Populist Ire for Wall Street Makes Clinton A Poor Choice: Critics

Politico reports that Wall Street is freaking out over the idea of a populist contender for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016.

With the consummate insider Hillary Clinton—a former First Lady, US Senator and Secretary of State—once again seen in establishment circles as the “inevitable” choice to lead the party, The Hill says the left of the Democratic base wants a strong primary challenger in order to highlight Clinton’s corporate-friendly, Wall Street-appeasing, and military hawkish instincts.

Though critics are sure to note the possible premature nature of the debate—it’s still 2013, by the way—the uptick in the conversation this week was spawned by a feature-length article in the New Republic on Monday, titled Hillary’s Nightmare? A Democratic Party That Realizes Its Soul Lies With Elizabeth Warren, in which journalist Noah Scheiber paints of a scenario in which the freshman senator from Massachusetts, championed for her tough positions on Wall Street and well-received populist message, rises to challenge the party’s pro-corporate standard-bearer.

In many ways, the dynamics Scheiber describes are less about about a Clinton vs. Warren showdown, but the fundamental split in the Democratic Party that only the intransigence and obstructionism of the Republican Party has kept at bay. In essences, writes Scheiber, there are two sides of the party (emphasis added):

Picking up on the story, The Hill reached out to several prominent progressive DC groups to gauge their thoughts on a primary challenge from Clinton’s left, and found that most worried about her inability to genuinely inhabit the anti-Wall Street, populist mood that has become a central tenet in an era of massive income and economic inequality. Not only did the groups cite economic disparity as one of the biggest problems facing the nation, it is also a galvanizing political issue for the left. From The Hill:

Phrasing it in a question, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader put it this way in his weekend column at Common Dreams: “Does the future of our country benefit from Hillary, another Clinton, another politician almost indistinguishable from Barack Obama’s militaristic, corporatist policies garnished by big money donors from Wall Street and other plutocratic canyons?”

The answer from Nader is an emphatic ‘No.’ He writes:

At Politico meanwhile, the focus on Tuesday was on the possibility of Clinton’s challenge coming from Sen. Warren and how Wall Street was simmering with consternation over the prospect. As Ben White and Maggie Haberman report:


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