Rep. Ro Khanna is a Bernie Sanders campaign co-chair so it’s probably safe to assume he’s not talking off the cuff when he goes on MSNBC and suggests Elizabeth Warren would be an “outstanding” VP choice for Sanders:
The California Democrat told MSNBC he would “absolutely” advise Sanders to name a woman as his vice presidential pick, and singled out the Vermont senator’s colleague from Massachusetts when asked who specifically he would recommend.
“Maybe Sen. Warren,” Khanna said. “I mean, I’ve said Senator Warren would be an outstanding choice. There will be other outstanding choices.”
The words of praise from the top Sanders campaign official come after Warren declined to immediately endorse another candidate after dropping out of the Democratic primary Thursday — further irking some Sanders supporters who argued that she siphoned progressive voters from Sanders on Super Tuesday.
Did you notice the caveat “There will be other outstanding choices.” It sounds like he’s leaving himself an out. Either he doesn’t really want to push this too hard or maybe he’s worried she might endorse Biden, in which case this could become embarrassing.
Some people seem to assume it’s obvious Warren should and will endorse Sanders. After all, they were fighting for the same wing of the party. But if it was really that obvious she probably would have made the endorsement when she announced she was withdrawing from the race or immediately after. That’s what Klobuchar and Buttigieg did. That’s what Bloomberg did.
Is this a tactical delay? Is Warren holding out because she wants Sanders to sweeten the offer, maybe the VP slot? After she dropped out, Warren told Rachel Maddow she wasn’t looking for that, “Hey, look, the job of senator is a good job. As a matter of fact, the job of teacher is a good job.” I guess that’s the kind of thing you do say when you don’t want to appear desperate.
I think there’s some genuine bad feeling between Warren and Sanders at this point. When Warren confronted him after that debate (about saying a woman couldn’t win) she was angry. And after Super Tuesday, a lot of Bernie Bros were out on social media asking (or demanding) that she drop out to clear the lane for Bernie. Warren has expressed her distaste for Bernie’s supporters a couple of times already, including when she left the race. I’m sure having them turn on her to get out of Bernie’s way didn’t make her feel warm and fuzzy about endorsing him.
So maybe this is tactical, but I think it’s hard feelings. That said, while she may be angry with Bernie and his people right now, they’ll probably both be back in the Senate soon. I don’t think Warren wants to go nuclear by endorsing Biden. That would be seen as a harsh blow if she did it now. But the fact is that this race could be over in 10 days, about the time Sanders gets blown out in Florida. So by holding out just a couple weeks, Warren could effectively let Bernie know she’s angry without actually endorsing his opponent and helping his demise.
That’s what I think is happening. I think Warren is just angry enough about Bernie’s jerk supporters that she’s going to stand on the sidelines and watch him go under without offering an endorsement but I don’t think she’s angry enough to endorse Biden. It’s a middle-ground, though if the Bernie Bros start demanding her endorsement with their usual charm, she could change her mind.
My guess is that the mention of Warren as an ideal VP was meant as a peace offering. I guess we’ll find out over the next few days if it was enough for her to change her mind.
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