U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren isn’t the only politician delighted at the thought that the senior senator could leave Massachusetts and Capitol Hill to serve as former Vice President Joe Biden’s second in command — some senate colleagues could also be cheering.
Pro-business lawmakers have quietly wished the Wall Street reformer would move on to the vice presidential post — often mocked as toothless and ineffective — and leave the legislative branch altogether.
“A lot of people up here wouldn’t mind if she did get tapped,” said one former congressional staffer. Warren’s fierce scrutiny of financial legislation from her perch on the Banking Committee has frustrated pols in both the House and Senate, the former staffer said.
“Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, everyone is afraid of Elizabeth Warren. There’s an inability to get legislation through because of fear of Warren.”
Warren, who said she’d accept if Biden asked her to be vice president, would likely take those comments as a compliment. The Harvard Law professor has cast herself as a champion of the middle class.
“I think that the banks and Wall Street don’t like her, we know that, but if she’s vice president I think she’ll be a larger force in the country than as just one of 100 senators,” said former Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman Phil Johnston, who said Warren is likely one of “the top two or three,” V.P. contenders.
Johnston said the role of vice president, once described by John Adams as, “”the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived,” has expanded.
“It’s all up to the president, but I think the fact that Biden was such an activist V.P. under President Obama he would want to replicate that model in his own administration,” said Johnston.
The position’s main benefit could emerge in 2024. Biden has already faced questions about his health, and the 77-year-old said in February that he won’t run for a second term if he’s not fit enough for the job.
“Whoever is tapped for vice president has a great shot at the nomination at 2024,” said Johnston. (Elizabeth Warren will be 71 in June.)
Warren is vying for the role with other pols like Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. Biden said he’ll put together a V.P. selection committee soon.
“The key to winning is to have a united party and we have to have Bernie supporters get on board. Warren on the ticket would absolutely help with that,” said Johnston.
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