No doubt there are a number of people who want Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2020. No doubt those same people will be disappointed by her answer on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show Wednesday night.
The senator primarily appeared on the show to promote her new book, This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save Working People, as well as discuss conspiracies regarding Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Still, Maddow could not resist posing the big question.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
“If you were running for President in 2020,” Maddow asked Warren, “you would not want to talk about it now, with me or anybody else, is that true?”
“That is true,” Warren said. “But let me be clear, I am not running for President in 2020.”
Instead, she insisted that she was focused on running for a second term in the United States Senate in 2018.
Though Warren borrowed the signature Obama clause “let me be clear” before answering, Maddow has reason to wonder. Politicians often write books in order to garner national attention. Moreover, the Free Beacon article notes that
She was coy on the subject in a recent interview with USA Today‘s Susan Page, refusing to fully commit to serving out a full six-year term in the Senate should she be re-elected. Warren merely said that it was “plan” to serve out a full term.
She was coy in the Maddow interview as well, affirming that she did not want to talk about what she then proceeded to talk about when she said she wasn’t going to run.
But Warren also has good reason to be lukewarm on a 2020 presidential run. A February poll speculating four years ahead found that the historical unpopular incoming President Trump would lose to a generic Democrat by about 10 points, but he would still trounce Warren by 6 points. Obviously, everything can change in that time, but it’s never a good sign to trail your party’s generic ballot performance by 16 points.
While she is the favorite for reelection in Massachusetts in 2018, however — a poll early this year found that 52 percent of respondents approved of her, while 37 disapproved — 46 percent think it’s time for someone else to have a shot at the Senate, according to a story from Politico. She is likely to have a fight on her hands to keep her seat.
Senator Warren doesn’t have many good options before her, as the populists among us have chosen other standard bearers, but that won’t keep fans from dreaming.