She’s not making a big deal about it publicly, but Senator Elizabeth Warren is seeking campaign advice from Hillary Clinton. Who better to help Warren in establishment Democrat circles than a Clinton?
While lots of the 2020 Democrat presidential hopefuls took the time to meet with Hillary and kiss her ring as they began their own campaigns for the party nomination, only Warren has maintained an open line of communication. That is if a report by NBC News is correct.
The two women have kept a line of communication open since the Massachusetts senator decided to run for president — though only a conversation around the time of Warren’s launch has been previously reported — according to several people familiar with their discussions who spoke to NBC on the condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of private interactions.
It’s hard to know exactly how many times they’ve reached out to each other — or precisely what they’ve discussed — in part because neither camp wants to reveal much of anything about their interaction and in part because they have each other’s phone numbers, and there are many ways for two high-powered politicians to communicate that don’t involve their staffs.
It’s easy to understand why this relationship would be kept hush-hush. Hillary is a deeply divisive character and, you know, she lost to the bad Orange Man. It turned out that she was a really bad candidate. She was neither as smart nor as tough as she proclaimed. Her one-time friend and supporter, a man who never held any elected office before his run for president, beat her, though she had forty years in and around public service on her resume.
Hillary Clinton is as desperate as any other Trump Deranged Democrat to make sure that he is a one-term president. It makes sense that she would encourage another woman very much like herself. Both are former Republicans, white women in their 70s who are policy wonks. Both have succumbed to the far left of their party in order to try and win elections. Contrast that to Kamala Harris, the only other viable female candidate in the field. Harris, who is fading fast, is just as bad of a candidate as Hillary, and worst of all (for her in Hillary’s eyes) she was recruited by Barack Obama. Elizabeth Warren is Hillary’s only choice for a female candidate.
At the same time, people who know and like both women say there are more similarities between them than some of their partisans would like to admit. Each is a policy powerhouse with an uncommon command of details, and possess the ability to master new material quickly with a deep intellectual curiosity. Like Clinton, Warren focused the early part of her campaign on developing a raft of policy proposals and rolling them out.
More important, an explicit or implicit blessing from Clinton could help Warren if she finds herself battling for delegates and superdelegates at a contested Democratic convention next summer.
We have no indication that this will be a short battle for the nomination. It’s clear that Warren and Bernie are battling for second place, behind Biden. Biden has begun his descent in the polls but still holds a healthy lead. Hillary supporters in 2016 can be mined by Team Warren if she and Bernie end up going all the way to the convention in a dead heat, assuming that Biden doesn’t last until the convention. Warren needs Hillary’s African-American (especially female) support.
Warren and Clinton do have a bit of history working together. Clinton sought her advice in developing policies in 2015 for her campaign. Staff would run policy ideas by Warren for her opinion or criticism. Warren had decided to not run herself and this was Hillary’s team’s way of keeping Warren in the loop. There was also talk that Clinton considered Warren for her vice-president before eventually choosing Tim Kaine.
By that point, Warren already had opted out of mounting her own campaign — disappointing many progressives — when she signed a letter, along with other Democratic women in the Senate encouraging Clinton to run. Later, as Clinton reviewed her options for a vice presidential running mate, Warren made a late ascent onto the short list on the strength of the excitement Clinton and her advisers thought Warren might bring to the ticket.
Warren told Bloomberg Businessweek this summer that she would have accepted the offer, but it went to Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.
As to what I think the scenario may look like as the Democrat convention approaches, with Biden out of the picture and Warren and Bernie fighting for the nomination, look for Hillary to come out of the shadows. Team Warren will be happy to go public with her support. Hillary could be out on the campaign trail once again, this time in support of another Democrat woman running for president.