Barring residence under a particularly impressive rock, it’s pretty much impossible to be ignorant of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) these days.
Her name is splashed across every newspaper and political website; under their terms she’s a progressive rock star. With her vigorous stump speeches for Democratic candidates and a persona as the voice of the average Joe, Warren has become an object of adoration for the news-starved left. What’s more, many want her to put her star power to good use; shouts of “Run, Liz, run!” drown out many of her speeches.
This ascension to celebrity, as these rises often go, was incredibly rapid. With energy and passion, Warren exploded onto the national stage, much like another previously little-known candidate some ten years ago.
In fact, Warren shares much with President Barack Obama. The insta-fame of both Senators was heavily influenced by the ambient political climate. In 2004, Obama broke into the limelight at a time of Republican political control and lackluster Democratic candidates.
Flash forward four years, and we find an American people disheartened with and distrustful of Washington as the George W. Bush administration crashes, burns and peters out.
People remembered the eloquent, passionate young Obama from the 2004 convention. He came back wielding a message of hope and change and was embraced by those disappointed with a broken government and flailing economy. He was a relatable promise for many who needed a reason for optimism.
Now, we’re stuck in what most would argue is a period of political cynicism and disappointment. With a farcically useless Congress and an international stage rocked with gunfire and splattered with innocent blood, people are fed up with the status quo. The public yearns for someone who seems above the partisan buffoonery, someone who can spark a new energy and a new hope. Spunky Elizabeth Warren fits the ticket.
However, unlike Obama, Warren won’t be elected President. In fact, she won’t even run.
Candidate Obama was the promising outsider. Albeit a Senator, his message rang clearer as a community organizer from Chicago, an average American, not raised in the bejeweled cocoon of a plush Washington life. He was meant to singlehandedly bring down the snide partisan gridlock, end our bloody engagements elsewhere in the world and breathe life into a frighteningly unsteady economy.
Shockingly, he couldn’t. The American public is not a forgiving forum. People have no patience for the impossibility of the challenges he was given — they just know that things are still bad. Maybe bad in a slightly new way, but still bad.
Warren is too similar to that old candidate, and because of that, the pendulum of American Presidential preference is swinging the other way. If the outsider couldn’t get it done, maybe a Washington insider is the key. Someone who knows the system. Someone who has connections and experience. Someone like Hillary Clinton.
And Warren is too hungry for a woman President to stand in the way.
Elizabeth Warren will have to be content bathing in the glow of her adoring hoards, kept at arm’s length from the Oval Office. But, judging by the lines that have spanned Obama’s timeworn face and the gray that’s speckled his hair since that fateful night in Boston, perhaps she’s getting the better end of the deal.