One doesn't normally think of Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney when hearing Hillary Clinton's name. Like these one-time GOP nominees, many people believe that Clinton deserves the presidency because of her decades of experience. However, she already lost the nomination in 2008, so we know that her future in the Oval Office isn't set in stone. Although Clinton is impressive in many respects, she might not be as dynamic and inspiring as a certain senator from Massachusetts. Elizabeth Warren, not Clinton, has taken on Wall Street, picked fights with prominent Republicans, and eloquently voiced the concerns of American around the country.
The biggest advantage Elizabeth Warren has over any competition is that she's the "hottest" politician in Washington. According to a recent Politico article, Warren ranks ahead of Clinton, as well as her possible Republican challengers in a Quinnipiac University poll:
When Americans were asked to give prominent politicians a score, zero to 100, of how "warm," or favorable, they feel toward that person, the Massachusetts Democratic senator was the highest-rated of the bunch with a "temperature" of 48.6, according to a Quinnipiac poll out Thursday...
Clinton was in second place at 47.8...
While some polls might favor Clinton, the fact that Warren is relatively new to the Washington scene (compared to Clinton's decades of experience) speaks volumes. The actual poll is also enlightening, in that it states Warren ranks higher than any potential Republican rival as well.
Also, has anyone ever heard Clinton say anything close to the poignant and forthright statements of Elizabeth Warren on a number of issues dear to the heart of Americans? A 2014 Gallup poll states that jobs, government, and the economy are the most important issues to voters, and with each topic, Elizabeth Warren's words and ideas are superior to those of Hillary Clinton. On poverty, Warren's shot across the bow at Paul Ryan is a prime example of her willingness to attack prominent Republicans on their stances:
Paul Ryan looks around, sees three unemployed workers for every job opening in America, and blames the people who can't find a job... Paul Ryan says don't blame Wall Street: the guys who made billions of dollars cheating American families...Paul Ryan says keep the monies flowing to the powerful corporations, keep their huge tax breaks, keep the special deals for the too-big-to-fail banks and put the blame on hardworking, play-by-the-rules Americans who lost their jobs.
Has Hillary Clinton ever directly addressed a top Republican in such a bold and provocative manner? If anything, she's usually busy defending herself from baseless attacks by Karl Rove or other pundits.
On the issue of Wall Street regulation, Warren introduced a new Glass-Steagall Act for the 21st Century. As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, Warren grilled banking regulators on their role in the financial collapse. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Warren addressed banking regulators in a manner that resonates with the feelings of most Americans:
I'm really concerned that too big to fail has become too big for trial...
If they can break the law and drag in billions in profits and then turn around and settle, paying out of those profits, they don't have much incentive to follow the law...So the question I really want to ask is about how tough you are," she continued. "About how much leverage you really have in these settlements. And what I'd like to know is, tell me a little bit about the last few times you've taken the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street all the way to a trial."
The question drew some applause from the audience in the hearing room. And the seven regulators did not seem eager to answer.
While Elizabeth Warren has directly confronted the issue of weak bank regulation in enabling the 2008 financial collapse (something Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman and others have agreed played a critical role), Clinton isn't nearly as vocal on the topic. According to a Politico article titled "Wall Street Republicans' dark secret: Hillary Clinton 2016," Clinton has "been out on the financial services speaking circuit, giving talks to Goldman Sachs and fireside-style chats with the heads of the Carlyle Group and the investment firm KKR."
Finally, Republicans are ready for Hillary Clinton and have devoted decades to bringing down her and her husband. From Monica Lewinsky to Benghazi, they're ready to attack the former first lady in every manner possible. Rush Limbaugh foreshadowed the Republican political strategy aimed at Clinton in a recent radio show:
If you're gonna start going down this road with Mrs. Clinton, you've gotta go back a little farther than December of 2012. I mean, you remember how Hillary couldn't remember where she put the Rose Law Firm billing records. She couldn't remember how she got hold of those 900 FBI files that she and Bill had somewhere. Her answer to most questions back then was that she couldn't remember, and so forth.
Limbaugh has no problem bringing up a law firm Clinton worked at in the 1980s, so it's safe to say that no part of her past is off limits to conservatives. With Warren, like Obama in 2008, Republicans just don't have the scandals or controversies needed to turn the Massachusetts Senator into a caricature of the right.
While Warren goes on the attack, Clinton gracefully defends attacks. For example, Warren took the fight to Mitch McConnell after Senate Republicans blocked her student loan bill. Like Obama in 2008, Warren brings life and energy into the Democratic Party. If Democrats are smart, they'll nominate a candidate who can win the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin. Elizabeth Warren, not Hillary Clinton, can win those states because Republicans in those regions won't know how to address Warren's economic prowess and genuine concern for the middle class.
Republicans are ready for Clinton, but Elizabeth Warren would represent a frightening challenge. She should be the next president, not the former Secretary of State.