The life-sized cardboard cut-out was, indeed, that of the body of Katniss Everdeen, central figure in the "Hunger Games" books, wearing the fierce, full-warrior garb from the "Mockingjay" installment of the series. That's the one where Katniss leads the people of the Districts in revolt against the oppressive Capitol.

Except, the head on this cut-out was not that of the actress Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss in the movie versions of the books. Instead, Katniss wore the face of Elizabeth Warren, complete with the demure, wire-rimmed glasses of the first-term Democratic U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

That sight was distracting enough -- not to mention the cries of "Revolution!" and three-fingered salutes erupting from the packed session on the prospect of a Warren presidential run last weekend at Rootscamp, the annual gathering of progressive organizers held at Washington's Walter E. Washington Convention Center -- to forget the central premise of "The Hunger Games."

Katniss didn't chose to lead the revolution.

The revolution chose her.

Gathering around Warren is a campaign-in-waiting pushing her to run for president of the United States. The effort is being fueled by lessons learned during the Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012 about creative political organizing, especially online, and those behind it aren't waiting for a candidate.

But Warren has said over and over again that she does not want to be the next president of the United States.

"I never wanted any of this," Warren has said about the movement to draft her to run for president in 2016.

No, wait, that was Katniss in the trailer for the new "Mockingjay" film.

"I am not running for president," the real Warren said this week. "Do you want me to put an exclamation point at the end?"

So Katniss.

The echoes with Warren are obvious, putting aside the weirdness of comparing an accomplished, mature woman with a fictional teenager. Katniss is a "reluctant hero," said Andrew Slack, co-founder and president of the Harry Potter Alliance, which helps to inspire socially conscious riffs for Internet fandoms, such as Warren-as-Katniss, which tend to get passed around widely online.

The book's central narrative mirrors Warren's focus on economic inequality and the so-called one percent, said Slack, who stressed that his group endorses no political candidates: "No longer should working-class people who are impoverished be pitted against each other while forgetting who the real enemy is."

If Warren should chose to run, she'll have practitioners in the modern campaign arts ready to jump to her side. Kate Albright-Hanna was a producer at CNN who left to make videos for candidate Barack Obama in 2008. Albright-Hanna spent the fall helping to turn Zephyr Teachout -- a little-known law professor and former online organizer for the 2004 Howard Dean for president campaign -- into a real threat to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Now Albright-Hanna has signed up as deputy campaign manager for the draft effort Ready for Warren.

The 65-year-old Warren, said Albright-Hanna at Rootscamp, "is just like, part of the zeitgeist right now. She's the lady of the hour."

Beyond Albright-Hanna, scores of Obama campaign veterans with expertise in technology, digital campaigning and data recently signed a 300-person strong letter backing Warren. The letter was a product of what remains of the Obama digital campaign apparatus, including Facebook groups and e-mail lists left over from those days.

Ready for Warren aims to capture and amplify momentum around Warren, whether that's the energy of MoveOn throwing its eight million member mailing list behind her or the several dozen supporters at a MeetUp for Warren recently held in an Oklahoma City library, said Erica Sagrans, the organization's campaign manager.

"We're there to connect with anybody who wants to help, anyone who messages us on Facebook or whatever," Sagrans said. "We can give the one-on-one attention to people who want to do stuff."

After the Rootscamp session wrapped, Albright-Hanna directed me to Joshua Stroman, a young man who as a student at South Carolina's Benedict College worked to organize his campus for Obama and who later was a field organizer for Obama's reelection campaign in Florida in 2012. As a PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, Stroman said he's now directing his political energies toward helping Warren.

How? "By getting into arguments with my friends on Facebook."

Of course, Warren doesn't have a lock on all the digital talent. The success of the Obama tech operation means that many of its veterans are off running profitable digital firms with clients in both politics and the corporate world.

A lot of those people, said Sagrans, "aren't going to take sides in this because they have consulting interests and don't want to rule anything out." Said one longtime Democratic digital strategist at Rootscamp, "Unless they're going to quit the cushy jobs that they have now and go work for her, I don't think that letter means [anything]."

And Democrats' intense focus on tech over the last decade means that there are more than enough people with digital experience to fill out the ranks of multiple presidential campaigns.

Presumptive frontrunner Hillary Clinton won't have trouble finding people to work for her, either, Sagrans noted. "And the benefit of the [Democratic] primary is that if Warren does run, you'll have very talented Obama tech and digital and data people working on two separate campaigns against each other," she said.

That head-to-head contest will be good for Democrats, Sagrans said, and in particular for the state of their tech. "That will push things further than working against a McCain or Romney did," she explained. "They are people who know a lot of the same things. They'll have to out-innovate each other."

But still, Warren has insisted that she won't run.

Well, for now, said Sagrans. She takes inspiration from that Teachout campaign, which turned itself from a long-shot chattered about mostly on blogs and mailing lists to a vigorous challenge to a sitting governor of one of the most populous states in the nation. The lesson? "If there's a lot of excitement around it," Sagrans said, "it can become a real thing."

And if Warren doesn't run for president, Sagrans said, her supporters will have built up quite a powerful operation. And they'll dream up something else to do with it.