In her first appearance on the campaign trail with the presumptive Democratic nominee, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren couldn’t have been more ebullient in her praise, defense and admiration of the woman she resisted endorsing until the last possible minute.
In near-matching hair and outfits, the two women exuberantly worked the crowd at the Cincinnati, Ohio event, clapping at almost everything each other said and pointing their fire squarely at Donald Trump at every turn.
Calling Trump “a small, insecure money-grubber who fights for no one but himself,” Warren fought vigorously for herself to secure…well, we don’t know yet. Perhaps the Vice Presidency, perhaps a senior cabinet position – only time will tell. But for a senator who remained aloof during the primary contest – not even granting Clinton a coveted photo-op when she visited her home state – and who waited right up until the moment Clinton had officially secured the nomination before throwing her support behind her, this new display of sisterly love was clearly born from pure political ambition.
Clinton, of course, is hardly a stranger to craven political ambition herself, and so regardless of any prior iciness in their relationship, she was more than happy to embrace her new BFF in front of the nation’s news outlets.
With her rival for the nomination still to officially drop out of the race and endorse her, Clinton sees Warren as a way to sidestep Bernie Sanders and leverage his supporters over to her side before November.
That, however, makes two very wild assumptions.
Firstly, the idea that Bernie Sanders was simply a convenience for the progressive wing of the party to hang its hat on is misguided in the extreme. In his campaign, Sanders was revered and hailed as a man of principle, a man of integrity, and someone who’d spent his entire political life being true to his word. And he attracted not just the progressive wing, but untold numbers of younger voters, independents, and many others disaffected and disillusioned by establishment politics.
Sanders jump-started an entire movement that was energized by the possibility of an alternative to the politics-as-usual of money, opportunism, lobbyists and cronyism. His campaign represented not just the voice of the left but the voice of the people.
The notion that his support can be siphoned off simply by swapping him out for another major player from the liberal base is to completely miscomprehend what occurred during this election cycle.
Secondly, those qualities that so many ardently admired about Sanders – his integrity, his principles, remaining true to his word – are now nowhere to be found in Clinton’s politically expedient replacement.
In her full-bore backing of the former secretary of state, the so-called “hero” of the progressive wing has now compromised herself in ways that clearly show – in grand Clinton fashion – that she’s more than willing to put career ahead of cause.
In championing a candidate who represents so much of what she claims to be so vehemently against, she will have lost all credibility with those who value it the most.
While Sanders has been out of the spotlight more than we’re accustomed to of late and the political pundits continue to write him off as an irrelevancy, the man himself has been busy behind the scenes trying to push his agenda into the party platform for the upcoming convention.
And while Clinton and Warren may be all smiles now, if the man and the movement he represents don’t get fair play in Philadelphia, you can expect those smiles to disappear faster than Elizabeth Warren’s convictions.
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