Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
THE FOLLOWING IS WRITTEN BY ONE OF MY FAVORITE MENTEES, A SERIOUS CAMPAIGN PRO & VOLUNTEER FROM MY CAMPAIGNS:
By Ellie Cohen, 2013 political journalism George Washington University graduate-to-be, for TheRun2016.com
A pair of recent public speeches that tickled the fancy of the media and her admirers only hardened the assumption that Hillary Clinton is running for president.
“It’s such a silly question. Of course Hillary is running,” declared the inimitable New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd on Sunday.
But if — for whatever reason — she takes a pass at history, the decision would blow open a gaping hole in the 2016 Democratic field that would have to be filled.
Unquestionably, there would be a need for another woman.
There are a handful of prominent names that have been floated as women who could pick up the torch, but Democratic strategists surveyed by The RUN believe two stand out head-and-shoulders above the pack: New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“Gillibrand and Warren would be far more formidable,” said Democratic strategist David Heller, when presented with those names as well as Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
“Elizabeth Warren, in particular, would be extremely formidable because she has, arguably, the best donor list of any sitting office holder right now, other than Joe Biden. In terms of the presidency, only Biden and Hillary Clinton would have a better donor base to begin the race than Elizabeth Warren.”
During the high-profile Massachusetts Senate race last year, Warren compiled an extensive and active donor list and demonstrated her prolific national fundraising abilities. She raised $42 million leading up to November, with more money and individual donors than any other congressional candidate.
Running in the national spotlight also helped boost her name recognition, especially in the neighboring state of New Hampshire, which shares a media market with Boston. Public Policy Polling recently found that if Clinton and Biden are both running, only five percent would vote for Warren.
However, when Clinton is not in the contender pool, the number more than doubles to 11 percent. If Biden is removed from the field of contenders, 18 percent said they would vote for Warren, following unknown and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.