Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren continues to work her name into the overall discussion of the 2016 presidential election, despite repeated declarations that she will not be joining the race. Warren made headlines most recently for taking a private meeting with Vice President Joe Biden this weekend. The candidate’s populist, progressive views have been a major talking point on the Democratic Party’s side of the 2016 campaign, especially as candidates like Bernie Sanders increase in popularity. Even though Warren isn’t running for president, she’s having a significant impact on the way the race is being run.
What occurred during Biden and Warren’s meeting this weekend has been the subject of intense speculation by political pundits. Biden still has not ruled out seeking the Democratic nomination in 2016, and he may have been consulting Warren as to how his campaign could incorporate some of the progressive viewpoints that have largely been ignored by Hillary Clinton. Biden also could have been talking to Warren about possibly becoming his running mate should he win the nomination. Warren’s most hopeful fans speculate that maybe the meeting means she is still considering entering the race, although Warren has repeatedly denied any interest in doing so. In fact, she wouldn’t even answer a reporter’s question as to whether she’d seek reelection for the Senate when her term ends in 2019.
The candidate that holds views closest to Warren’s left-leaning ideology is Bernie Sanders, and Biden’s meeting with the Senator could have the surging presidential candidate worried about his chances. Sanders, however, remains unfazed by the news. “I’ve had many, many meetings with Elizabeth Warren,” Sanders said when asked about the meeting, according to Politico. “I’ve known Joe Biden for many years. The people who know him respect him. If Joe gets into this race, I look forward to continuing running an issue-oriented campaign and discuss[ing] the important issues of the country. Whether he gets in or not, I have no idea, and what its impact will be, I just don’t know.” That seems to be the standard, no-nonsense response Sanders has issued throughout his campaign when asked about the media-driven drama of the election. Yet, again, Warren’s influence over the race cannot be denied.
Warren still has not officially endorsed any presidential candidate for 2016. Neither has Obama, although his press secretary recently claimed that the current president would not rule out endorsing his successor. But Warren has a passionate group of followers throughout the nation, and her support for Clinton, Sanders or Biden could have a significant impact on the campaign. Sanders likely has the best chances of winning that support, although Warren also once signed a Senate document encouraging Clinton to run for president. “Hillary is terrific,” Warren has said, according to the Washington Post. Even though Warren refuses to run for president, it’s clear that her words and actions will influence the way her supporters vote next November. Hopefully her views can influence the way the politicians that are running approach the issues of big banks and Wall Street, which has been the core focus of her efforts as a politician thus far. Her views are different than the Democratic establishment, and it will be interesting to see how the candidates who are running incorporate some of those ideals.
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