Elizabeth Warren Pegged to Speak Before Clinton at Democratic National Convention

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Warren and Obama in July 2011. Photo: Mark Wilson/2011 Getty Images

The Massachusetts Democrat challenging Scott Brown's senate seat will speak during prime time on Wednesday, September 5, before former President Bill Clinton formally nominates President Obama for a second term. Warren said in a statement that sharing the stage with Clinton would be an honor, but many are more interested in the speech she won't be delivering. There were rumors that Warren might be the keynote speaker, raising questions about whether she might have been bumped owing to her association with a so-called gaffe by Obama.

Earlier, the Boston Globe reported that the Obama campaign was considering Warren to deliver the keynote speech on Tuesday night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Globe now speculates that controversy surrounding Warren in the high-profile senate race might have led the campaign to shy away, particularly because Warren delivered the speech on physical and social infrastructure that inspired a similar point by Obama — and led to Mitt Romney's "You Didn't Build That" line of attack.

Responding to Warren's selection as the pre-Clinton speaker, Scott Brown's spokesman said that Warren's "anti-free enterprise rhetoric is so far out of the mainstream, even within her own political party, that she got downgraded from her speaking role at the Democratic Convention." According to the Globe, the Obama campaign has insisted that Warren’s role at the DNC was not a demotion or a penalty, "noting that Obama himself continues to make the same argument and is running a television ad rebutting the Republican criticism."