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How Hillary Clinton Is Using Elizabeth Warren To Win The Presidency

The liberal side of the media has spent a lot of time and ink lamenting Hillary's lack of suitable competition, and for good reason.

Current polls show her leading with a margin of more than 50 points over her nearest potential rival.

Not exactly a heartening beginning for anyone who wants to see her tested early, right?

The problems with her likely challengers range from their relative anonymity to their left-skewing policy.

Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland, has begun what many are sure will turn into a fully-fledged campaign by pointing out a few instances of Hillary's flip-flops, but he'll have to contend with the fact most people have no idea who he is. Jim Webb, former Virginia Senator and Marine, will have the same problem.

These guys are textbook Democratic candidates: liberal but not too liberal, from southern (or relatively southern) states — and likely to attract southern voters — lengthy political experience (and military experience for Webb) and yet, both haven't managed to attract much, if any, attention.

A lot could change in the coming year, but for now, they'll be fighting an uphill battle.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders already has some level of recognition among the left wing of the Democratic Party, but it comes as a real double-edged sword: He's as progressive as they come in America, and he's not afraid to make that known.

His presence in the actual race would certainly be a good thing because it would push Hillary to contend with the progressive wing of the party and figure out how to take a stance somewhere between the center and the far-left wing.

Sanders, however, is to Republicans what Ted Cruz is to Democrats: a candidate all too easily attacked for extremism.

If he became a serious candidate, Bernie Sanders wouldn't be able to turn a corner without a Republican calling him a socialist.

The last major figure, if she decided to step into the race, could be a game-changer.

She's already gained a huge amount of popularity on the left through her dogged and fiery rhetoric about protecting the American middle class and her attacks on Wall Street.

And yet, despite repeated calls to please, please, please run, Elizabeth Warren is not running for president.

She's serious about that, too – what kind of liberal says no even after Bill Maher offers her a million bucks for her campaign?

Unfortunately for liberals and progressives across the country, she's sticking to her guns and her seat in the Senate. And despite the widespread disappointment it's causing, that's not an entirely bad thing.

From the Senate, she can keep fighting the good fight. Especially with the Republicans in the majority, they need someone to keep them on their toes. Elizabeth Warren, who always seems to be pictured yelling, will never back down from a fight – and we need that.

More importantly, though, her views have found a great reception in the party, and Hillary's already shown she's willing to run with them.

But Clinton's Warren-inspired ideals are causing much of the American political right to moan about her “Elizabeth Warren impression.” Though, in lieu of an actual Elizabeth Warren candidacy, isn't this exactly what the left wants? A candidate out there espousing her views?

In a way, Warren is similar to Barack Obama circa 2008: loud, forceful, but most of all, inspiring. She's a champion of the middle class, an academic, a woman and a person who fought her way up from very modest beginnings to her current position.

She has the American Dream on her side in a big way.

As a senator and essentially a mascot for her party, she's found a place where she can lay out her ideas and get people to listen.

Clearly they've made an impact, if people are already supporting her in her nonexistent presidential run and the candidates already have to reckon with them.

By staying out of the race, she can keep harping on the issues – specifically financial ones – where she can call herself an expert and stay away from the rest. Who wants to hear about her opinion on foreign policy, for example? That's right, no one.

And as we've seen time and time again, few things look more foolish than when someone tries to make up foreign-policy knowledge.

Of course, this could just be proof of the age-old tenant those who don't crave power are the ones best suited for it. But we'll have to wait to see, because Elizabeth Warren is not running for president in 2016.

Hillary, then, will have to make do with the competition she has now. She's got a long road ahead of her, and her speeches will likely continue to include Elizabeth Warren's ideas even as other candidates step up to try to actually dethrone her.

And from Elizabeth Warren's point of view, could anything be better than to influence the presidential race – and therefore the country's political rhetoric – and still stay on the sidelines?

Doubtful.

Citations: The Challenge Facing Hillary Clinton (The New Yorker), 2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination (Real Clear Politics ), Martin OMalley Criticizes Hillary Clinton for Flip-Flopping (Time), Jim Webb to challenge Hillary Clinton (MSNBC), The Ron Paul of the left Why Bernie Sanders is the cranky socialist 2016 needs (Salon), Elizabeth Warren on the presidency Fifty shades of nay (The Guardian), Real Time with Bill Maher Sen Elizabeth Warren Million Dollar Offer HBO (Real Time with Bill Maher), Hillary Clinton puts her love of Elizabeth Warren in writing for Time 100 list (CNN), Hillarys Attempt at an Elizabeth Warren Impression Isnt Going Well (The National Review), If Elizabeth Warren Were Running for President This Would Be Her Agenda (The Nation )

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Lani Seelinger

Contributor

Lani is a freelance writer in Prague, Czech Republic. She spends most of her time dealing with politics, both in communist Czechoslovakia and otherwise. She’s from the great state of North Carolina, where she developed her great love of grits ...
Lani is a freelance writer in Prague, Czech Republic. She spends most of her time dealing with politics, both in communist Czechoslovakia and otherwise. She’s from the great state of North Carolina, where she developed her great love of grits ...

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