Should Elizabeth Warren Run for Governor of Massachusetts?
First, let me state my bias, which is one of great admiration for the Senator from Massachusetts. She has lead on numerous financial issues throughout her career including – advocating for a fair bankruptcy law, documenting issues with TARP, creating an agency that has protected consumers, issues pertaining to student debt and the problem of debt related to medical bills. She is the rare politician that has a genuine interest in the details of policy proposals.
The decision by Republicans to silence her in the debate over Sessions was disgusting. In my view, Elizabeth Warren can maximize her impact by leaving the Senate and by becoming governor of Massachusetts.
It is hard to predict the timing of future events but the general direction of the country is clear. The Senate is broken. I suspect that Dodd Frank will be dismantled and that within four to eight years there will be a new major financial crisis. There is zero chance that this Congress and President Trump will do anything about student debt, will enact useful changes to the ACA, will improve Social Security, or will make any progress on any of the issues that Elizabeth Warren and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party care about.
Elizabeth Warren would likely beat the incumbent Republican governor of Massachusetts. It is likely that the Republicans would waste $20 million or more trying to stop her. Senator Warren’s replacement in the Senate would be a Democrat. Politically, this is a win/win for the Democrats.
Governor Warren would have a much bigger impact on the world in Boston than in Washington. She could implement a program to eliminate student debt for first-year college students perhaps similar to the one described below.
She could promote tougher regulation of banks inside Massachusetts perhaps by issuing executive orders.
She could respond to the problems caused by the ACA repeal at least inside her home state.
It would be difficult to run for President in 2020 after taking a new job in 2018. I don’t believe that Warren is the Democrat’s best shot in 2020. Generally, the more affable candidate wins. (Clinton beat Bush 41 and Bush 43 beat Gore.) However, the nomination and probably the presidency would be hers if there was another financial crisis.
She could become the Democratic Vice Presidential pick in 2020. Senator Warren reminds me a bit of Teddy Roosevelt who became vice president because people wanted him out of Albany.
2020 is a long way away. The bottom line is that the senate is broken and Elizabeth Warren will accomplish much more as governor than as senator.