Warren Talked With DSCC
Schedule Suggests Senate Bid Courtship
Elizabeth Warren’s calendar sure looks like the schedule of a woman considering a Senate bid, or at least someone being courted by power players in Massachusetts and the Senate Democrats’ campaign operation in Washington.
In recent weeks, Warren has met in person or spoke on the phone with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, David Axelrod, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Massachusetts Democratic Reps. Barney Frank, Stephen Lynch and John Tierney. The phone call with Murray took place in early June, Roll Call has learned. Warren attended a community banking event with Tierney in the Bay State and dined with Schumer, a former DSCC chairman and an aggressive recruiter who remains involved in DSCC activities.
Warren’s May calendar, the most recently available public schedule, shows the Schumer dinner along with the other meetings and discussions.
Given that Warren is leading the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB business could, of course, have been the lone agenda item during these meetings. But for a woman some national Democrats and liberal activists are hoping will take on Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) — a prime target in 2012 — her calendar alludes that she has at least been examining the possibility of a run.
The DSCC declined to comment.
Axelrod is one of President Barack Obama’s closest political advisers and was a key strategist behind Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s successful campaign in 2006. Over the past year, Warren has spoken with Axelrod repeatedly, the schedule shows.
Schumer and Kerry are members of the Senate Finance Committee. Frank, the second-longest serving Member of the Bay State’s House delegation, is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee. Tierney, who represents the state’s North Shore, and Lynch, who represents parts of Boston, are both members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
As part of the CFPB’s effort at transparency, Warren’s schedule is public and can be viewed online. The on-leave Harvard professor, whose official title is assistant to the president and special adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is a favorite among the liberal base. She already has a national following and could be a prolific fundraiser, Democrats have said. But should she run, she would need the money, given that Brown had nearly $10 million in the bank as of June 30.
Progressives have pushed Obama to nominate Warren to permanently run the CFPB, but she would face an uphill Senate confirmation battle. Forty-four Republicans have vowed to block the confirmation of any nominee until statutory changes are made to the agency’s structure and oversight.
Asked whether Warren is running for Senate, CFPB senior spokeswoman Jen Howard said in a statement the professor had her eyes set on only one goal: “Elizabeth Warren is 100 percent focused on building the new consumer agency.”
Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.