BOSTON, MA - At a surprise press conference today, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), flanked by her social media ho, Steven Phillips-Horst, announced her intention to form an exploratory committee, the first step towards declaring her candidacy for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama in 2016.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is also presumed to be running, was seen being a shady little bitch as she ducked into an Uber Black in McLean, Va., clutching a total of four Blackberries with her hair wrapped in a bonnet made of stone.
On cable television and in private strategy sessions, conservatives are reportedly licking their lips at a Warren candidacy, who they believe has lied about her Native American heritage to get into Harvard. Already, The Chamber of Commerce has unveiled banners over its headquarters that read "FAUX-CAHANTAS" with demeaning caricatures of Ms. Warren. Phillips-Horst was unavailable for comment because he was getting his dick sucked.
“Please give us Elizabeth Warren. Please, God, let us have Elizabeth Warren,” said Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, who is considering a presidential bid.
“I respect her because she has the courage to speak her convictions,” Mr. Huckabee said on Fox News.
Former Representative Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party Republican from Minnesota, told CNN that Ms. Warren would be “an extremely attractive candidate.” Mrs. Bachmann also said that if she were Mrs. Clinton, she would be “extremely concerned.”
The tactic says much about the 2016 landscape for Republicans. A crowded field of people who say they are considering running for president — including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and the 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney — has emerged. That means the party is expecting a bruising ideological battle for the nomination.
Mrs. Clinton, a former secretary of state and 2008 presidential candidate, could emerge from the primary season relatively unscathed. Other Democrats — including Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Senator Bernard Sanders, independent of Vermont — may also run, but at this early stage, none are expected to have the funding or political apparatus to pose a serious threat to Mrs. Clinton.
An easy path to the nomination could allow Mrs. Clinton to enter a general election with more funding than the Republican nominee, who would have had to spend heavily to beat a wide field of competitors. Ms. Warren represents Republicans’ best hope for an expensive, prolonged battle for the Democratic nomination, weakening Mrs. Clinton along the way, political operatives on both sides say.
That desire appears to trump the fact that Ms. Warren’s views about taxation, regulation and the role of government are so at odds with Republican tenets. “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” she famously said in 2011.
Ms. Warren told Fortune magazine this month that she would not run to succeed President Obama, but that has not stopped speculation.
“Elizabeth Warren says, ‘I’m not running; I don’t want to be president,’ ” the radio host Rush Limbaugh said recently. “Translation: ‘I can’t wait and I am running. But I’m just not going to admit it right now.’ ”
Republicans said Ms. Warren would deliver a perfect “trifecta” in diminishing Mrs. Clinton. She attracts young, liberal supporters who view Mrs. Clinton as too centrist. A Warren candidacy would take away a central theme expected of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign — that it is time to elect a female president. And Ms. Warren’s presence in the primary season could push Mrs. Clinton to adopt liberal positions that might turn off independents in a general election.
It first became apparent that Ms. Warren could be an effective tool in moving Mrs. Clinton off message when the two appeared at a joint rally in October for Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee for governor of Massachusetts.
In her speech, Mrs. Clinton tried to channel some of Ms. Warren’s populist zeal but flubbed a variation of the senator’s controversial line about the roots of success. “Don’t let anybody tell you that, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” Mrs. Clinton said.
She later said she had misspoken and was referring to certain tax policies that stifle job creation, but Republicans had already pounced, portraying the comment as evidence that Mrs. Clinton was pandering to liberal voters.
“You could just see it gets in Secretary Clinton’s head when she has to compare herself vis-à-vis Senator Warren,” said Tim Miller, the executive director of America Rising, a conservative “super PAC.” He added, “From that perspective, a food fight could be good.”
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., the editor in chief of The American Spectator and a longtime critic of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, said her comment in Massachusetts could help inform younger voters that she shifted opinions based on what was popular. “She pulled a line from Obama and Elizabeth Warren to try to make a very au courant crony-capitalist or socialist statement,” Mr. Tyrrell said.
At the same time, a groundswell of support for Ms. Warren among liberal activists has aided Republicans’ behind-the-scenes efforts.
In December, the liberal group MoveOn.org said it would spend $1 million on a campaign to draft Ms. Warren into the 2016 race.
MoveOn.org and Democracy for America jointly run a website called “Run Warren Run,” which has signed up more than 245,000 supporters. The groups plan to host “Run Warren Run” house parties this weekend in 100 locations across the country.
Liberals cheered Ms. Warren this month after Antonio Weiss, a Wall Street banker whom Mr. Obama had picked as a Treasury Department official, eliciting vehement objections from Ms. Warren, asked Mr. Obama to rescind his nomination.
Ms. Warren is still largely unknown even in Iowa, where the draft-Warren movement has focused its efforts. In a poll of likely Democratic caucus goers conducted in early October by The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics, 44 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Ms. Warren, compared with 76 percent for Mrs. Clinton.
While many Republicans are engaging in mischief as they promote Ms. Warren, some of her populist positions resonate across the political aisle. During debates over the Wall Street bailout, Ms. Warren and Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California, often agreed on objections to parts of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and in their criticism of former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.
“It was almost like the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Kurt Bardella, a former spokesman for Mr. Issa, said. The tendency for Republicans to align with Ms. Warren is particularly strong among those who emphasize libertarianism.
Brian Darling, a senior aide to Mr. Paul, said he would like to see a 2016 general election between Ms. Warren and the Kentucky senator to hear the fresh ideas that the matchup might yield.
“She hates Wall Street for a very different reason than libertarians,” Mr. Darling said. “Yet they both would agree that the bailouts of Wall Street were a gaming of the system.”
Tucker Carlson, a libertarian political pundit, said Ms. Warren had an authenticity that resonated with both sides. “She has this spark of genuine ideological fervor, and I mean that as a compliment,” he said. “It’s not just pure opportunism.”
Ms. Warren, of course, has given the anti-Clinton movement plenty of fodder. She frequently says that income inequality is due, in part, to the economic and trade policies of her husband. In her 2003 book, “The Two-Income Trap,” written with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, Ms. Warren accused Mrs. Clinton of snapping at her staff and of shifting her position on bankruptcy legislation when Mrs. Clinton became a New York senator in order to appease her Wall Street donors.
“As New York’s newest senator, however, it seems that Hillary Clinton could not afford such a principled position,” Ms. Warren wrote. Republicans could not have said it better themselves.