Top Democratic donors in the financial industry are threatening revolt after news broke that top Wall Street critic and progressive darling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is one of the leading candidates for vice president under Hillary Clinton.
"If Clinton picked Warren, her whole base on Wall Street would leave her," one top Democratic donor told Politico reporter Ben White.
"They would literally just say, 'We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you’ve had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can't trust you, you've killed it,'" added the anonymous bundler, who has reportedly helped raise millions for Clinton.
Warren's dedicated pursuit of banking reform makes her an alluring VP pick for a campaign that hopes to woo millions of Bernie Sanders supporters. As White notes, "No American politician in recent history has done more to harness the powerful anti-Wall Street sentiment that continues to rage in the country since the financial crisis of 2008."
At the same time, however, Warren on the ticket would likely alienate some of the campaign's biggest financial industry donors, who hope a Clinton presidency would be more friendly toward their business interests.
These people say there is an opportunity for much better relations between business and the White House than during President Barack Obama’s tenure, as well as more effective deal making with Congress to avoid the kind of fiscal crises that damaged the economy the past six years. In addition to cutting deals on taxes and infrastructure, Wall Street worries about the return of the debt ceiling as a potentially big issue in 2016, as well as the return of sequester spending cuts.
"There is going to be a lot to deal with in the first 100 days, and I'm not sure going left and picking Warren would be particularly helpful," said a top financial services lobbyist in Washington.
The former secretary of state had seen a surge of financial sector donations, as Common Dreams previously reportedly, particularly since Donald Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee.
According to the nonpartisan crowdfunding tracker Crowdpac, Clinton has raised $32 million from the finance and insurance sectors while the Center for Responsive Politics found that ,with an estimated $28 million, the Securities & Investment industry has donated more than any other to her campaign.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Warren was among the top candidates for the spot, along with "Labor Secretary Tom Perez; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Cory Booker of New Jersey; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Reps. Xavier Becerra of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio," according to several Democrats.
Notably, Democratic rival Bernie Sanders was not among those listed.
Another senior Wall Street executive brushed aside the argument that Clinton needed Warren on the ticket, stating: "There will be plenty of time to galvanize the left and get them to come out. And Warren would be a nightmare to try and manage."