Elizabeth Warren says she is not running for president and I actually believe her. But apparently a lot of other people don’t.
From the moment she began her first term in the Senate, there has been a low and steady drumbeat of enthusiasts convinced that she should be the 2016 Democratic candidate for president. The voices have only gotten louder as presumptive candidate Hillary Clinton puts off an official announcement, and as she remains embroiled in splashy controversies about foreign money connections, decisions made during her tenure as Secretary of State and her use of private email.
The ‘Run Warren Run’ effort backed by Moveon.org and Democracy for America recently persuaded 43 Democratic leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire to urge Warren to get in the race. And last week the Boston Globe ratcheted up the Warren–as-candidate unofficial movement. In four editorials explaining why she should run, Globe writers said, “Unlike Clinton, or any of the prospective Republican candidates, Warren has made closing the economic gaps in America her main political priority.” And the editorials went on to add, "If she runs, it’ll ensure that those issues take their rightful place at the center of the national political debate."
This most recent flurry of attention forced Senator Warren –who was in Boston for a speech—to ignore reporters’ shouts for a response, rush out and zoom away in her car. That’s how much she does not want to address these questions.
I do know that the road to a presidential campaign is littered with politicians saying no, no, and no, only to finally say yes. But unlike celebrity entrepreneur Donald Trump who has announced an exploratory committee, and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley who has strongly hinted his interest, Senator Warren has made no attempt to establish the foundation for a campaign. I thought perhaps the fact that she maintains a political PAC might be a sign of potential interest. But no, Senator Warren’s PAC for a Level Playing Field raises money for other Democratic candidates.
Now it is true that not long ago she told a reporter she would never say never. But I think those were the words of an increasingly savvy politician who realized that as long as some think her a possible candidate, she has a more significant platform to talk about some of her top issues—income inequality and student loan debt.
Warren continues to throw cold water on all of the efforts to draft her into a race for the White House. I’m taking her at her word. And I think her admirers might want to do the same. After all, one of the reasons they are so admiring is that so far she’s shown herself to be a woman who says what she thinks, and means what she says. But who knows? When it comes to politics, all bets are off.
I’m Callie Crossley. WGBH. Boston’s Local NPR