CNBC ran a very interesting feature this morning from Ben White, the chief economic correspondent from Politico. According to him, Wall Street is threatening to cut off Clinton’s cash flow if she chooses Elizabeth Warren as running mate. Warren is Wall Street’s public enemy no. 1 in the Senate, having created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and come out very vocally in favor of breaking up the big banks. Before the Bernie Sanders campaign, she was the most visible advocate for reform, and Wall Street really doesn’t like reform. They know that if she were second-in-command, favorable deals would be much harder to cut with a potential President Clinton.
So they’re acting. Per White:
Wall Street has an unambiguous message for Hillary Clinton: Don’t pick Elizabeth Warren as your vice president if you want to keep getting our money.
That warning came through very clearly in over a dozen interviews I did over the last week with some of the largest Democratic donors on Wall Street who have helped fund Clinton’s campaigns over the years as well as funneled cash to Bill Clinton’s political career in the 1990s.
That’s not an idle threat, either—the securities and investment industry alone has given her $28 million thus far in her campaign against Sanders, which is about 10 percent of the total funds she’s raised. White believes that a Warren pick is unlikely in light of this information, but his rationale is outmoded:
...the last thing a temperamentally cautious Clinton needs or wants to do is go bold and risky with her VP pick. Warren would clearly fire up the liberal base. But she would present a risk on the money front and could turn off moderate Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans.
Are there really that many “moderate Democrats” who love Wall Street so much that they’d be turned off by Warren? And are there any purely fiscal Republicans left beyond Mitt Romney and his 26 children?
If anything, picking Warren would add legitimacy to the progressive bona fides Clinton has tried so hard to win for herself in her primary campaign. It would take courage to pick the Massachusetts Senator over a more moderate swing-stater like Tim Kaine (White’s odds-on favorite, at the moment). Here’s what Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor, had to say in response to the article:
So, does Clinton have the guts to turn down Wall Street’s money and pursue a true progressive path with Warren as her VP? It’s doubtful—her entire political career has been one of expedience, and in the few moments when she has shown any kind of ideology, it’s been of the fiscally conservative kind. Warren, I would guess, is out of luck.