It’s tough for a Democratic senator this primary election cycle: six of your colleagues are all fighting to be the party’s next presidential nominee. The unspoken rule for most of the Senate seems to be that they won’t take sides this early, but the (quietly) spoken rule, per the Hill, is ooh boy, wouldn’t things be easier if we just elected Joe Biden?
The Hill reported today that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are seen as a little too progressive by most of their Senate colleagues (wow):
Yet a number of Democrats privately acknowledge that if Warren or Sanders wins the nomination, it will create immediate tension within the party.
If Warren or Sanders wins the party’s presidential nomination, there will be pressure in the Senate to adopt their proposals. And there could be tensions between a nominee and senators who do not back their proposals.
And yet, multiple senators were happy to talk about the race anonymously:
One Democratic senator who requested anonymity to discuss the race said a number of senators neutral in the race are more aligned with Biden.
“Ideologically, they’re definitely more with Biden,” said the Democratic senator, who described colleagues as having doubts about Warren’s and Sanders’s boldest proposals.
“Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, the wealth tax — the list is long,” the senator said.
A second Democratic senator who requested anonymity predicted that if Warren or Sanders is elected president, they will likely face opposition from fellow Democrats to some of their biggest proposals.
“The senators have a great confidence in their own ability with a friendly White House to say, ‘We like a lot of that, but we don’t like all of it,’ ” the senator said. “We’re not going to just do what they ask because they ask.”
Could this be because they desperately want to preserve the status quo that keeps them in power and does little to nothing for the people they serve? Not for me to say! (Yes.)
As The Hill also noted, Biden already has the public endorsements of five senators—perhaps useful for progressive organizers thinking about candidates ripe for a primary challenge! The argument is largely the same tired one we’ve heard before: Biden is more “pragmatic” and more “electable.” Alabama Sen. Doug Jones went as far as to say Warren and Sanders wouldn’t “play as well in Alabama,” which is interesting because a presidential ticket with Biden on it failed to get even 40 percent of the vote in both 2008 and 2012.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is also still running for President for some reason, is not mentioned in the piece or by any of the senators quoted, which is extremely funny to me and more than a little rude to her.