As Hillary Clinton moves closer to officially clinching the Democratic presidential nomination, the next phase of the competition has already begun: speculation about her running mate.
A Boston Globe article kicked off the latest round on Thursday by floating the possibility of an all-female ticket — specifically one filled out by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Those making the case that Warren would be muzzled or neutered as a vice president first must explain why they were wrong at least the last two times.
When Warren was offered a temporary role setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, skeptics warned that she’d get eaten alive in the Treasury Department, would have no real power and, as a member of the Obama administration, would lose her independent outsider voice.
Instead, she won the internal knife fights, carved out space to operate and set up the agency that is today the greatest check against the power of Wall Street. To get a sense of how strong it is, look no further than the legal effort to have it ruled unconstitutional.
From there, Warren made a bid for the U.S. Senate. Again, her friendly skeptics worried that as one of 100 lawmakers, she’d be shorn of her true power, her independent outsider status. Just look at what happened to political satirist-turned-senator Al Franken, they warned.
Instead, Warren maneuvered her way onto the Senate Banking Committee and built a power base. She and a group of allies were able to stop Larry Summers from even being nominated to chair the Federal Reserve, and she has otherwise held sway over the administration’s personnel decisions she’s focused on. Banking regulators and Education Department officials, well aware that a viral embarrassment awaits them at their next committee hearing if they fall short of their regulatory duties, have a new pep in their step.
Those who are arguing that Elizabeth Warren would be made an impotent lap dog by Hillary Clinton, clearly do not know Elizabeth Warren's record and, I would argue, do not understand Hillary Clinton very well.
I doubt that too many would argue that Joe Biden or Dick Cheney were muzzled when they became VP, and saying that Warren would be somehow tamed smacks of sexism.
Besides if my proposed scenario, which I now deem the greatest possible scenario, were to play out and Warren was to replace Clinton at the top of the ticket in 2020, then there is no telling the good she could do for this county.
For people demanding a revolution it is hard to imagine shaking things up more than to have two women at the top of a ticket which has been jealously guarded and held in the sweaty grip of men since America's infancy.
And then to have it remain in the hands of a female for three entire terms?
Surely that is the kind of progress that one could not have imagined even two decades ago.