Robert Kuttner, writing at American Prospect about the possibility of Elizabeth Warren challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016:
For half a century, progressive Democrats have clung to a fantasy that might uncharitably be described as Waiting for Lefty. If only a compelling candidate emerged, he or she could get nominated and elected—not as another centrist but as a progressive pledging to remedy the worsening economic conditions that mainstream politics never get around to fixing. Such a candidate could galvanize not just Democrats, but many social conservatives who vote Republican because Democrats offer too little practical help as conditions only worsen. But, as in the Clifford Odets play, Lefty never comes.
Personally, I think it is unlikely that Warren will run. Selfishly, I hope that she does not, as I am very happy having her as one of my Senators. Besides–if she did decide to run, that would most likely just open up yet another opportunity for Martha Coakley to screw up and lose a race to a Republican.
This problem is a big one for the left wing of the Democratic party. We latch on to people like Warren or Bernie Sanders because they have an appealing message and appear to be ready to speak truth to power. We extrapolate what they say and do in the relatively limited context of their current political office to the much broader context of a presidential election.
Of course they sound more exciting than the people who actually have a shot at winning the presidency.