If you believe what you hear from political pundits the 2016 Democratic nominee is a foregone conclusion. Any discussion about the 2016 race immediately turns to Hillary Clinton. Polls show her leading all potential democratic contenders and when stacked against any republican candidate she runs away with the race. But is she the best candidate for president?
While Clinton is arguably the most powerful woman in America right now, and certainly has a resume filled with the right qualifications, the Republican Party has been preparing for her potential run since before the ink was dry on the 2012 ballots. They are ready for her and are almost hoping she’ll run. Maybe a better choice for 2016 would be Elizabeth Warren.
Warren also has an impressive set of credentials. She is a lawyer who has spent most of her career fighting for the rights of middle-class families. One of her foremost accomplishments is the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Bureau was designed to protect consumers from greedy banks and their abusive lending policies that led to the collapse of the economy.
Warren, a bankruptcy expert, created the Bureau from scratch. She had come up with the idea for the Bureau in 2007 and in the aftermath of the worst financial crisis in recent memory she pitched her idea to President Obama in 2008. As she crisscrossed the nation promoting her plan something else took shape. She began to gain millions of supporters around the country. People warmed to her plain-English, no nonsense style.
Although she was a natural to become the first head of the newly created Bureau she had also gained powerful enemies. Supported by big banks Republicans came out in force against her and the Bureau. Threats by Republican members of Congress were backed by millions of dollars spent on fighting the Bureau. In the end, Obama compromised and named someone else to head the Bureau. However, this was not the end of Warren.
Instead of accepting defeat and going back to her job as a Harvard law professor she went after her home state Senate seat then held by Republican Scott Brown. Despite dirty play by Brown she easily won the race. Her Senate race showed her to be a tough competitor who has the skills needed to run a successful campaign.
While she has not directly spoken on the issue Warren appears to subtly be moving into position for a possible 2016 run. She has a new book out “Fighting Chance” which memorializes her struggle for the middle-class. Writing an autobiography has become something of a prerequisite for potential presidential candidates of late. She has maintained high approval ratings throughout her time in the Senate. By all accounts she appears to be safe bet to enter the race in 2016.
Warren could also run away with the nomination even if Clinton decides to run. Warren has a built in favorable rating with the middle-class that is not shared by Clinton. Given the fact that it is common knowledge that she is a champion of the middle-class she would easily win this demographic. Warren also lacks the political baggage that straddles Clinton. Clinton must fight the images of her adulterous husband and the impeachment trials that many voters retain. In addition, Republican Congressional members are doing their best to keep the Benghazi attack in the headlines. And it is something they will likely pin to Clinton as it occurred on her watch.
If Democrats hope to maintain control of the White House in 2016, Elizabeth Warren seems to be their best hope.