The Elizabeth Warren Cheering Squad
Progressive groups push to send the anti-capitalist politician to the White House
By Jonathan M. Hanen, Organization Trends, May 2015 (PDF here)
Summary: A coalition of Progressive, pro-Democrat nonprofits is trying to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has become a kind of folk hero to leftists, as an alternative to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential contest. The ACORN-affiliated Working Families Party, MoveOn, and Howard Dean’s PAC, Democracy for America, are promoting her potential candidacy relentlessly, while other nonprofits like Americans for Financial Reform and Progressive Change Campaign Committee beat the drum for Warren’s radical policy ideas aimed at crushing Wall Street. Whether Warren runs or not, her looming presence is sure to push the Democratic Party even farther to port.
In recent months, it seems as if every day the populist left-wing politician Elizabeth Warren has said “no” to her party’s Progressive wing, which desperately wants her to challenge the allegedly inevitable presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But the Progressives keep on asking, begging, and pleading with the former law professor to declare her candidacy. “We think the stakes are so high that we want to push to get her in this race,” said T. Neil Sroka, spokesman for Democracy for America. Of MoveOn.org Civic Action’s effort to draft Warren, executive director Anna Galland said, “The top objective of our campaign that we have been explicit about from the beginning is that this is an earnest effort to get her into the race.”
Warren’s reluctance to enter the race may be grounded in self-preservation. She is aware of the power and ruthlessness of the Clinton machine. Clinton’s “command of the Democratic machinery, from fundraising to grass-roots organizing, is so extensive that almost everyone else is understandably intimidated about even testing their talents against her,” Dan Balz observed in the Washington Post (Nov. 8, 2014).
The Democrats have a weak farm team, Balz adds. “The party’s national bench is so thin that Democrats count themselves lucky to have her available in 2016. If she were to decide not to run, the Democrats would have trouble identifying a field of candidates as extensive as Republicans are likely to put up in the coming presidential race.”
With that said, Warren’s wholly speculative candidacy has been going gangbusters. Democracy for America, MoveOn, and the ACORN-affiliated Working Families Party of New York have been raising money, carrying out polls, hosting events, opening offices, and hiring employees in key states “with the express purpose of showing Warren that an infrastructure exists should she discover her presidential aspirations.”