Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is seeking expert advice on how to defeat the remaining 2020 Democratic presidential nominees and, according to NBC News, she’s turned to failed 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton for advice.
Earlier reports indicated that Clinton, determined to re-litigate her 2016 defeat at the hands of then-New York real estate investor Donald Trump, had been reaching out to a potential 2020 candidates, offering her sage advice (though it’s not entirely clear she’s come to terms with precisely why she lost the contest herself). A handful of candidates reportedly took her up on her offer to chat, but Warren has, NBC says, kept an open line.
“The two women have kept a line of communication open since the Massachusetts senator decided to run for president — though only a conversation around the time of Warren’s launch has been previously reported — according to several people familiar with their discussions who spoke to NBC on the condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of private interactions,” the outlet reported Sunday.
The contact, NBC adds, has been substantial enough to “merit attention,” and Warren and Clinton have talked so recently that the interaction was “front of mind” for the source.
The New York Times reported back in August that Warren was making inroads with Democratic insiders, actively courting high-powered politicos within the Democratic sphere in order to solidify support for a potential 2020 candidacy among key decision-makers, especially DNC power players who could make life much easier for her behind the scenes during the nomination process.
Warren has also been hitting the campaign trail for Democrats competing in House, Senate, and state-level races in the hopes that winners will turn around and support her as the 2020 Democratic National Convention inches closer and the Democratic field narrows.
She’s also, the NYT said, trying to make the case to party insiders that they don’t necessarily need to go with a more “moderate” candidate like former Vice President Joe Biden in order to successfully take on Trump: “Ms. Warren is also trying to allay concerns among Democrats that, as a progressive candidate proposing sweeping change, she may not have enough mainstream appeal to compete with President Trump in the general election.”
Top on her list of potential allies, it seems, is Clinton. Warren wants Clinton’s support base — specifically the middle-aged leftist women who make up the core of the “Resistance” — and Warren likely understands that while Clinton is now a pariah among Democrats, she still holds sway within the party and wields power over some of the Democrats’ biggest donors (and, of course, the “superdelegates”).
Clinton, of course, wants to be known as a vocal supporter of female presidential candidates — and there aren’t many of those left with an actual shot at the nomination. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Clinton’s heir apparent and her successor in New York dropped out of the race after months of pointless campaigning. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has never been a close ally of the Clintons, and most of the rest of the field is too little-known to have any real chance at snagging the nomination.
Which means Warren and Clinton are now chatting semi-regularly, forging the kind of faux friendship that will serve them well in the coming months.