Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., listens to a witness at Senate Banking Committee hearing on anti-money laundering on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 7, 2013.
Photo by Cliff Owen/AP

Activists reach out to ‘the Elizabeth Warren wing’


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has not expressed any interest in running for president. Yet that hasn’t stopped members of the Democratic Party’s left flank from using her name to put pressure on other 2016 hopefuls.

Case in point: When rumored presidential candidate and current Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley visited the key primary state of New Hampshire on Saturday, members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) were waiting with a sheaf of pro-Warren bumper stickers. The group distributed the stickers at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, a Democratic fundraiser in Manchester, N.H., where O’Malley was the keynote speaker.

Warren is a popular figure on the left wing of the Democratic Party due to her aggressive focus on inequality and financial reform. Last week, The New Republic’s Noam Schieber floated her as a potential candidate in the 2016 Democratic Party, where should could serve as a foil to the more Wall Street-friendly Hillary Clinton.

The PCCC has not said that it is trying to draft Warren into the race. Instead, the group appears to be trying to demonstrate the popularity of her anti-austerity, pro-financial reform message in the hopes that other Democratic politicians will begin to emulate it.

“Just like wearing a hat from your favorite sports team shows their popularity, showing your support for Elizabeth Warren builds her popularity—which is important for building a movement around her bold leadership,” according to a webpage where the PCCC is selling “Elizabeth Warren wing” bumper stickers and t-shirts.

In a statement on O’Malley’s keynote speech, PCCC spokesperson Matt Wall alluded to who the real target of the roganization’s “Elizabeth Warren wing” campaign might be: Not O’Malley, who is currently polling at 0% among New Hampshire Democrats, but presidential heir apparent Hillary Clinton.

“It’s fantastic that Governor O’Malley took the fight to those who would cut Social Security benefits. That’s a winning message for Democrats and a potentially defining issue in any Democratic primary,” said Wall. “Hopefully Hillary Clinton soon says that she opposes any cuts to Social Security benefits—and makes clear that Democrats are united around that position going into 2016.”