Bold Progressives, an online organization, is ramping up a "Draft Warren for the Senate" campaign. As of Monday, July 25, signatures are heading toward the 50,000 mark.
Warren, a Harvard Law professor, first appeared on the Washington scene in 2008 when she was appointed chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel by Majority Leader Harry Reid. Later, in September 2010, Obama appointed her a Special Advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that she had worked with Obama to create.
Republican intransigence for the creation of this agency not only made her appointment as its director a no-go proposition, but also makes it impossible for ANY director to receive Senate confirmation.
During her time in the limelight, Elizabeth Warren revealed herself to be an honest, articulate person who cares about American families being able to make it in this economy. She is not afraid to speak truth to power by explaining what the facts are, or to point a finger at the culprits who brought on this depression but who are unknown apparently to Obama, our Attorney General, and many members of Congress.
Now at home in Cambridge, Warren says she plans to take stock, to assess her future and decide if and when she might see herself re-entering the fray.
Bear in mind that of the 10 Senate Republicans who are up for re-election next year (compared to 21 Democrats), three have retired. Well, one -- John Ensign -- was forced to resign. These open seats will probably remain Republican, but who can predict what seats will be "safe" in the present climate as the 2012 election gets nearer and nearer?
The public mood will be a political landmine for many, many candidates, whether Democrat or Republican, if it remains as sour as it is at present. In presidential election years, the top of the ticket can usually be counted on to bring voters to the polls. It is questionable whether the Obama/Biden ticket will have this draw, given the anger and frustration of the voting public.
The upshot is that in this liberal Democratic state, it will be an uphill battle to unseat Scott Brown from his newly-acquired post as Ted Kennedy's successor. The Republican National Committee will outfit him with as much cash as it takes to keep this seat. He will not have to lift a fund-raising finger. In the 2010 special election, he ran as an outsider, an ordinary-Joe-cum-sex-appeal, driving to the rescue in his green pickup truck.
His Democratic opponent will have the problem of shredding that image if he relies on it again. Brown's problem is that he is now an incumbent with a record. He has done his best to walk the tight-rope of voting the party line while keeping an eye out for rebellion at home. The YouTube video of Brown hitting on David Koch for another contribution would make a great ad. Would Warren would run it? It would help cut into Brown's support among independents.
Lack of name recognition in Massachusetts is a huge handicap for Warren. It means that she does not have a moment to lose in committing to this race. Putting together a statewide organization requires diligence and know-how. Deval Patrick, also unknown to voters, did it by starting early. At this point in his effort, he had already made quite an impression on Democrats in a speech he gave at a State Convention.
Before leaving Washington, Warren reportedly had a visit with Majority Leader Harry Reid, to whom she may feel indebted for her Special Counsel appointment, and with the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC).
If Warren looks for assistance and support from the White House and the DSCC, they will take over her campaign, la Martha Coakley, and she will lose. Does she know enough about party politics to fend them off and remain independent?
A look into the murky world inhabited by the power players in the Democratic Party brings back memories of those inside-the-beltway candidates who, with media help, savaged Howard Dean's presidential campaign in 2004, which left John Kerry as the standard bearer. Question: Would Kerry appreciate a junior senator who might not follow his lead? Who might get a tiny bit of the media attention that he savors?
The time line Warren would face...
The first hurdle will be the February caucuses where Democrats in towns and cities across the state will be elected delegates to the June 2012 State Convention. Warren would not be eligible to run in the Democratic primary unless she receives 15% of the delegate vote at this convention.