Over the past 24 hours, and three years before the next presidential election, a tidal wave of hype has swept o'er the land. That wave of hype concerns former Secretary of State and Sen. Hillary Clinton, a woman who is presumed to be running for president, and a potential primary challenge from the left in the form of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a woman who has urged Hillary Clinton to run for president. You know, as one does when one wants to beat someone in a presidential primary.
Warren did not actually do anything, at all, that could be remotely construed as mounting a primary challenge. I actually cannot point to anything particularly noteworthy that Elizabeth Warren has done at all in recent days. The origin for all of this rampant speculation came in the form of a New Republic article that eerily followed the exact same rubric as another article that came out three years before the 2008 presidential election, describing the potential primary challenge to Clinton from the left in the form of Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who went on to adamantly refuse to mount that primary challenge.
Nevertheless, there was much sturm und drang about an article in which an anonymous source -- an anonymous "former aide", which is very, verrrrrry low on the anonymous source reliability scale, by the way -- saying, "Yeah, Hillary is running. And she’ll probably win. ... But Elizabeth doesn’t care about winning. She doesn’t care whose turn it is." I mean, there you have it, right? Rando Mystery Aide probably knows best.
Anyway, after a whole lot of coverage and frenzy, we get the news via Politico that, actually, steps have been taken to totally solve the problem of Elizabeth Warren's primary challenge, which is not actually a real thing:
If anything, Clinton’s world appears very aware that income inequality is an issue that matches the prevailing mood of the Democratic base -- witness incoming New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was Hillary Clinton’s 2000 campaign manager. A Clinton ally, John Podesta, is launching a new think tank aimed at evaluating income inequality; it will be a subsidiary of the larger Center for American Progress, run by longtime Hillary Clinton adviser Neera Tanden.
While Clinton has given speeches to banks, it’s not exactly clear what her messaging will be once she begins a likely campaign -- it’s entirely possible that, seeing the current terrain among Democrats, Clinton will make a strong progressive economics argument. Her economic policy stances over the years generally have not been those of a centrist. She’s embraced, as the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein noted Monday, many of the same policies aimed at lifting the middle class as Warren has.
Take that, Elizabeth Warren! Not only is Clinton probably going to make a "strong progressive economics argument," she's been making these strong progressive economics arguments all along, ha ha! And in addition, all of Clinton's pals in the lefty think-tank world are going to be doing a lot of lefty think-tanking for her between now and the presidential election, which I'll remind you is in 2016, which is a whole different year from 2013, the current year in which we are living.
If that doesn't do the trick, Clinton will have to fall back on the fact that Warren has no certain donor base for a presidential run, is less likely to secure the endorsement of influential Democrats, has no clear path to victory in a primary, doesn't factor into the polling picture in a significant way, has already given Clinton her endorsement, and isn't running for president.
In short, there appears to be nothing that Hillary Clinton cannot do when there is nothing being done to her.
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Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary arrive for dinner at the White House Sunday evening, Feb. 23, 1986. (AP photo/Ron Edmonds)
Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton is joined by his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton, left, on the day he announced his bid for the presidency in Little Rock, Arkansas on Nov. 3, 1991. Clinton denied on Friday reports of rumored extramarital affairs, saying the charges were “simply not true.” (AP Photo)
Then Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton hugs his wife Hillary at Clinton's election night party at the Merrimack Inn, in Merrimack, N.H. in this Feb. 18, 1992 file photo. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm, File)
Hillary Clinton, right, embraces her husband, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, in Los Angeles Tuesday night after he secured enough delegates to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary dance on stage during a "Get-Out-The-Vote" rally at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. Sunday night, Nov. 1, 1992. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan)
Democratic presidential nominee Gov. Bill Clinton gives his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, a kiss as she joined him at the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center in Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 16, 1992. She had just taped "The Home Show." (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Arkansas Gov. and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign outside the Tampa Convention Center on Monday, March 9, 1992 on the eve of Super Tuesday. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Framed by a huge American flag, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton wave to supporters during a rally at a downtown Chicago hotel Tuesday, March 17, 1992. Clinton won both the Illinois and Michigan primaries. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett)
Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Bill Clinton, of Arkansas, walks with his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton after the couple voted at Dunbar Community Center in Little Rock, Ark., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1992. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
U.S. president-elect Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, hug each other during an appearance at the Old State House in Little Rock, Ark., following the presidential election victory, Tuesday night, Nov. 3, 1992. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
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President Clinton laughs at the sight of a staff member (not shown) wearing a Santa hat as he, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter Chelsea leave Foundary Methodist Church in Washington after attending services Sunday morning, Dec. 25, 1994. At rear is an unidentified Secret Service agent. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton arrive at a dinner at the White House, Sunday night, Jan. 29, 1995. The former Arkansas governor was hosting the state executives Sunday night at an annual black-tie dinner for the National Governors' Association, a group he once headed. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)
President and Mrs. Clinton laugh during the introductions of a concert Wednesday night, May 17, 1995 on the South Lawn at the White House. The concert was being taped for a PBS television series "In Performance at the White House" and will be aired this fall. The hour-long performance, featuring the women of country music, was hosted by Chet Atkins. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)