Signs Point to Senate Run by Elizabeth Warren

Whether Warren can garner statewide appeal remains unclear

Alan C. Chiu

Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren speaks to the Harvard Law School Class of 2009 during its Class Day Exercises in June 2009.

Harvard Law School professor and former Obama Administration advisor Elizabeth Warren is sending clear signs that she is seriously considering mounting a challenge against Sen. Scott Brown, writing in a blog post Thursday she still has work to do to rebuild the economy.

“I left Washington, but I don’t plan to stop fighting for middle class families. I spent years working against special interests and have the battle scars to show it – and I have no intention of stopping now,” Warren wrote on Blue Mass Group, a left-leaning blog.

Warren was recently passed over to lead the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the agency that she was widely credited with setting up. As a result of her outspoken advocacy to increase regulations on banks and hedge funds, Warren has emerged as a darling of the left, leading many leading Democrats in Washington to urge her to challenge Brown.

Now, it seems Warren is moving toward doing exactly that. She spent Friday calling Massachusetts officials and activists, according to the Boston Globe. Warren has also reportedly reached out to prominent state political operatives, including Doug Rubin, a former campaign manager for Gov. Deval L. Patrick '78, and Kyle Sullivan, who was Patrick’s communications manager. Over the next few weeks she will be travelling around the state conducting meetings, probably the firmest indication yet that she’s seriously weighing a run.

Democratic leaders—especially in Washington D.C.—have spent months urging Warren to run for the seat, saying that a high-profile figure such as Warren could build the enthusiasm and war chest necessary to defeat the incumbent Brown.

While Thursday’s blog post did not contain explicit mention of running for the Senate, the post reads much like a campaign document, mentioning Warren’s upbringing in Oklahoma and how her family struggled to get by.

“It is time for me to think hard about what role I can play next to help rebuild a middle class that has been hacked at, chipped at, and pulled at for more than a generation,” Warren wrote.

“In the weeks ahead, I want to hear from you about the challenges we face and how we get our economy growing again,” she added.

While party officials in Washington have pushed Warren to run, it is not clear that she has the statewide appeal to defeat Brown. Warren is highly popular on the national scene, but whether a Harvard professor can gain sufficient support across Massachusetts to unseat an incumbent senator remains highly unclear.

—Staff Writer Caroline M. McKay can be reached at carolinemckay@college.harvard.edu.

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