Expect a Democratic divide in 2016: There will be the party "elites," who, though they back stimulus and big unemployment benefits, see a giant financial sector as integral to the economy. The "majority of Democratic voters," on the other hand, have grown more populist and want less Wall Street power. The icon for that latter group: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who continues to make a name for herself battling big banks. And therein lies the rub for Hillary Clinton, who may find it difficult to extricate herself from Wall Street ties, writes Noam Scheiber in the New Republic.
Warren has three key qualities that make her a threat to Clinton: First, she's a woman, and Democrats want "to make history again." Second, she can easily raise cash. And third, she can "awaken in Democratic voters an almost evangelical passion." Some criticize her for apparently focusing on her image, but it's not that she wants stardom: She's just "relentlessly, perhaps ruthlessly, maybe even a bit messianically, focused on advancing her policy agenda," Scheiber notes. "It’s hard to look at the Democratic Party these days and not feel as if all the energy is behind Warren"—even if many doubt she'd run against Clinton. Click for Scheiber's full column. (Read more Elizabeth Warren stories.)