Walk, Don’t Run?
George Zornick’s great article on Senator Elizabeth Warren [“Waiting for Warren,” Feb. 23] reminds me of the months before the 1968 primaries. Antiwar liberals and progressives wanted Robert F. Kennedy to announce his candidacy for president. He held back, and Senator McCarthy jumped in, rolling up impressive totals against Lyndon Johnson and demonstrating how damaged the president was. RFK entered the primaries, forced Johnson out and no doubt would have gone on to victory in November.
Is Bernie Sanders playing the role of Eugene McCarthy, and is the hesitant Senator Warren playing that of Robert Kennedy? Impressive margins against Clinton in the early primaries could send a clear message that the base of the Democratic Party is sick and tired of corporate Democrats. Run, Liz, run!
William F. Johnston
I am a liberal Democrat, and I am not waiting for Warren. What is wrong with The Nation and other liberal groups? Why are you trying to destroy Hillary? Liberals should unite around Hillary, who is liberal enough for most Americans. It would be difficult for the Democrats to win the presidency three times in a row. Hillary is the best hope. I don’t want to push her to the left. I want her to be in a position where she can win.
Progressives who are crying for Elizabeth Warren to run for president are succumbing to the craving for a woman on a white horse. Warren, if I read her comments correctly, is looking at the long game. If she were to be elected president in 2016, her political career would be over by 2024, which is not long enough to make the changes we need. If she stays in the Senate, she can look forward to two or three decades working for progressive causes, and by 2024 she might be majority leader. Bear in mind that Barack Obama had limited success in implementing his agenda, not only because he didn’t try all that hard, but also because he was saddled with Harry Reid, possibly the most ineffectual Senate majority leader in recent history. A progressive president without effective allies in Congress is just a celebrity. Ted Kennedy accomplished more as a senator than he likely would have if he had become president. Liz, don’t run!