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Why Elizabeth Warren baffles pundits: “Economic populism” isn’t just a campaign slogan

Elizabeth Warren is Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare, according to The New Republic. The Democratic Party emerging from the Obama era likes Warren, and her willingness to discuss class and go after the plutocrats, more than it likes Clinton, who has long aligned herself with Third Way types and money people.

Not so fast, says Politico Magazine. Those hoping for Warren to lead the Democratic Party's "left turn" will soon find that insurgent candidates rarely accomplish much in presidential primary campaigns, and Clinton will likely withstand a Warren challenge. That's the argument of author Paul Waldman, a contributor to the liberal magazine The American Prospect.

And, well, Waldman's analysis is totally right. He's smart, he gets the history right, and he's careful to avoid falling into the usual traps that bedevil pundits predicting far-off presidential elections. It's true that ideological crusader candidacies almost never beat establishment candidates in presidential primaries. Warren, who has repeatedly said she isn't running, would face tough odds in a campaign against the better-funded, more-famous Hillary Clinton. A non-Warren left-wing candidate's odds would likely be in the Dennis Kucinich range.

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