"Bernie or Bust" supporters are furious with Senator Elizabeth Warren for failing to endorse Bernie Sanders to boost his campaign, and now endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. Instead of embracing the possibility of a true progressive vice presidential candidate, however, they're throwing around terms like "sellout" and calling Warren a traitor to the progressive movement. While all of Sanders' supporters are feeling the frustration of a deeply flawed primary process, those hard-core Sanders' supporters need to stop for a moment and think about the big picture and how Warren may be setting herself up for an outcome that's the next best thing to having Bernie Sanders in the White House.
Bear with me before you become an angry, torch-bearing mob.
It's no secret I'm a diehard Sanders supporter, and Warren's failure to endorse Bernie during the primary campaign frustrated me as much as anyone. It seems like hypocrisy for Warren to now embrace someone she's sharply criticized in the past, but Elizabeth Warren is a smart cookie and knows exactly what she's doing. To put it in the most blunt terms, she's been setting herself up for a vice presidential nod from the very beginning.
When Bernie Sanders first started his campaign, no one thought he even had a remote chance of doing as well as he's done. And while his run is not going to result in the Democratic presidential nomination, there are many victories in this campaign, including the wide-scale exposure of the American public to more progressive ideals championed by both Sanders and Warren.
Here's the bottom line Sanders' supporters need to consider. A progressive candidate who proudly owns the title of Democratic socialist came very close to being the Democratic Party nominee. Both Sanders and Warren are now household names, and they have set the stage for a more progressive Democratic Party, even if the eventual nominee for this election cycle is a war-mongering, billionaire shill that is far more right wing Republican than Democrat.
Warren has been looking at the long-term endgame from the start. Even as the Sanders campaign took flight, she saw the writing on the wall that Clinton was going to get the nomination no matter what happened, with all of the corporate media support and, quite frankly, election fraud and voter disenfranchisement courtesy of the DNC. By withholding her endorsement for Sanders, and now jumping on the bandwagon with Clinton, she has set herself up for a possible VP candidacy.
Not only does that set the stage for an Elizabeth Warren presidency after Clinton's reign, but given the current status of the investigation and potential indictment of Hillary Clinton, Warren may be placing herself in the position to become president much sooner, if an indictment is handed down against Clinton. And let's face it, five minutes after Clinton is sworn in as president, the GOP will be starting some kind of impeachment hearings. (They would even if it wasn't warranted, but in this case it will be.)
Warren is attaching herself to not only a weak presidential candidate but one with a very real potential to be booted out of office in her first term. That's not being a traitor or a sellout, that's being incredibly smart. Because if Warren is chosen as Clinton's vice presidential candidate, we will have one of the smartest, most progressive politicians to ever work in Washington one heartbeat away from the presidency.
Or one FBI criminal indictment away from the presidency, as it were.
To those of you unfollowing, unfriending, and criticizing Elizabeth Warren, you're being incredibly short-sighted and quite frankly, shooting yourself in the foot. One of the most important factors in Warren being chosen for VP is her ability to draw in the Bernie Sanders supporters and progressives, and you're undermining her chances of being president within two terms, worst case scenario.
Stop stomping your feet and throwing a tantrum and wise up.
Despite the mud-slinging against Warren, Clinton would be wise to choose Warren as her vice presidential candidate, because when Clinton gets tough and attacks other candidates, her already low favorability ratings drop even further. But when Warren attacks Donald Trump, people cheer. Warren can do the dirty work and let Clinton place herself above the fray, so let's hope that despite the foolish attacks on Warren by Bernie or Bust holdouts, we still get a Warren vice presidency.
I get it -- it's a hard pill to swallow, having Clinton buy and cheat her way to the nomination with the help of corporate media, the DNC, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The thought of choosing between Clinton and Trump is nauseating, but as a former Bernie or Bust advocate myself, we simply cannot afford even four years of Donald Trump.
Elizabeth Warren is a progressive and a fighter for the working class, but she's also savvy about playing the Washington politics game, and we need to do everything we can to encourage Clinton to pick her as her VP nominee. While I've reconciled myself to what has to be done in the general election this fall, with Elizabeth Warren as the vice presidential candidate on the Hillary Clinton ticket, at least I won't need to take a barf bag into the polling place.
Bernie Sanders now has major leverage in Washington with all of his supporters. Let's hope they use it as wisely as he has.
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]