Enjoy the Hillary Clinton–Elizabeth Warren Alliance While You Still Can

By
Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren rolled out another viral Donald Trump insult on Monday, turning the Republican nominee’s “nasty woman” dig into a rallying cry. “Get this, Donald — nasty women are tough. Nasty women are smart. And nasty women vote,” Warren said in New Hampshire, as Hillary Clinton laughed and clapped. “And on November 8, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever.”

Those who enjoy watching the progressive favorite team up with Clinton should savor the moment, because there are already signs that their relationship could be much less cozy after Election Day.

When Clinton was asked last weekend if she’s given any thought to her cabinet appointments, assuming that she wins the presidency, she responded, “No, I really haven’t. I’m a little superstitious about that.” But according to Politico, for the past few months, Warren and other progressives have been feeding the Clinton campaign lists of people they suggest for various positions in the administration, and making it clear who they would attempt to block.

In September, The Wall Street Journal reported that along with Warren, the effort included groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Consumers Union, and MoveOn.org, as well as labor unions like the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Teachers.

“When we talk about personnel, we don’t mean advisers who just pay lip service to Hillary’s bold agenda, coupled with a sigh, a knowing glance, and a twiddling of thumbs until it’s time for the next swing through the revolving door,” Warren said during a speech in August. “We don’t mean Citigroup or Morgan Stanley or BlackRock getting to choose who runs the economy in this country so they can capture our government.”

As Politico notes, each of those examples were nods to longtime Clinton allies whom progressives consider unacceptable for top spots in her administration: Morgan Stanley executive Tom Nides, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, and BlackRock board member Cheryl Mills.

Warren’s lobbying over Democratic personnel decisions actually goes back nearly two years, as revealed in emails posted by WikiLeaks as part of the hack of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails. In January 2015, Clinton speechwriter Dan Schwerin told Podesta about a meeting he had with Dan Geldon, Warren’s chief of staff. Schwerin reported that Geldon “was very critical of the Obama administration’s choices.” Progressives have complained that Obama appointed too many former Wall Street executives to top economic positions, making it difficult to implement reforms of the financial system.

Geldon also explained the Massachusetts senator’s opposition to Antonio Weiss for a top spot at the Treasury Department. In 2015, progressives claimed a win when their complaints about Weiss’s Wall Street ties led to him withdrawing himself from consideration.

The New York Times reported on Monday that liberals are “relying on Ms. Warren to become the thorn in chief in Mrs. Clinton’s side” — but she has competition from Bernie Sanders. According to the Washington Post, the Vermont senator is also positioned to be a “liberal thorn in Clinton’s side.”

Sanders told the paper that he is already working with other senators — including Warren — on legislation that would enact some of the more liberal proposals in the Democratic Party platform, like a $15 federal minimum wage and free tuition at public colleges. He also said he would speak out if Clinton nominates the “same old, same old Wall Street guys” to regulatory positions in her administration. “I will be vigorously in opposition, and I will make that very clear,” he said.

In other words, the next time one of Clinton’s liberal friends makes an attack that takes the internet by storm, it may be aimed at her.