Elizabeth Warren appeared Wednesday night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”—while much of the media coverage has revolved around her comments bashing Trump (which were delightful), she also said something that may be troubling to Bernie Sanders supporters.
Colbert asked Warren whether she was surprised by the success Sanders has seen against Clinton, and Warren responded that the American people are hurting and that “Washington is not working for them.”
She then said, “I think that Bernie Sanders gets out there and makes that case, and I think Hillary Clinton gets out there and makes that case.”
Colbert pushed further, noting that Sanders is calling for a political revolution while Clinton thinks slow and steady is the way to engender change, and questioned which ideology Warren aligns more closely with. Warren deflected to the point that both Democrats are making substantial arguments about policy, which is in direct contrast to the GOP.
Warren, thus far, has avoided making an endorsement. She is the only female senator who has not endorsed Clinton, although she did sign a letter in 2013 urging Clinton to run for president.
No matter what Warren told Colbert, it is obvious that her ideology parallels Sanders. Warren has been at the forefront in the fight to reign in banks, police Wall Street, reform the corrupt campaign finance system, and create policies that work for the middle and working class.
Warren has explicitly discussed the influence campaign contributions have had on Hillary Clinton; in a 2004 interview with Bill Moyers, Warren explains how Clinton changed her position on a bankruptcy bill from her time as a First Lady to her time as a New York senator, because as a senator, she received hundreds of thousands of dollars from credit card companies to finance her campaign.
Warren knows more than anyone the corrupt influence money has on politics. So why would she not immediately endorse Sanders, who’s entire platform is almost identical to the one Warren would have run on if she were a presidential candidate? Why is she now saying Sanders and Clinton make the same case?
The answer is, of course, politics. Warren understands that she needs to wield influence over whichever candidate becomes the Democratic nominee, and if it is Clinton (which is more likely), she will not take kindly to Warren’s endorsement of Sanders.
There needs to be progressive influence in the White House, which Warren knows—but Warren’s endorsement could help put an actual progressive in the main seat.
She’s playing the game extremely shrewdly, but at some point, she may need to take the gamble and endorse the candidate she believes in, no matter the political consequences.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters