The influential editorial board of The Boston Globe urged its home-state senator, Elizabeth Warren, to reconsider running for president in 2016, adding its voice to an increasing clamor for a Democratic primary challenge.
Warren has taken pains to clarify that she is and will not run for president and challenge likely front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the contest. But that has not stopped some Democrats and progressives from forming campaigns to get her in the race.
The Globe wrote in its editorial that it would be a “huge mistake” if there was a coronation for Clinton to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
"Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren can make sure that doesn’t happen. While Warren has repeatedly vowed that she won’t run for president herself, she ought to reconsider,” the editorial board wrote in the piece, which was entitled, “Democrats Need Elizabeth Warren’s Voice in 2016 Presidential Race.”
“And if Warren sticks to her refusal, she should make it her responsibility to help recruit candidates to provide voters with a vigorous debate on her signature cause, reducing income inequality, over the next year.”
The Globe’s editorial board cited some clear policy differences between Warren and Clinton that the “electorate should decide,” including debate over a trade agreement that Clinton supports and Warren opposes. The board also said a Warren challenge would expose a difference of intensity between the candidates on issues like going after Wall Street.
If Warren ultimately decides not to run, the board said, she should encourage candidates who align with her policy views to challenge Clinton. The board dinged other Democratic prospects like former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, and current Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“Although Clinton hasn’t officially declared her candidacy, she’s scooping up support from key party bigwigs and donors, who are working to impose a sense of inevitability about her nomination. Unfortunately, the strategy’s working: Few candidates are coming off the Democrats’ depleted bench to challenge Clinton,” the board wrote.
Warren is incredibly popular among the progressive Democratic base. Last month, the Working Families Party in New York joined two progressive organizations — MoveOn.org and Democracy for America — in calling for Warren to challenge Clinton. The “Run Warren Run” campaign has set up shop in the early-campaign states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and it boasts hundreds of thousands of signatures on a petition urging Warren to run.
Although polls have placed Warren as the firm No. 2 choice behind Clinton, she’s still well behind the former secretary of state. Overall, Clinton still earns more than 50 percent of Democratic support in both state-level and national polls.
And a key group with which Clinton struggled during her last presidential run in 2008 — young people — is showing signs of rallying behind her potential candidacy. Fusion’s Massive Millennial Poll in February, which surveyed 1,000 people aged 18-34 about everything from politics to dating to race issues, found 38 percent of the millennials surveyed — including 57 percent of millennial Democrats surveyed in the poll — said they would support Clinton if she ran for president.
Brett LoGiurato is the senior national political correspondent at Fusion, where he covers all things 2016. He'll give you everything you need to know about politics, with a healthy side of puns.