Far left progressive Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren may be the first Democrat to declare her intentions to run for president in 2020. The boisterous anti-Trump activist is left of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who ran unsuccessfully against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries.
Sen. Warren has learned from Sanders’ mistakes in his presidential bid. To bolster her voting base, the hardcore, anti-military progressive will join the Armed Services Committee in 2017, branching out beyond the tough-on-Wall Street message that made her a liberal favorite.
The former Harvard professor and successor to Ted Kennedy’s senate seat is quick to invoke the fact that her three brothers served in the military. The liberal state of Massachusetts ranks in the top 10 states on military spending, according to a Pentagon report.
The political strategy in her Armed Services Committee participation is to provide her with credibility with moderates, filling portfolio gaps to position herself for a 2020 presidential run.
No less than far left Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC praised the resume-builder as a “very important move that could be a first step in a presidential campaign.”
What could be the key to moderate credibility is an affiliation with the military. The revelation has not gone unnoticed by a potential presidential rival, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who is separately joining the Foreign Relations Committee. They both “very clearly want to seek the presidency for themselves in 2020,” according to The Washington Post, which will presumably endorse either one of them gleefully in 2020.
Meanwhile, for what it’s worth as Warren attempts to break the chains of liberal stereotype, endorsements such as Adam Green, who co-founded the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, will become less important to get the larger voting base she will need. For what it’s worth, Green said Warren “would make a wonderful president.”
Warren remains coy about her presidential intentions. But she will be 71-years-old in 2020 and it will most likely be her last shot at the grand prize. No successful presidential candidate in American history has succeeded who was that age.
But Warren’s sudden interest in the military has also not gone unnoticed by conservatives. Her decision to participate on the Foreign Relations Committee isn’t stopping conservatives from painting her decision to join the committee as purely political. Nevertheless, Warren’s predecessors, the late Ted Kennedy and Scott Brown both served on the committee.
Warren’s sudden military interest has also been noted by conservative organizations. Jeremy Adler, a spokesman for America Rising Squared, an offshoot of the conservative super PAC America Rising said, “America’s military men and women deserve better than Warren using the Armed Services Committee as yet another platform for her all-but-announced 2020 presidential campaign. Warren has fought to cut the U.S. military, weakening our nation’s security since she joined the Senate.”
Warren’s presence on the Armed Services Committee will be a thorn in the side of a President Trump. She will be a megaphone on national security and military spending. Warren has already taken aim at Trump’s pick of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department. “We’ve already been worried about Donald Trump’s ties to the Russians,” she told WCVB, a local TV station.
Warren’s expansion into new territory is subject to change as Democrats deal with a new world of political discord after Clinton’s shocking loss. Only 34 percent of Democrats and independents would be excited for a Warren campaign, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats and independents want someone new to run for president in 2020, according to the same poll.
The entire debate may be moot should Trump become a popular leader as his four-year term proceeds. The vivid memory of a liberal Democrat George McGovern being destroyed by incumbent President Richard Nixon in 1972 is a prime example of what can happen if your presidential candidate has a low and secular voting base.