Hillary Clinton may be doomed to never sit in the Oval Office as president.
Fate can often play cruel tricks, and the news that Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren isn’t totally ruling out a president run could signal bad news for Hillary and her supporters.
As The Washington Post reports, Warren said, “If there’s any lesson I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s don’t be so sure about what lies ahead. There are amazing doors that could open.”
“Right now,” she said, “I’m focused on figuring out what else I can do from this spot.”
The Post’s Jennifer Rubin called the news “déjà vu” for Hillary because another senator – Barack Obama – snuck into the primaries in 2008 and, well, the rest is history, right?
Hillary allies in Arkansas have said she doesn’t want a nasty primary and likely won’t run if there is a crowded field. But Hillary can’t expect to have a clear path to the White House. Someone is going to throw their hat into the ring whether it’s Vice President Joe Biden (again) or Warren.
Warren, another fiery, independent and popular woman, would be fearless competition against Hillary. At 65, she and Hillary are Baby Boomer peers, but Warren is a new kid on the national political scene, offering fresh perspective, whereas we’ve all heard what Hillary’s opinion is on just about everything in the universe except perhaps Wu-Tang Clan and tarot card readings.
Currently, Warren is a hot commodity on the campaign trail during the mid-term elections. She’s not afraid to take on Obama or the conservative faction in the Democratic Party. She’s progressive, fearless and outspoken. As she told CNN recently, “What the Democrats have to do is be willing to stand up and fight.”
She also has a built-in cause that attracts Millennials – college debt and affordability. As she said in Rolling Stone in August, “Rising student-loan debt is an economic emergency. Forty million people are dealing with $1.2 trillion in outstanding student debt. It’s stopping young people from buying homes, from buying cars and from starting small businesses. We need to take action.”
Sure, Hillary is a new grandmother, and that will earn her some points among women her own age. But she has long had a problem connecting with younger voters who see her as a throwback to the 1990s when they were barely out of diapers or yet to be born. Then there’s Clinton Fatigue. It was around in 2008 when Hillary ran and there are rumblings of it now.
On Friday, former CNBC talk show host Donny Deutsch said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “I’m going to say it again, I think there’s Hillary fatigue. I really believe that, on some level, the American public, although they have tremendous respect for her, whether you like her or don’t, they want to change the channel.”
And so it begins.
For voters who want a female president (anyone but Hillary), Warren’s trial balloon is happy news. It would say a lot about how far women have come in politics if two women were battling for the White House. The days of good ol’ boy politics would be long in the rear view mirror.
Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt” and “1000 Best Bartender’s Recipes.” She writes frequently for Reuters, TakePart, and numerous other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker.