Liberals assessing 2016 race as Clinton weighs bid
WASHINGTON (AP) – Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a group of young Democrats Wednesday that the political system was “rigged” by powerful lobbyists and the wealthy and made an impassioned case for reducing burdensome student loans. Vice President Joe Biden said he had been on the front lines of debates over income inequality, climate change and gay marriage.
“I’ve been at the center of most progressive battles for a long, long time,” Biden said, in a lengthy speech to Generation Progress. He heard shouts of “We love Joe,” as he exited the stage.
Hillary Rodham Clinton remains the dominant figure in Democrats’ early 2016 discussions but she is beginning to get elbowed by liberals in her party as she considers a second run for the presidency. Potential 2016 rivals like Biden, Warren and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are in the middle of a summertime tour of Democratic constituencies, frequently appealing to liberal activists who want a more populist approach to the economy and question the deporting of an influx of immigrant children from Central America.
Clinton, who dominates early 2016 polls, may avoid a significant primary challenge if she runs for president. Biden has kept all options open, Warren has repeatedly denied interest, while O’Malley promotes his record in Maryland as a model in the party and is actively exploring a campaign. But the jousting shows an interest in an alternative, and preparations in the event Clinton doesn’t run.