Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has been actively reviewing Massachusetts rules for filling a US Senate vacancy, another indication of the seriousness with which Democrats are gaming out the possibility of Elizabeth Warren joining likely presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s ticket. The upshot of Reid’s review is that Senate Democrats may have found an avenue to block or at least narrow GOP Governor Charlie Baker’s ability to name a temporary replacement and prevent the Senate from flipping to a Democratic majority if Warren were to leave the chamber. That suggests the issue is not as significant an obstacle as Reid previously feared. Pieces of the legal guidance given to Reid were shared with the Globe by a person close to Reid who is familiar with the guidance. “Reid sees a number of promising paths to making sure that Democrats keep Warren’s seat and is very open to her being selected,” said this person, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Warren is a frequently mentioned figure in the capital’s fevered vice presidential speculation. Clinton’s campaign, while not explictly confirming that Warren is under consideration, has said its list of finalists for the pick will include at least one woman.
Warren, who is highly popular among Democratic liberals, would provide an immediate boost to Clinton by shoring up her left flank after the prolonged and divisive fight with Vermont democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders for the nomination.
But for Senate Democrats, a Clinton-Warren ticket is not without risk. If Clinton were to win in November, the Massachusetts senator’s departure for the vice presidency could threaten Democrats’ hopes of recapturing the Senate majority.