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Dems, GOP Hope Warren Runs in 2016     03/31 06:08

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans and liberal Democrats have found something to 
agree on: Both want to keep alive the prospect that Massachusetts Sen. 
Elizabeth Warren will run for president.

   People on each side are driven by self-interest as they cling to a dream 
that is all but certain to remain in the realm of fantasy. The left flank of 
the Democratic Party wants Warren to challenge Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 
primary race, or at a minimum, get Clinton to adopt Warren's tough-on-Wall 
Street agenda. Republicans see a Warren candidacy as a way to sow division 
among Democrats and boost their own fundraising.

   Neither side seems to care much that Warren has repeatedly insisted that she 
doesn't plan to run for president and is not taking any of the necessary steps 
to lay the groundwork.

   Asked Monday if she wants to run for president, Warren was blunt. "I do 
not," she said in an interview with Boston radio station WBUR's "Here & Now."

   A draft-Warren group organized by the liberal MoveOn.org said Monday that 
labor leader Larry Cohen and environmentalist Annie Leonard were joining the 
movement to push the senator to run. The announcement came days after Texas 
land commissioner George P. Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, sought 
donations for his father's Right to Rise PAC to send a message to "Hillary and 
Elizabeth Warren."

   "Together we will show Hillary and Elizabeth Warren that they're in for one 
heck of a fight," the younger Bush wrote in a fundraising email to supporters, 
as if Warren were running for president.

   Republicans have also used the wide reach of conservative talk radio to keep 
the drumbeat for a Warren candidacy alive.

   "The progressive wing of the Democrat Party, which is perhaps the entire 
party now, really, really, really, really, really, really wants Elizabeth 
Warren to run," radio host Rush Limbaugh said earlier this month. "I mean, they 
can taste it."

   Karl Rove, longtime political adviser to George W. Bush, said Warren could 
give Clinton "a scare."

   "Elizabeth Warren's hard left prescriptions on the economy sing to the heart 
of the Democratic primary voters," Rove said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show last 
month. Recalling Clinton's third place finish in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, Rove 
added, "Remember, this contest opens up in some places that are not 
particularly friendly to Hillary Clinton."

   Warren has been the subject of a draft presidential campaign for months, 
even as she insists she won't run. Clinton is expected to launch her 
presidential bid in April.

   On April 20, Run Warren Run is holding an event in New York featuring 
Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, Democratic activist Van Jones and Zephyr 
Teachout, who mounted a surprise challenge to New York Democratic Gov. Andrew 
Cuomo as a member of the Working Families Party.

   The Boston Globe recently published an editorial urging Warren to reconsider 
her decision not to run. "Democrats would be making a big mistake if they let 
Hillary Clinton coast to the presidential nomination without real opposition," 
the newspaper's editorial board wrote. The piece also included separate opinion 
pieces outlining Warren's potential as a candidate.

   Early public opinion polls, however, suggest a potential Warren presidential 
campaign has only the support of a narrow swath of voters within the Democratic 
party.

   In a sign that they may be bending to reality, some liberal groups pushing 
Warren to run have started suggesting they would be content to see her policy 
positions represented in the Democratic race or have the Massachusetts senator 
assume another leadership post in the party.

   Hours after Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid announced Friday that he 
wouldn't seek re-election, the progressive group Democracy for America called 
on Warren to seek his Senate position.

   "The Wall Street wing of the party is dying and the Elizabeth Warren wing is 
rising," said Neil Sroka, the group's communications director.

   Warren's rapid ascent to liberal Democratic hero has highlighted her 
willingness to buck party leaders, even some who have championed her rise.

   It was President Barack Obama who helped pluck Warren from academia and 
brought her into the administration to set up a new consumer financial 
protection agency. While Obama had hoped to nominate Warren as the agency's 
first director, he backpedaled after it became clear Republicans would block 
her confirmation. Warren later accused the White House economic team of having 
"picked Wall Street" when the going got tough.

   Warren also broke with the White House in the winter when she opposed 
legislation weakening regulations on complex financial instruments known as 
derivatives. While she lost that fight, she succeeded in her opposition to 
Obama's pick of banker Antonio Weiss to fill a top Treasury job. Weiss asked 
Obama to withdraw his nomination and took a post at Treasury that did not 
require Senate confirmation.


(KA)


 
 
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