New York Times Does Not Think Elizabeth Warren Will Run for President

Though she's a darling of the populist left, she's working hard to defuse speculation.

Elizabeth Warren

Associated Press

As Scott Brown stokes speculation today, his former rival Elizabeth Warren is doing her best to shut down any hopes that she might run for president in 2016. The New York Times has a front page piece in Monday’s paper describing her role as the face of a populist wing of the Democratic party. But in that piece, she tries to make clear as she can that this cache won’t translate into a presidential run. Jonathan Martin writes:

Ms. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in an interview that she was not interested in seeking the presidency. And despite talk of a draft movement among some activists, it is difficult to imagine her taking on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And in case you weren’t sure just how much she was stressing her denial:

In the interview, Ms. Warren, 64, said twice that she had no interest in running for president, a point her aides amplify privately.

There’s a difference, of course, between a politician saying she won’t run for higher office—which they all do, often disingenuously—and a reporter believing her. But Martin seems sold, and he offers points of evidence to back up the idea. Though Warren keeps up a healthy speaking schedule, for example, she declined to be the marquee speaker at Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry fund-raiser. This is “among the most closely watched events in early presidential primary states” and “Mr. Obama effectively declared his interest in the presidency when he agreed to be the keynote speaker in 2006,” Martin says. So Warren’s refusal implies that her behind-the-scenes actions support her words.

The only caveat offered by Martin is that Warren might feel more pressure should  Hillary Clinton decline to run. That’s odd given how much everyone talks about Warren’s run in terms of how it would impact Clinton’s odds. But Warren, the most interesting potential threat to Clinton, seems unlikely to get in unless its without Clinton there.