What others say: Warren can thank McConnell for her rise

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2016 8:17pm
  • Opinion

On Tuesday, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” reported that the short list for Hillary Clinton’s running mate includes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Virginia’s very own Tim Kaine.

Warren would appease the Bernie Sanders base. Her presence on the ticket would give Democrats their most liberal national slate, especially on economics, since William Jennings Bryan ran for the presidency.

Kaine would appeal to moderate independents and to Republicans dismayed by Donald Trump’s preposterous candidacy.

Warren comes from a safe state for Democrats, Kaine from a battleground, although Clinton rates as a prohibitive favorite over Trump in the Old Dominion.

If Warren joins the ticket and becomes vice president, she will owe Mitch McConnell and other GOP partisans a round of thanks. Here’s why. Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the aftermath of the Great Recession. President Obama considered naming Warren the agency’s first head but backed off when Republican opposition, led by McConnell, threatened to reject her. He nominated someone else instead. The incident turned Warren into an ideological heroine. She subsequently ran for the Senate and defeated Scott Brown, whose victory in the special election to replace the late Edward Kennedy had given him 15 minutes of conservative fame.

Analysts considered Warren a plausible presidential contender in 2016; she will remain a contender in elections to follow. If she had advanced to the regulatory bureau she would have labored in relative obscurity. She would not be looking at the vice presidency, or after that the Oval Office itself.

Partisanship has consequences. What hath McConnell wrought?

— The Richmond Times-Dispatch,

June 21

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