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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