Lucas: For edge in 2024 White House race, Elizabeth Warren should visit Taiwan

Elizabeth Warren should go to Taiwan.

That way the progressive Massachusetts senator could get a jump on the horde of Democrats seeking to run for president once President Biden announces that he will not seek a second term.

And despite the bump Biden got in the polls after the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri by a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, it will do little to save his presidency.

Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as head of al-Qaeda, made a big mistake when he left the rugged cave life to live in comfort in Kabul.

Had he more thoughtful he could have changed his name to Zeke Zawahiri, ditched his robes for a set of worn chinos and a pair of knock-off Nikes, shaved his beard, donned a Boston Red Sox baseball cap and gone to Mexico.

Once there the Mexican cartels would have helped him cross Biden’s open border into Eagle Pass, Texas, like everybody else is doing, including terrorists.

There he would have been given an EBT card, a free cell phone, and a free bus ride to Washington, D.C., thanks to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

In the nation’s capital, a sanctuary city, Zeke Zawahiri could have set up shop near the White House as a political consultant, or lobbyist, specializing in gangland and terrorist activities.

Outside of an occasional CIA drone strike, there are fewer street shootings in Kabul than there are in Washington.

Seriously, though, Zawahiri was an evil man who deserved the death he got.

And killing him was a big win for Biden, even though it does not offset his humiliating and deadly abandonment of Afghanistan a year ago, a retreat that allowed Zawahiri to find sanctuary there.

Outside of blowing up Zawahiri, Biden’s performance has been so poor that nothing will save him, which is why Democrats like Warren, and a host of others, are whispering about running for president once Biden throws in the towel.

Seventy-five percent of Democrats polled do not want Biden to run, preferring a different candidate in 2024.

Warren, 73, ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020, after repeatedly denying that she would not do so. Again, she has repeatedly denied that she would run for president in 2024.

That would instantly change, however, once Biden declares that he would not run again.

And that could happen. One day, Biden will squint into the teleprompter and read a script which will go something like, “Say with emphasis: I will not run, nor will I accept, the Democrat nomination for president in 2024. Period. End of quote.”

Democrats will then come out of the woodwork to announce their candidacies, one of whom will, of course, be Vice President Kamala Harris, who is even more unpopular that Biden.

So, the field will be wide open. And in a big field every candidate will be looking for an edge.

That edge could be a trip to Taiwan, now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi captured the attention of China — as well as the rest of the world — by standing up to Chinese President Xi Jinping and making the visit.

Warren, as a member of the Armed Services Committee, could easily justify such a trip as a fact-finding mission centered on U.S. military aid delivered or promised to Taiwan.

There was a time in American presidential politics when candidates for president had to make trips to “the three I’s — Israel, Italy and Ireland — to bolster their foreign policy qualifications.

Those days are gone. Now presidential candidates must go to Ukraine and Taiwan.

Such a trip would not equal the drama of Pelosi’s visit — or get anywhere near the amount of media coverage.

But it would make Warren the first unannounced potential Democrat candidate for president bold enough to stand up to the dictators of Communist China.

Politics is a game of edges. This would give the wily Warren the edge she needs. Go, Liz, go.

Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.