Our Opinion: VP would be step back for Sen. Warren


With the presidential primary season winding down, speculation is turning to vice presidential candidates. Not surprisingly, the name of Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is coming up.

Senator Warren's aggressive advocacy for the working class and her determined attempts to crack down on Wall Street abuses inspired progressives to urge her to run for president. The senator resisted those entreaties, and progressives found a candidate in Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has dropped her name as a potential vice presidential candidate on his ticket.

Pundits have also floated Senator Warren as vice president on a ticket with Hillary Clinton. The senator and the former secretary of state have a frosty relationship, as Senator Warren has been as critical of Ms. Clinton's ties with the financial industry as has Senator Sanders. Presidents and vice presidents don't have to be as palsy-walsy as Barack Obama and Joe Biden, however, and progressives would see Senator Warren as a good check on Ms. Clinton.

The political rule of thumb is that a presidential and vice presidential ticket can't be comprised of candidates from the same geographical area, but New York resident Hillary Clinton is actually from Chicago and Senator Warren hails from Oklahoma City. An all-woman ticket would have considerable appeal — and it would be entertaining to listen to Donald Trump rant about Ms. Clinton "doubling down on the woman card."

However, we urge Senator Warren to stay where she is.

In her tenure as a senator, even as a member of the minority party, Ms. Warren has emerged as a leader in Washington. Outspoken, principled and wise in the ways of the financial industry, she has the potential to be a great senator, along the lines of Massachusetts legend Edward Kennedy. It would be a shame to see that potential short-circuited.

Practically speaking, Ms. Warren can accomplish far more in the Senate that she can as a vice president, where too much of her time would be spent attending the funerals of foreign dignitaries. That job was ideal for Mr. Biden, whose impressive Senate career was behind him when he joined Barack Obama on the 2008 ticket. Senator Warren's already impressive Senate career is largely ahead of her.

Senator Warren may emerge as an excellent presidential candidate someday, although Senator Kennedy did not in his one attempt. He was a man of the Senate, and Senator Warren can be a woman of the Senate. There is nothing wrong with that.


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