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas or Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky would be Clinton, a familiar face on Wall Street following her tenure as a New York senator with relatively moderate views on taxation and financial regulation. … "If it turns out to be Jeb versus Hillary we would love that and either outcome would be fine," one top Republican-leaning Wall Street lawyer said over lunch in midtown Manhattan last week. "We could live with either one."
How big a secret is this affection for Hillary Clinton? So big that no one has reported on it since Politico's Ben White and Maggie Haberman did last November in a story titled, "Wall Street’s nightmare: President Elizabeth Warren." As one industry analyst told the Politico Pair at that point, "The nightmare scenario for banks is to hear these arguments from a candidate on the far left and on the far right." Or, as an unnamed finance person told Haberman and White in the new story, "It’s Rand Paul or Ted Cruz versus someone like Elizabeth Warren that would be everybody’s worst nightmare." Got it. Warren is a nightmare; Clinton is better.
Again: Warren isn't running. She said last week that she isn't running, in exactly those words. In an interview over the weekend, Warren said that she hopes Clinton runs. As Slate's Dave Weigel pointed out, the promotional tour for Warren's new book hits only dark blue states, skipping over the sort of primary-state appearances that someone thinking about running for the presidency would include.
Warren's first stop on that tour demonstrates why Wall Street keeps calling the possibility of a Warren candidacy nightmarish. Her book, A Fighting Chance, is part autobiography and part explanation of her worldview, as the Washington Post noted in its review. It "mostly details her decades struggling against financial institutions that, in her view, are bent on picking every last penny from our pockets even if they destroy the country in the process." And her fans love her for it.
"Run, Liz, run!" one audience member yelled out during the tour's stop in (ultraliberal) Cambridge, according to Politico. Reporter M.J. Lee talked to supporters in a number of states, revealing that "enthusiasm for Warren often goes hand in hand with wariness of a President Hillary Clinton." It isn't only Wall Street that thinks Clinton will be just fine for the financial industry. And, Lee writes, liberal groups are using her book tour stops as an opportunity to mobilize support for Warren's populist agenda. "We can whine about it, we can whimper about it, or we can fight back," Warren said in Cambridge. "Me? I’m fighting back."
Even if Warren were to run for president, it's unlikely that she'd pose much of a threat to Clinton, as the National Journal wrote last week. And given how much pressure Wall Street feels from Warren even while she's simply one of 100 senators, why bother?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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