Today’s Worst Idea: Elizabeth Warren for Senate Democratic Leader
It appears that Chuck Schumer has the inside track for the job so it’s probably moot. FWIW, I agree - Warren can do more to promote progressive policies if she isn’t minority (or, hopefully soon, majority) leader.
If there is a role in American political life more powerful than being a freshman senator in the minority party, chances are liberal groups want Elizabeth Warren to occupy it. And, sure enough, Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee are already signaling support for a Warren run to succeed Harry Reid as Senate minority leader, challenging Reid’s pick, Chuck Schumer.
Warren’s office says she won’t run, which is exactly the right call. Making Warren majority leader wouldn’t actually serve DfA or PCCC’s goals. It wouldn’t move the party meaningfully to the left. Rather, it would move Warren to the right, and it would sacrifice the most effective outside voice pushing for the caucus to adopt a more economically populist agenda.
Democrats have a tendency to underrate the value of outside pressure, but it’s hugely important, especially if you want to move the center of the party. House conservatives have been enormously effective in pushing John Boehner to demand more of the White House, and have trillions in spending cuts to show for their efforts. Warren has the potential to be that kind of force in her party, to effect a leftward move among Democrats as a whole. But she can only do that if she doesn’t become leader.