Ready For Warren Campaign Launches To Convince Elizabeth Warren To Run For President

07/15/2014 03:07 pm ET | Updated Jul 16, 2014
  • Amanda Terkel Senior Political Reporter, The Huffington Post
  • Ryan Grim Washington Bureau Chief, The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- An enthusiastic band of activists has launched a campaign to slow the momentum of Hillary Clinton and convince Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that she should run for president in 2016.

"I think there's an opportunity for us to convince her if we're really able to make the case as to why we think she's the right person," said Erica Sagrans, who has signed on as the Ready For Warren campaign manager.

The group already has a Facebook page, Twitter account and a new website with a petition encouraging Warren to run.

Sagrans, who worked on President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, will be joined by political activist Billy Wimsatt, who previously founded the League of Young Voters and is going to be a senior adviser to the new group.

Reached for comment, Lacey Rose, Warren's press secretary, told HuffPost, "No, Senator Warren does not support this effort."

Even so, Ready for Warren will be bringing a van full of supporters to Netroots Nation, the annual gathering of progressive activists that is taking place in Detroit this week.

"We don't want to say too much about our exact plans, but we'll definitely be out in force and supporting Warren when she speaks on Friday," said Sagrans, adding, "We're planning on using Netroots as an opportunity to build on a lot of the momentum she's seen elsewhere and to show not only that she has progressive support -- because I think we know that -- but that there is an organized effort and people who are working on harnessing that support and building it into a real Draft Warren campaign."

The Ready for Warren supporters will have some competition at the conference. Ready for Hillary and its splashy bus will be there, and Vice President Joe Biden will be addressing the gathering for the first time.

Going forward, the campaign will make sure there are Warren supporters to greet her and encourage her to run as she travels around the country stumping for Democratic candidates. Sagrans said the group hasn't yet decided what form it will officially take -- whether it will be a super PAC or a hybrid PAC like Ready for Hillary. But it's going to step up volunteer efforts and fundraising, as well as make sure it's a presence in the early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. An explosive amount of fundraising could be one way to entice Warren into the race.

Ready for Hillary has also been a constant presence alongside its chosen candidate, with supporters following Clinton around as she promoted her new memoir.

Warren has repeatedly said she isn't running for president, but she always couches her answer in the present tense. While she was stumping for Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Tennant in West Virginia Monday, "several attendees" pushed her to run.

Sagrans said she hopes that Democrats who may not be enthusiastic about Clinton but see her as the inevitable candidate will take a second look and consider Warren.

"For people like me, who supported Obama and worked on the Obama campaign, we were in a similar situation before. [Clinton] had the money before, she had the support and inevitability, and it didn't mean she got the nomination," said Sagrans. "I think there's also just value in having a competitive primary and a chance to have a discussion about what you want to see in a nominee and what the Democratic nominee should look like and their values and who they represent."

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