Wasn’t it cute? Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren looked like twins Monday in Cincinnati: Same haircut, blue blazers, rhetoric and grins as they excoriated Donald Trump.
Which is why Warren will not be Clinton’s running mate.
Clinton does not want a twin veep. And while she needs Warren to help solidify the Democratic vote, Warren could be less helpful in the general election.
Warren was the only female senator who did not endorse Clinton until it was painfully obvious Bernie Sanders was whistling in the wind.
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Warren is on board because there is nowhere else for her to go to stay viable in the party. Her task is to help unite the party before next month’s convention. She is doing such a good job and proving to be so good at attacking Trump, Hillary can choose someone else for her veep slot.
Is the country ready for two women on a ticket? Probably, but why, if you are cautious Hillary, would you take the chance?
The governor of Massachusetts, Warren’s home state, is Republican Charlie Baker, and he’d appoint a Republican to fill Warren’s seat if she became vice president. Also, Massachusetts will vote Democratic anyway. Somebody “safe,” such as Tim Kaine, the Democratic senator from Virginia, not only could deliver a key state to Clinton but would be succeeded by a Democrat appointed by Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
If Clinton becomes president, she needs a Democrat-controlled Senate to get anything done in her first 100 days.
A major reason against putting Warren on the ticket is the antipathy she has earned from her criticism of Wall Street and her work setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While Warren is beloved by the progressive base, Hillary must win over some Republicans.
Warren also has no foreign policy experience.
One of the vice president’s key attributes in modern times is the ability to work with Capitol Hill to try to bring about consensus. Joe Biden did a surprising amount of behind-the-scenes negotiation for President Barack Obama. But Warren is considered too partisan and too much of a firebrand to fit into that role easily.
Kaine, who wants to run with Hillary, is ideologically closer to her than Warren is, and he has immersed himself in foreign policy in the Senate. He was also governor of Virginia, giving him executive experience. Kaine also would not compete with Hillary as Warren might.
If Warren stays in the Senate, she will be free to perpetuate her cause of fighting financial inequality. As a veep candidate, she would not be a good fundraising messenger to send. On the ticket or off, she will campaign hard against Trump.
Of course, this has been a year of turning conventional wisdom on its head. But Hillary is not known for taking unnecessary political risks.