Elizabeth Warren Isn’t Running For President, But Don’t Expect The Speculation To End Soon
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is not running for President, and she is unlikely to change her mind on that. Nonetheless, the speculation that she is will continue for some time to come because it suits her interests and the interests of others.
During the debate last week and leading into Saturday night’s Senate vote on the $1.1 trillion “Crominbus” bill, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was, albeit, briefly, effectively allied with the unlikely partner of Texas Senator Ted Cruz in seeking to block consideration of the bill over parts that she found objectionable. While the ultra-conservative Texas Senator was concerned primarily with those provisions of the bill that loosened restrictions in the Dodd Frank Law regarding the ability of federally insured financial institutions to engage in the trading of derivatives. Warren was among the first to bring this change in the law to the attention of the public and other Members of Congress when the text of the bill was first made public last week, and she quickly got other Democrats in the Senate and House to join her, even some Republicans joined along but that seemed to be opportunistic on their part since they had other reasons to oppose the bill. In the end, though, it was clear that it was Warren who was leading the fight and even when she decided to step back and let the bill pass the Senate without a significant fight, it was clear she had won another rhetorical victory inside the Democratic Party. Inevitably, of course, this has led to yet another round of speculation about Warren and the question of whether she’d run for President in 2016 and, again, as she made clear in an interview on NPR, she said that the isn’t running for President:
Sen. Warren, as you must know, that even as you were fighting over this in the Senate, there was a group called Ready for Warren that wants you to run for president, that released a letter signed by more than 300 people who describe themselves as former Obama campaign workers and staffers and aides. They want you to run. What do you say to them?
I’m, I’m not running for president. That’s not what we’re doing. We had a really important fight in the United States Congress just this past week. And I’m putting all my energy into that fight and to what happens after this.
Would you tell these independent groups, “Give it up!” You’re just never going to run.
I told them, “I’m not running for president.”
You’re putting that in the present tense, though. Are you never going to run?
I am not running for president.
You’re not putting a “never” on that.
I am not running for president. You want me to put an exclamation point at the end?
(Laughs) OK, that’s fine. Can you tell me, Senator, how you see your role over the next couple of years presuming that you don’t run? You’ve raised your profile in a way that few Democrats have been able to do recently.
You know, I’m just here to stand up for hardworking families who just want a fighting chance. That’s what I’m in this fight for, and I’m in this fight all the way.
This isn’t the first time that the question of Senator Warren running for President has been in the media, of course. It goes back more than a year when she sought to stamp down such speculation with a statement that she was not running and has continued to pop up at various times in 2014 even though Warren herself has previously called on Hillary Clinton to run and the people who were the primary financial backers of her 2012 campaign for Senate have said that they would not support her if she ran for President against Hillary Clinton. These are only the denials of interest in a Presidential run from Warren that I have made note of here at OTB, there have been countless others over the past year or more and, as Greg Sargent notes, there are likely to be more in the foreseeable future, because the Warren for President meme is unlikely to come to a half until the last possible minute:
hose running the “draft Warren” effort think there is something she could do that would promptly end this chatter — with or without an exclamation point — and that she has not availed herself of it.
“She’s been very consistent in speaking in the present tense,” Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy For America, which is involved in the “draft Warren” effort, tells me. “The way this speculation will end is if she says, ‘I am not running and I will not run.’ That would end the draft effort.”
“We’re trying to make it very clear that this is an indication to us that the door is still open,” Sroka continued. “Speaking in the present tense certainly ensures that the grassroots folks are going to continue running the draft campaign. I would think she knows that. And we want her to know that.”
For my part, I don’t believe Warren has any intention to run, though I wouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility that she might change her mind under certain circumstances, most particularly if Hillary Clinton were to somehow end up not running. That said, the focus on Warren’s grammar by the “draft Warren” contingent, which also prominently includes MoveOn.org, represents more than mere wishful thinking: It goes to the heart of what this dance is really all about.
By all indications, progressive groups genuinely believe there is at least a chance of coaxing Warren into the race under certain circumstances. However, whether or not that ultimately happens, they have an interest in keeping up this push for another reason: Anything that boosts Warren’s visibility might also boost the potential power and influence that Warren may be able to exert within Congress — and over the Democratic Party in general — as their chosen vehicle for progressive policy ideas. That might boost the groups’ own influence over the debate.
By this reasoning, of course, lefty groups might have an obvious motive for reading subtleties into Warren’s grammar choices that may or may not be there. At the same time, though, the groups’ approach to this might also give Warren herself a reasonable enough motive for leaving things grammatically ambiguous, if that is indeed what she is doing.
After all, keeping alive the “draft Warren” effort — which its proponents themselves say will keep going until she rules out a future run — probably does enhance her stature and clout as the standard bearer of the “tough on Wall Street” wing of the party. That, in turn, could maximize her influence over policy debates and the party’s overall direction — including that adopted by the eventual Democratic nominee. What’s the harm, she may think, in keeping alive the chatter?
It’s worth noting of course that keeping this speculation alive is also in Warren’s interests at the moment. As a freshman Senator, her actual power would generally be quite limited, and as a freshman who is a member of what will be the minority caucus starting in January, that power would be more limited still. To the extent that she is seen, however, as something more than just a minority Senator from a state where, generally speaking, a Ham Sandwich could get elected Senator in a normal election if it had a D after its name, she gains at least some power to influence the direction of her party going forward. One of the easiest ways to do that is to keep open ever so slightly the speculation that she might be open to running for President, whether its in 2016 or at some point in the future even if that isn’t the case at all. So far at least, it seems to be paying off. Although there’s no indication that her presence on the campaign trail made any difference, and indeed polling indicated that her endorsements didn’t really have an impact on anyone’s vote going forward, the fact that she was out there campaigning as much as someone like Hillary or Bill Clinton during the midterm elections is an indication of how many in the Democratic Party are at least recognizing her influence. The fact that she was given an as-yet unspecified role in the Senate Democratic Caucus leadership going forward, something that almost never happens to a freshman, is another indication of that influence. Finally, there is the simple fact that there is a vocal wing of the Democratic Party that at least wants the 2016 race to be something other than a coronation, and for a so-called “progressive” voice to be part of that race. For many, the natural candidate for that role is Elizabeth Warren, and they are likely to keep pushing her to run notwithstanding her denials until the very end, or until another candidate such as Brian Schweitzer or Jim Webb comes along to take up the “progressive/populist” banner. None of these candidates is likely to have much of a chance of winning against Hillary Clinton, of course, but the hope is obviously that they will be able to force her to address issues that she otherwise might ignore during a primary campaign where she is not seriously challenged. Like Sargent, I doubt that person will be Warren, but as long as she leaves the door open a crack then she will continue to be asked if she’s running.
On a final note, I will say this much, if Elizabeth Warren does not run for President in 2016 it is unlikely that she will ever run. While many people seem to have the impression that she is younger, is in fact only two years younger than Hillary Clinton and would be 6 7 years old in 2016. In 2020, she would be 71, and in 2024 she would be 75. It seems unlikely that she’d run in those later years if she doesn’t run this time around, which may be fine with her. Contrary to what some people think, not everyone who becomes a Senator wants to run for President, just ask Rob Portman, and Warren may believe that she can do more good by serving a term or two in the Senate than by taking on what would likely be a quixotic bid for the White House. She could also potentially be a candidate for a Cabinet-level appointment in a future Democratic Administration. If one takes her at her word that she’s primarily interested in advancing an agenda, there may be better ways for her to do that then running for President. As I said, though, that’s not going to stop the speculation and, indeed, in the coming months, it is likely only to become more intense. So, expect more carefully worded denials from the Senator until such time as she feels its appropriate to shut the entire thing down, which I suspect won’t be until Hillary Clinton formally enters the race.
“Progressive”? That label is so far removed from what it once was…
It’s funny how Warren didn’t object to the government’s lowering the required minimum down to buy a home to only 3%. She’s such a proponent of the little guy, but it was the little guy that lost his home in the subprime mortgage fiasco in the past and will again in the future…essentially opening the door to higher defaults among home buyers lacking any substantive equity cushion in case of another downturn in the market.
Apparently the mortgage insurance industry, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have already contributed the max allowable to Warren’s election/re-election fund.
So, banks want to loan people money, and you think they shouldn’t ? You hate the free market or something?
Like seriously ,the only place where that was possible was in the sub-prime market, that was unregulated. Now, that reasons for this non-regulation might have been “socialist”, but the whole scheme originated with, and was promoted by the free market..
So I bought a house with 3% down last year (well…5% to get a better rate, but 3% was entirely available to me)—there have been many types of loans that will take this for quite awhile.
@humanoid.panda: And yet, after closing costs, with only 3% down, people are walking away from the lending table under water on mortgages. Subprime mortgages were also “Free market”. And all of the above were forced on lenders by the Community Reinvestment Act to include legislative changes in 1989. There were numerous loan recipients that banks did not believe qualified for a home loan but the banks were forced to lend to them.
Yeah, free market, indeed.
What right wing nut-job website did you copy that from…so we can try to figure out what you are talking about???
Senator Warren is 65 y/o. This is her window to run for president. In 2024, she will be too old to be president. However, she seem to be very narrow is her policy focus as many have pointed out. There is also all of her past writings and how they would be interpreted today. I would love for her to reconcile her writing that people are going broke trying to purchase a home in a good neighborhood with a good schools with her support for the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform.
But to have a home built by a contractor around here the banks are requiring 25% down. Most people are not going to have that much cash unless they sold their home and made a lot, they won a lottery, or rich uncle left them a lot of money. Home building contractors probably don’t have it or won’t risk it. That is probably why the new home construction around here has slowed to a crawl.
I have not heard much at all about Senator Warren. Her name just is not out there.
@C. Clavin: Clavin, I said blow me, cupcake.
The notion that the CRA had any connection to the financial crisis has been debunked, thoroughly.
Time to update your right wing talking points.
For those with incredibly low credit scores? Maybe. Doubtful. Across the board? I’m calling B.S.
@Jack: Oh, what a surpise that a lying asshole is pulling out the CRA card. That was not expected at all. Here is what people who unlike you study stuff and don’t get fed their thoughts through a puke funnel think:
@stonetools: It has not been thoroughly debunked. Economists and bankers alike outright said that the CRA forced banks to lend to people who could not afford the loans.
@Jack: I just posted a long list of links of people who debunk that nonsense of yours, and I would appreciate it if it was released from moderation. In the meanwhile, all I can say is that someone who keeps on repeating the CRA myth after it was repeatedly debunked is a liar, an idiot, or both.
Liars or idiots.
The funny thing is that people who blame the government have a point: Greenspan kept interest rates too low to pump up the bubble, and the Bush administration didn’t look too close at the sub-prime market in order, among other things, to make the “ownership society” a reality (FWIW I am pretty sure that a Democratic administration would not have been different in that regard). However, for some reason I can’t surmise, the Jacks of this world are focused like a laser beam on a law signed by Carter in 1979 and on blah people. I wonder why that is.
More debunked CRA nonsense…got it.
@C. Clavin: Don’t you have someone’s sphincter to wine about?
@Neil Hudelson: I have known two people, one a relative, who found some land and talked to a home builder. He told them what they banks were requiring. They called and asked around, but that was the banks’ requirement. Now that was three years ago so maybe the banks have loosened up some. Home builders can get a contractors’ loan and pay it off when the owners close and move in. That used to be the common procedure for custom built homes like that. But few contractors now will do that and risk someone backing out. I would say that anywhere a person would have to put a good amount down before the builder will move any dirt. A person can always get a new home with a good deal as far as interest rate and percentage down. In that case of course the house is already built and there would be few options as far as design. One good strategy is to try and buy it from the builder before they sign on with a realtor. You can get a good deal that way and the realtor gets the house off his books and avoid paying more taxes and insurance while it is on the market. Another is to get the construction loan yourself (it is possible with good credit and a good relationship with a local bank) and hire sub contractors to build. This requires a lot of insider information, knowledge of how homes are constructed, knowledge of the inspections required, a huge amount of record keeping, and a lot of on site time. It is not for the faint of heart. And risky if a sub contractor messes up or walks off the job (any money they owe to suppliers is put on the homeowner, but there is insurance to cover issues like that). Overall the new home construction is still at a crawl, but shows signs of a slow wake up.
Run, Liz, run
Doesn’t America deserve a bit of comedic relief from the road to the White House?
@JKB: That would be provided in the GOP primary.
@Jack: So, no more arguments from you?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say there is only one person in this thread who has seen CRA driven credit decisions in action: me. It’s not a pretty sight.
I’d be careful of any Fed study that is exculpatory. They have some serious ass covering to do. In addition, “CRA” is just a shorthand for un creditworthy borrowers, like subprime.
The fact of the matter is that subprime is back and driving auto financing and now homes again. And GWB isn’t in office. I believe it was Neal who commented on a 3% down mortgage. Fine if you want to use max leverage. The issue is an incurrence test if loan to value increases. You’d better be able to refi on more standard terms or finance a make-whole if that happens.
I wonder, would Warren be the first presidential primary candidate with a deep body of blog post?
But as Warren has spent almost all her life as a student or employee on the rampant rape campuses of American higher education, is the country ready for another professor? Or will Obama’s performance shut down that avenue for a few cycles?
You want her to reconcile her concern for the middle class with your racism?
Consider a perfect sphere traveling through an ideal gas………..ignore friction……….
She claims she’s not running, but I have it on good authority that she’s picked a campaign theme song. “Don’t stop thinkin about tomorrow……..”
Hooray for Drew…swooon…our hero.
@humanoid.panda: I’ve made my argument and I can find as many link as you that support said argument. Again, this is mental masturbation. You will not change my mind and I will not change yours.
You claim you can, but you actually haven’t. Please post a few.
Your inability to rationally argue a point is duly noted. Carry on.
@Guarneri: Be careful. You will upset the liberal applecart when you express truth to their preconceived ideas.
@Rafer Janders: http://reason.com/blog/2012/12/21/study-says-community-reinvestment-act-in
But a new study by the respected National Bureau of Economic Research finds, “Yes, it did. We find that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks.”
I could go on. But, slapping you around like a red headed stepchild is getting boring.
@Rafer Janders: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
@Rafer Janders: http://reason.com/blog/2012/12/21/study-says-community-reinvestment-act-in
But a new study by the respected National Bureau of Economic Research finds, “Yes, it did. We find that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks.”
Federal policies designed to expand homeownership in an “off-budget” fashion encouraged lending to people who bought homes they could not afford to keep. Perhaps not surprisingly, a federal government which lives beyond its means tragically encouraged American families to do the same.
One of the most damaging of those initiatives has been the Community Reinvestment Act, which was undertaken with good intentions but is today in need of repeal. Proponents of CRA-like mandates have maintained that only a small portion of subprime mortgage originations are related to the CRA. However, though they may be small in volume, CRA loan mandates remain large in precedent. They inherently required lending institutions to abandon their traditional underwriting standards to comply with this government mandate. CRA implicitly put the government’s “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” on such loans.
I could go on. But me being Chris Brown to your Rhiana is getting boring.
Who could begin to argue that you are not the greatest business man that ever there was?
Mods, please release my post from moderation.
@C. Clavin: Don’t you have someone’s sphincter to protect?
@Guarneri: Outside of Massachusetts few people know much about her or have even heard of her. Hillary is the elephant in the room.
The death toll is now over 130. The jihadis set off a jihad-martyrdom suicide bomb that killed a number of students, while beheading others and making students watch as a teacher was burned alive. They believe that all this pleases their god, because it “strikes terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60).
Yeah, I don’t much care what happens to these people once they are caught.
Most of your links are to right wing bloggers and Republican politicans who have a narrative to push. You did include one link to someone who wasn’t a right wing pundit and his analysis was interesting:
The writer than goes on to use statistical analyis to debunk what he calls the “big lie”: that the CRA caused the 2008 crisis.
So maybe, you might want to read your links. Just sayin’.
@Jack: Yeah, I don’t much care what happens to these people once they are caught.
Or any other people who are accidentally caught in the same net, whether they are involved or just innocent bystanders. Like the person who was kept chained in a cell, naked, and froze to death, just another case of mistaken identity.
let me guess, you consider yourself a Christian.
@Senyordave: Did I say innocents? I said these people. What part of that statement don’t you comprehend?
@stonetools: Meanwhile, most of Rafer’s links were to government sites. Who’da thunk that the government would clear itself of all wrongdoing…like a few police department I know of.
@Senyordave: If you sleep with dogs, don’t complain about getting fleas.
History shows that our torturers did not do a good job of respecting that distinction. The GOP wanted us to not know this. So you’re glad they failed, right?
I guess you’re talking about the recent CIA statements claiming the CIA never tortured, and that torture works.
He got it from Wikipedia. In his typically dishonest style, he omitted the subsequent paragraphs, which tell the other side of the story in a quite decisive manner. For example, here is the text that immediately follows the portion he provided:
There is more like this.
And he obviously knows how to paste in links, so his methodology in this instance was transparently dishonest. He neglected to provide a link because he didn’t want readers to see this and the other subsequent paragraphs.
Please, my sources tell me the theme is
“Cherokee Nation” by Paul Revere and The Raiders.
I believe the Republican Party has that market cornered:
Rick Perry, Allen West, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin
I want her to reconcile her concern for middle class American, the lack of real wage growth, the increase of housing costs relative to the costs of other goods, and the costs of “good schools” with their policy position of adding millions of poor third world immigrant. How does paying higher taxes to pay for social services for third world immigrants, paying higher real estate prices for not living next to poor people, and receiving lower wages due to the overabundance of cheap labor help bring about the America that Senator Warren allegedly wants?
Like I said…your racism.
The 2012 paper on the CRA that Jack linked to wasn’t the usual right wing nonsense, but it’s not remotely conclusive either. The majority of the evidence still shows the CRA is still nothing but a right-wing bogeyman.
The funny thing is that even if the CRA caused the banks to make riskier loans, so what? Correctly evaluating and pricing risk is what the financial industry is supposed to do.
So Jack refuses to post links and when he does, most are RW blogs, and the one academic source actively refutes his claim. Then the non-linked quotes he provides turns out also to refute his claims?
Gold, Jerry! Gold!
@Jack: The Rithottz link seems to undermine your assertions. did you read your link?
It looks impressive when you paste in lots of links. It’s disappointing to discover that you pasted in at least three different links that are all pointing to one ‘study.’ That ‘study’ is dismantled here.
She should claim she’s running for president, rake in what donations she can, drop out of the race prematurely, throw her donated campaign funds to
a charityother Democratic candidates using shady practices and SuperPACs, and then go back to the Senate using her own example as a reason to change the law.
I mean, what we’ve got now is progressive masturbation fantasy. Might as well put that ill-spent energy to better use. Pull a Stephen Colbert–Trevor Potter.
Could someone release my earlier comment from the spam filter please. Thanks.
@Jack: Each and everyone of those links is to an opinion columnist or a blog post. I posted research done both academics and the federal government. Remember upthread I mentioned something about an puke funnel? That’s how it works.
And here’s Barry Ritholz, the only recognizable non-hack you have linked to, has to say about the CRA and the GSEs:
@stonetools: Haha, that’s also Barry Ritholz. Jack truly proven himself a star student today..
So the argument is that the two-income trap is caused by racism, that people spending too much money to have a home in a good neighborhood with good schools is due to racism, and that people spending massive amounts of money to try to put their children into the 10% who will succeed in the future is based on racism.
I guess when one has nothing to say, just play the race card instead of thinking about the impacts of past government decisions.
@Jack: “Mods, please release my post from moderation.”
Or, better, put them all in.