Sen. Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly assured heartbroken progressives across the country that she is not running for president in 2016, but that hasn't stopped her from gaining recognition on TIME magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People this year. The honor is immense, and the cherry on top of it is Hillary Clinton penning Warren's profile on TIME's list in a short, sweet blurb extolling Warren as a "progressive champion."
The Democrat's sole presidential contender (so far) wrote in the magazine commending Warren as "a special kind of leader" to be able to succeed Ted Kennedy's seat as the "champion of working families and scourge of special interests." She highlighted the Massachusetts senator's tireless efforts of holding Wall Street accountable to its reckless decisions, and praised Warren's fearlessness in standing up to those in positions of enormous power, including — in a likely acknowledgment of respect — Clinton herself. She wrote:
[S]he never hesitates to hold powerful people’s feet to the fire: bankers, lobbyists, senior government officials and, yes, even presidential aspirants.
The Clinton-Warren dynamic is one that has been played out in the media since the rumblings of the 2016 election began two years ago. Many (me included) have indulged in the utopia of a Clinton-Warren 2016 ticket. Just think: Two intelligent, impassioned, politically astute women holding the nation's top two offices? Though Clinton's foreign policy background is assured, she would most definitely benefit by having Warren, a staunch progressive, at her side "so she doesn't stray too far" on domestic issues, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said.
With Warren having ruled herself out of 2016 — though some are counting on her to change her mind — Clinton turned to the senator in a reported bid to secure her favor and pick her brain on issues concerning the left, such as income inequality, perhaps one of Warren's strongest suits.
Clinton is also looking to fill the left's demand for a strong progressive candidate. Her campaign announcement video focused on branding the candidate as a potential president for "everyday Americans." But many of those on the Democratic left have called on Clinton to lay out a clearer vision of liberal values.
Predicting the course of a political campaign — much less a presidential election — is impossible. But what's clear is that both women, despite their still-evolving relationship fraught with tension and competition, have a mutual respect and admiration for each other than extends beyond the prattling of the media. While a Clinton-Warren ticket might seem like a long shot at this point, well, we can always dream, can't we?
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