Working Families Party Wants to Draft Elizabeth Warren for 2016

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U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) listens during a hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee May 21, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on the Financial Stability Oversight Council's annual report.
Elizabeth Warren at a 2013 Senate hearing.Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In a move that’s awkward on multiple levels, New York’s Working Families Party voted on Sunday to join the effort, led by MoveOn.org and Democracy for America, to draft Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 presidential race. “We know a champion for working families when we see one,” said Bill Lipton, New York State director of the Working Families Party. “The only thing better than watching Elizabeth Warren take Wall Street to task from the Senate would be helping her bring our issues to the center of the national debate.”

But the Massachusetts senator quickly squashed their hopes. “As Senator Warren has said many times, she is not running for president and doesn’t support these draft campaigns,” said her spokeswoman.

The move by WFP puts the group at odds with its ally Bill de Blasio. The mayor, who ran Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, still has close ties to the Clintons and is trying to convince his party to bring the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Brooklyn.

WFP leaders said the move isn’t intended as an insult to Clinton, the presumed 2016 front-runner, and one noted that, technically, neither woman is actually running. “It’s a vote in the context of two undeclared candidates for president,” Ed Ott, former head of the New York City Central Labor Council, told the New York Times. “What the Warren vote reflects is that people want a Democratic Party with a spine.”