An impending blizzard and some frigid cold didn’t stop a small band of liberals hoping to coax Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 presidential race from making a symbolic run from the U.S. Capitol to the White House Monday, to mark the Presidents Day holiday.
“We ran from Sen. Warren’s current office to her future office,” Luisa Galvano, the Washington, D.C.-based organizer for the super PAC Ready for Warren, said in front of the frozen executive mansion with about a dozen other joggers bundled up in “Run Liz Run!” gear. While the run was extra symbolic considering neither Warren nor President Obama were present at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, it was an effort to “demonstrate to Sen. Warren that she has a huge support base behind her,” Galvano said.
It was just one of many demonstrations activists hoping to draft Warren had planned for Presidents Day weekend, which they hope will one day honor Warren alongside George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. That, despite the fact that the senator has so far told just about anyone who will listen that she’s not interested in running for the White House.
In the key early presidential state of New Hampshire, activists braved massive snow drifts to hold signs for passing drivers, and on Saturday, gathered to make Valentines for Warren. “We are here today to ask Elizabeth Warren to be our Valentine and to run for president,” said Jamie Shopland, who organized the event.
In Iowa, which holds the nation’s first presidential caucuses, activists held their own “honk-and-wave visibility event” this weekend, while others sent roses to Warren in honor of Valentine’s Day.
The liberal groups MoveOn.org and Democracy for America joined forces to create the “Run Warren Run” campaign, which is not directly involved with the Ready for Warren super PAC. All three groups have the same goal: Gathering enough support to convince Warren she should run.
Run Warren Run is opening its second office in Iowa Monday night. Nationally, the group says it has held more than 220 house parties, though attendance has been sparse at at least some of the events.
Meanwhile, Ready for Warren launched a new website Monday called DearElizabethWarren.com, where supporters can send postcards or videos to Warren encouraging her to run. “The future of our country is too important not to give Democrats a choice for our party’s nomination,” Ready for Warren campaign manager Erica Sagrans said.
All this despite the fact that Warren has repeatedly said she is not running for president, and has taken none of the steps necessary to mount a bid. Also on Monday, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was released, but it did not include Warren, citing her denials of an interest in a run.
In other polls that did include Warren, she trailed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by up to 50 percentage points for the Democratic nomination, but beat out the rest of the field of potential Democratic candidates, except for Vice President Joe Biden.