Would a Democratic presidential ticket of former secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Democratic Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren be doomed to defeat or cruise to an easy victory on Nov. 8, 2016?
From a Republican perspective, would this Clinton/Warren “all-chick tick” elicit howls of laughter or utter fear?
Here is why — from a Democrat point of view — Clinton/Warren ticket might make good political sense.
In the “fight” for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, the latest Real Clear Politics averages show Hillary Clinton clobbering Elizabeth Warren by a margin of 61 to 12 percent. However, Warren is gathering “big mo” as the scrappy underdog fighting “for the people” against income inequality and big corporate/banking interests.
But the GOP must not downplay Warren’s rhetoric or the issue itself because 69 percent of registered voters agree with Warren’s premise that the U.S. economic system generally favors the wealthy.
Could this be why Warren, a multimillionaire former Harvard Law School professor born in 1949, has become the Democrat Party’s “rising star” and “fresh face? A potential Warren presidential candidacy or even an activist non-candidacy could serve as insurance against a boring Hillary nomination coronation, with the added anticipation of nasty Hill vs. Liz “cat fights.”
Manicured claw marks are almost inevitable given that much of the mainstream media and liberal advocacy groups such as MoveOn.org think they have found a 2016 version of Barack Obama circa 2008.
Back in April, I penned a piece on NRO titled “Run, Lizzy, Run!” Now that Run Warren Run is in full swing (sponsored by MoveOn.org) I sent a small check hoping to set a good example for all Republicans. As Warren ascends, Hillary is pressured to sound more like her. Thus, the stronger Warren becomes, the more Hillary moves to the left — which is great news for the GOP in 2016.
Alex Castellanos, a well known Republican strategist, told Politico, “We’ve already seen Hillary trying to transform herself into Elizabeth Warren Lite.”
If by 2016 Warren’s stature and power has grown so much within the Democratic Party that she cannot be ignored, Hillary, for the sake of party unity, may decide or even be forced into choosing Warren as her “girl-power” running mate.
In that case, the 2016 Democratic Party rallying cry could be “Experience, Meet Passion.” Hillary’s title-heavy resume provides the experience while Warren elicits passion among the activist base. (Please note “experience” is not accomplishment.)
Under those circumstances, Clinton choosing Warren as her running mate could also bode well for Hillary’s willingness to “work across the aisle” – first within her own party and then across the real aisle in Congress.
Furthermore, if Hillary is elected president, she earns an extra “bonus” from a Clinton/Warren ticket; Warren would be out of the Senate where potentially she could be an obstructionist to Hillary’s “moderate” agenda.
But if a Clinton/Warren ticket loses, Warren remains in the Senate (as an even more powerful hero), for her reelection is not until 2018.
Removing a potential rival from the Senate is not without precedent.
In 1960, presidential nominee Sen. John F. Kennedy successfully used this tactic with he asked the all-powerful Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson to join his ticket.
Proof that a Clinton/Warren ticket has fledgling grass-roots support is a Clinton/Warren 2016 Facebook page. The “about” paragraph reads:
“The boys have had their chance. It’s time for the women to take charge. President Hillary Clinton, Vice President Elizabeth Warren – Clinton-Warren 2016!!!”
But one of the Facebook comments injected a dose of reality, “I don’t think the Democrats will win with Clinton and/or two women on the ticket. Let’s get one woman up there before trying to double down. Not sexist just looking at the world as it really operates. Peace.”
My Republican reality tells me that there are many within the GOP who will laugh out loud at the thought of such a ticket. But do NOT underestimate the ticket’s appeal with women voters — who in 2012 made up 53 percent of the presidential vote compared to 47 percent for men.
So, in response to a girl-power ticket will angry men rise up and say “enough?” Will independent and moderate voters fear out loud that if something happened to Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren the rabble rouser would become president and use that scenario to vote against the ticket?
Remember how this same “VP fear” hurt 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, as mainstream media widely mocked his running mate Sarah Palin.
Meanwhile, to counter, Republicans must nominate their own strong male/female team that could exploit this all- girl team’s weaknesses while downplaying the strengths.
Finally, I discussed the possibility of a Clinton/Warren ticket with a political strategist who said, “Look, a nation that twice elected Barack Obama proves anyone can be president of the United States.”
Editor’s note: This post is published with the author’s permission and was originally published in the National Review.
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