‘It was kind of a pain in the ass to be thinking about her all the time…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was able to talk Elizabeth Warren out of running for president in 2016, but only after accepting a long list of demands from Warren—many of which shaped Clinton’s presidential platform.
Warren met with Clinton in 2014, when both women were considering presidential campaigns, and shortly after, Warren sent Clinton a list of people she wanted on Clinton’s campaign.
Obama hadn’t done enough to push the country in a progressive direction, Warren claimed, and she wanted Clinton to fix that. Many on the Clinton campaign found Warren’s interference frustrating, Politico reported.
“It was kind of a pain in the ass to be thinking about her all the time,” said one Clinton transition official.
But Clinton’s team continued to listen, aware that Warren was intimately connected to the Democratic establishment and to progressive outliers, and fearful that she might enter the 2016 race anyways.
“We were worried,” a Clinton campaign official said. “In retrospect, she could have been a pretty potent candidate in the primary.”
Many of Warren’s suggestions had to do with personnel, said Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta.
Although Podesta wouldn’t name names, “if you worked at the Obama Treasury Department or the SEC then you were probably in trouble” he said.
“There were the do’s and the don’t’s—do [hire] this person and don’t with this person,” he added. “She was more fired up about the don’t’s than the do’s.”
And all of these personnel recommendations were economically-related, he said.
“She wasn’t making recs on who the secretary of Defense should be,” Podesta said. “It was all concentrated on Treasury, financial regulators and that cluster of agencies.”
Many in the Clinton campaign thought that Warren’s guidance undermined Clinton’s campaign.
“She was the pushiest and most engaged outside person that I can think of in terms of telling us to hire people, pushing us to hire people,” one Clinton transition official said. “We didn’t necessarily have the same priorities. After all, she wasn’t going to be president. Hillary Clinton was going to be president.”