Monday, January 25, 2016

No, Elizabeth Warren Didn't "Sink" Hillary Endorsement Hopes

Senator and progressive girl-crush Elizabeth Warren / Image: Ninian Reid, CC BY 2.0

The essay hit Huffington Post earlier today and is already manically careening around Facebook and other social media:

Elizabeth Warren Sinks Clinton's Hopes for Endorsement


The Elizabeth-Warren-secretly-loves-Bernie-and-hates-Hillary stories have been circulating online for months, mostly among Sanders' supporters.  And they only seem to be multiplying as Iowa draws near: "Warren in talks to endorse Bernie," "Bernie will nominate Warren for VP," "This comment from Sen. Warren PROVES she hates Hillary's guts!"  None of the stories or headlines are supported by actual evidence. 

Listen for yourself to the speech where Sen. Warren supposedly "made it clear she won't endorse Hillary":  


Listen to the whole thing in order to get the context that HuffPo's blogger missed or ignored:

(1) Warren's speech, given on the 6th anniversary of Citizens United, is calling on the President, Congress, SEC, and FEC to take several actions to reform the system. 

(2) Her greatest frustration clearly seems to be directed at the SEC, the FEC, and Congress.

(3) Between the two parties, which side more frequently talks about how nothing can be done about campaign finance reform? The GOP.  It's not clear that she was covertly indicting any presidential candidate with her comment about how voting was about to start in a new election year, but if she was, it's a lot more likely that she was referring to the GOP field rather than her own party's front-runner.

(4) Hillary has NEVER said "nothing can be done" about campaign finance. In fact, she released a comprehensive
campaign finance reform proposal back in September.   

(5) Warren didn't include any easy raves or digs that would've more clearly signaled commentary on the Democratic nomination race.  She didn't urge Presidential candidates to object to Super PAC funds spent on their behalf.  Nor did she applaud candidates who have already done that. Either move would have been a none-too-subtle salute to Sanders. But she didn't go there, likely because she wasn't actually referring to Hillary.

(6) Just a month ago, Warren endorsed Clinton's Wall Street reform plan while sharing a Hillary New York Times op-ed about it with her 2 million Facebook friends.  She also tweeted her support for the plan, to the ire of some Bernie fans.  With this move, Warren publicly undermined Sanders' argument that Clinton wouldn't be tough enough on Wall Street.  And Warren did so even though she and Sanders were two of the lead co-sponsors of the "21st Century Glass-Steagall" bill this year and last.   

(7) Warren already endorsed Clinton's campaign.  Sort of.  Way back in 2013, she signed onto an open letter from all of the women Democratic Senators that urged Hillary to run in 2016.  But yes, she has been hedging on formally endorsing any of the Democratic candidates since Sanders entered the race, apparently to the annoyance of a number of her Senate colleagues.

It's true that Warren failure to make a full-throated endorsement to date indicates that she has some reluctance to jumping full bore on the HRC train just yet.  However, nothing concrete has occurred - yet - to indicate that Senator Warren will be declaring her support of Bernie Sanders any day now.

Next issue, please.

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