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Editorial: Don’t rush Warren up the ladder

It must be good to be Elizabeth Warren these days.

Just one short year after commonwealth voters sent her down to Washington to represent them in the halls of the Senate, her name is already coming up in conversation when people are talking about possible Democratic candidates for the White House. And to think that before that most Americans, let alone Massachusetts residents, couldn’t have picked her out of a crowd of tourists down at the capital.

And now, though there would still be people who didn’t recognize Warren, pundits and politicians are bantering her name about with Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden as possibilities for the nomination in 2016.

“If Hillary doesn’t run, she’s going to be very much in the mix,” Barney Frank, the former congressman from Massachusetts, recently told the Boston Globe.

“Absent Hillary, it’s a pretty open field. Joe Biden has a lot of support, but he’s not in the kind of lock-it-up position.”

Fueling all of this are a number of magazine articles and blogs that point to Warren being strongly favored by progressives or left-of-center Democrats. They like her intelligence, her push for regulation of the big banks and Wall Street and her passion.

It’s been a meteoric political rise, though the senior U.S. senator from Massachusetts, to date, has been emphatic in saying she’s not a candidate.

Of course, her thinking could change on this. We can’t help but think, however, of another recent Democrat who saw a similar skyrocketing of political fortune that took him from a brief seat in the U.S. Senate to a seat in the Oval Office — Barack Obama. It will be left to history to determine what kind of president Obama was, but there are those who wonder whether Obama wouldn’t have benefited from a little more political seasoning in the Senate.

The same can be argued for Warren.

It may be that Warren will be the right candidate at the right time for the nation. That may even be in 2016. But the country, and especially Massachusetts, can benefit from her role as a senator — and that’s nothing that should be dismissed or overlooked in the coming weeks and months.

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