Group Trying To Draft Elizabeth Warren To Run For President To Close Doors

The "Draft Warren" movement is basically dead.

Fed Chairman Bernanke Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report To Senate Committee

The group behind the rather quixotic effort to get Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for President is closing its doors:

Run Warren Run, a draft Warren organization run by Democracy for America and, has spent the last six months calling on the Massachusetts senator to make a White House bid. On Monday, the group will officially throw in the towel after delivering a petition containing 365,000 signatures to Warren’s office on Capitol Hill, the group announced Tuesday.

Progressive Democrats for some time saw the Massachusetts senator as a top potential challenger for presumed Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. But Warren, who has emerged as a top populist voice in the Senate in recent years, repeatedly dismissed the possibility of a 2016 White House bid. Not that that dissuaded ’Run Warren Run’ from trying.

“The Run Warren Run campaign has changed the conversation by showing that Americans are hungry for Elizabeth Warren’s agenda — an agenda that rejects the rigged status quo in Washington and puts working and middle-class Americans over corporate interests,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of Political Action.\

The entire “draft Warren” movement has been one of the more bizarre spectacles to watch unfold over the past years. It started more than a year ago, and almost immediately Warren tried to stamp down speculation with a statement that she was not running. Nonetheless, 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.  Warren repeated her denial of an Presidential ambitions earlier this year in January and then again in March, and in February we learned that Mandy Grunwald, who had been Warren’s top media consultant during her Senate bid, had joined the Hillary Clinton campaign. For anyone who was paying attention, the signs were all there, Elizabeth Warren was not running for President and no effort to get her to change her mind on that issue ever really had any chance of succeeding.

As I’ve noted before, though, the move to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for President was never really about Elizabeth Warren. Instead, Warren was serving as a proxy for progressive groups inside the Democratic Party who have sensed that Hillary Clinton may not emphasize the issues that they care about such as income inequality and Wall Street regulation. In the short time that she has been in politics, Warren has been quite vocal on those issues and that, naturally, caused many of these groups to rally around her. In the end, though, the “draft Warren” movement wasn’t really so much about Warren, who quite honestly doesn’t really have a resume that suggests she is either qualified or prepared to be President of the United States, as much as it was about pushing Hillary Clinton to the left, or at least forcing her to address these types of issues. That’s why it will be so easy for so many of these people to get behind other Democratic candidates such as Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, or, if he runs, Jim Webb. Many of them will just get behind Clinton and, of course, all of them will end up supporting Clinton in the end. Whether they’ve accomplished anything, though, is an open question.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. gVOR08 says:

    Warren, who quite honestly doesn’t really have a resume that suggests she is either qualified or prepared to be President of the United States

    Doesn’t stop anybody on the GOP side of the fence.

  2. Tillman says:

    It was a stupid, stupid, stupid idea from the beginning.

    I think I realized after the second or third denial that she wasn’t going to run, but no, MoveOn wanted to push it as far as it would go, making her deny running for president almost as often as Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare in the House.

    They had the gall to send an email titled, “We’re shutting down, but here’s what we accomplished,” and that elevated me from disliking them (they’re annoying) to hating them (they’re idiots).

  3. Gustopher says:

    She seems a lot more plausible as president than most of the Republican field, or Obama when he ran. I think she would make a perfectly fine president — better than adequate.

    Great campaigner, despite her discomfort with it. She connects with voters, and can explain the party’s message better than anyone right now. Strongly held positions that she feels passionately about.

    It’s also very, very clear that she doesn’t have the fire in her belly to want to campaign for two years. I wish she did, but it’s clear she doesn’t. But I don’t get why Doug is so hostile to the people who wanted to nudge her in — he hates Clinton, he should identify with the people who want an alternative, rather than attacking them. Is this just self-loathing?

  4. Tyrell says:

    Senator Warren has been on the warpath lately about another one of those trade deals that the president wants. Casualties of past trade deals: textiles, electronics, steel industry, appliances, tennis shoes, athletic equipment, certain foods, tools, and sun glasses. I guess someday our money will be made overseas – China !

  5. C. Clavin says:

    I would question her Foreign Policy chops.
    But on the biggest issue in the 2016 race…the SCOTUS…I would trust her.
    Maybe after Hillary is done.

  6. Gustopher says:

    @C. Clavin: A president who is mostly disinterested in foreign policy would probably be a good thing — at least where foreign policy is defined as bombing people, which is the usual definition.

    On trade issues, she’s active and on the right side, trying to kill fast track for the next big one.

  7. Tyrell says:

    @Gustopher: foreign policy: December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor. September 1, 1939: Germany invades Poland. Results of leaders being “disinterested” in foreign policy.

  8. ernieyeball says: