‘Ready for Warren’ tries to spur Elizabeth Warren to run for president


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and West Virginia Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant enter a campaign rally in Shepherdstown, West Virginia Monday, July 14, 2014. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Move over, "Ready for Hillary." There's a new kid on the 2016 block.

A new group that hopes to encourage Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to run for president in 2016 has formed, adopting similar tactics to a super PAC designed to do the same thing to former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton (D).

But it does not have Warren's blessing.

"Warren is the backbone that the Democratic Party too often forgets it needs. Warren has inspired a movement—yet to jump into the race for president, we need to show Warren that she’s got support all across the country, from Oklahoma to Massachusetts, from Florida to Nevada," the group writes on its Web site. 

News of the group's plans, first reported by the Huffington Post, comes as Warren is stepping up her presence on the 2014 campaign trail. She stumped for Democratic Senate nominee Natalie Tennant in West Virginia Monday and intends to campaign for Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), another Senate hopeful, later this week.

Warren has said she does not plan to run for president, but her increased presence on the campaign trail has stirred a new round of buzz about whether she might change her mind.

Still, she does not support the group's attempts to gin up support for a potential White House bid.

"No, Senator Warren does not support this effort," said Warren spokeswoman Lacey Rose.

The "Ready for Warren" effort is headed up by Erica Sagrans, who worked on President Obama's reelection campaign. Sagrans told the Huffington Post that the group intends to make its presence known in Detroit at this week's Netroots Nation, an annual liberal confab.

"We don't want to say too much about our exact plans, but we'll definitely be out in force and supporting Warren when she speaks on Friday," Sagrans said, adding, "We're planning on using Netroots as an opportunity to build on a lot of the momentum she's seen elsewhere and to show not only that she has progressive support -- because I think we know that -- but that there is an organized effort and people who are working on harnessing that support and building it into a real Draft Warren campaign."

The group's Twitter feed, @Warren4Prez dates back to January. The first posting on the group's blog on its Web site is dated July 14.

Sagrans told the Huffington Post the group has not decided whether it will organize as a super PAC or something else. "Ready for Hillary," the group urging Clinton to run, is  hybrid PAC that can both make donations to candidates and spend unlimited sums on independent expenditures in races.

"Ready for Hillary" raised a healthy $2.5 million between April and June, the latest sign it is a sustainable movement.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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