Soon after the surprise announcement Thursday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would be joining her party’s leadership team in the Senate in a newly created position, two of the Democratic senators from increasingly conservative states voiced differing views on the promotion of the Bay State senator, who is a heroine to the Democratic Party’s left-of-center wing.
Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, two of the six lawmakers to vote "no" on Nevadan Harry Reid’s re-election as Senate Democratic Leader, spoke to reporters at the Capitol after emerging from their party’s closed-door caucus.
In winning another term to lead Senate Democrats after they went from majority to minority status, Reid made the surprise announcement that Warren would join the leadership team as "strategic adviser" to the Democratic Policy and Communications Center.
The position, which never existed until last week, gives onetime Obama administration official Warren a seat at the Senate Democratic leadership table.
Only two years into her first Senate term, Warren is a favorite among many grassroots Democrats for her hard-line rhetoric against big business and is often mentioned as a presidential candidate in 2016.
"Elizabeth Warren is not a lonely voice," McCaskill told reporters in the Capitol. "She speaks for a lot of us." The Show-Me State senator said Warren’s message that every American deserves "a fair shake" resonates throughout the Democratic Party.
On Nov. 4, Republicans in Missouri went from 110 to 117 seats in the 163-member state House of Representatives. Two days later, Democratic state Rep. Linda Black of Desloge, a supporter of gun rights and traditional marriage, announced she was switching to become a Republican and thus brought the number of Republican House members to an historic high of 118.
Republicans also increased their majority in the Missouri Senate from 23 to 25 seats out of 34.
When she spoke to reporters on Thursday, McCaskill did not say yes or no to questions about her running for governor in ’16, when Democratic incumbent Jay Nixon is termed out.
West Virginia’s Manchin had a different view of Warren and a different manner of expressing it. Asked if his Bay State colleague would be an asset to Democrats, Manchin replied without hesitation: "Not in West Virginia. She’s further left than most of the voters there."
Pressed as to where Warren differed from West Virginia voters, Manchin said: "Oh my goodness! Are you deaf?"
In November, West Virginia Republicans captured the state House of Delegates for the first time in 80 years and managed a tie with Democrats in the state senate. Most dramatically, Rep. Shelly Moore Capito became the Mountain State’s first Republican senator since 1958 by rolling up 62 per cent of the vote against Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.
Among national Democrats who campaigned for Tennant was Elizabeth Warren.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.