In the massively crowded Democratic presidential primary, party leaders endorsements are highly sought after.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton easily steamrolled Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries thanks, in part, to her major insider connections and superdelegate pledges.
Things won’t be so easy for embattled Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 campaign — it seems even retired Democratic leaders are keeping their distance.
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Even her old mentors.
Former Senate Leader Harry Reid, still an influential Washington insider, refused to back Warren’s 2020 presidential bid when asked by The Boston Globe on Sunday.
Reid said Warren was a “good person” but said “my Nevada politics keep me from publicly endorsing her.”
Reid’s endorsement has been highly coveted by Democratic insiders heading towards 2020 because of a Democratic primary rule change regarding Nevada.
His slight of Warren is especially controversial because of how influential he was in Warren’s early political career. Reid first nominated Warren “for the bailout oversight role in 2008, when she was a professor at Harvard,” The Globe reported.
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“He encouraged her to run for the Senate in 2012, named her to a leadership position in 2014, and after the 2016 election of Donald Trump, reportedly told her to consider running for president,” The Globe wrote.
Now, at the most important moment in her political career, Reid has suddenly pulled back from backing his former apprentice.
“Nevada, which Hillary Clinton narrowly won in the 2016 presidential race, will assume an unprecedented level of importance in the upcoming 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, because a change in the primary calendar will put Nevada’s primaries just prior to the key primaries in California,” Fox News reported.
Reid remains highly regarded in the Silver State, and he seems to be relishing the role of kingmaker.
“With California coming on early, I think the West is more important than ever,” Reid bragged to The Globe.
Warren was considered a clear Democratic front-runner heading into the primaries, but has been plagued by scandals throughout the past year.
Critics have accused Warren of lying for 30-some years about being an American Indian to advance her career in law.
She has loudly denied the accusation, despite recent evidence that she knowingly spread the lie through her Texas State Bar application in the 1980s. Last weekend, she formally apologized to the Cherokee Nation for claiming to be a tribe member.
“And earlier in January, Warren proposed an unprecedented wealth tax of 2 percent annually on all assets belonging to households worth more than $50 million, as well as a 1 percent tax on households with $1 billion or more,” Fox News reported.
“Critics have charged that the idea is both dangerous and unconstitutional, because it directly taxes wealth that is not transferred, invested, or earned as income, without ensuring the tax is evenly distributed across states.”
It seems the scandals have gotten so bad, even Reid — who doesn’t have to worry about reelections — is keeping his distance.
— The Horn editorial team