Two names come to the minds of anyone who is a policy wonk, news junkie, or politico when discussing progressive politicians in Congress: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren; the two most well known, and what feels like the only, true progressives within the chambers of Congress. Naturally, one would think that birds of a feather flock together and Warren would be one of the first members of Congress to endorse her progressive counterpart, but this is politics and whatever appears to make sense and be a sound decision rooted in reality turns out to be the opposite of what actually happens. Case and point, recently on Rachel Maddow Senator Elizabeth Warren, in a seemingly defiant act against progressive Bernie supporters who share her very same beliefs, formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.
So, why would the creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau formally endorse a candidate who has taken a combined total of $3,452,726 from just Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley alone, campaigned against a pro corporatist bankruptcy bill as First Lady Clinton, with the help of Senator Warren, yet voted for it as Senator Clinton, and who Warren herself said was “pandering to big banks?” Has Warren turned away from her progressive values? There is a lot of speculation as to why she endorsed Clinton over Sanders and I believe the answer to why is out of pragmatism, not of a genuine support of Clinton’s record or platform.
I think Elizabeth Warren felt the Bern and wanted to endorse Bernie Sanders, but at the same time she didn’t want to risk her potential spot on a Hillary Clinton ballot, so she decided to wait and see how the primaries would play out, then once Hillary was coronated as the presumptive nominee, Senator Warren held her nose and endorsed Clinton for president, in a last resort effort to unite the progressives with the Democratic Party and stop Trump from a win in November.
Elizabeth Warren has three traits that Hillary Clinton does not: conviction, consistency, and an ability to make personal connections with other human beings. With Warren campaigning at her side, Clinton may have a chance of winning over the very same Bernie supporters that she has been shunning since the start of Sander’s campaign, especially if she makes Warren her pick for Vice President. This could become crucial to stopping Donald Trump in the general election, who is beginning to use Sanders’ supports disdain for Clinton to his advantage saying, with rhetoric similar to Sanders’, “For all of those Bernie Sanders voters who will be left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates, we welcome you with open arms”, and even outright approving of his policies, “Bernie Sanders has a message that's interesting. I'm going to be taking a lot of the things Bernie said and using them." Combine this with a Mcclatchy-Marist poll that shows 25% of Bernie support would never vote for Hillary and multiple polls that are a statistical tie, Trump may have a chance to pull it off in November.
Clinton’s only saving grace now is Elizabeth Warren. If Hillary Clinton makes Elizabeth Warren her pick for Vice President and begins to run an intelligent and inclusive campaign, then Warren can win enough support from progressives in the Bernie or Bust movement to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.