Elizabeth Warren Is Still, Still, Still Not Running for President

What must she do to convince us?

Elizabeth Warren

Associated Press

Today’s big political news is a headline that should look quite familiar to you by now: Senator Elizabeth Warren continues not to run for president.

“Elizabeth Warren says she’s not seeking presidency,” A front page above-the-fold Boston Globe headline declares. “Elizabeth Warren: ‘I am not running for president,'” says The Washington Post. “Warren Rules Out a Run for President,” The New York Times notes. “Warren pinky-swears she won’t run for prez,” jokes MASSterList.

If this comes as a surprise, you obviously missed the dozens of previous articles carrying the same news over the past several months. Speculation that Warren would make a strong candidate began even before she was elected to the Senate. But it got a real boost when a September New York Times story reported on the growing clamor for her candidacy among the populist wing of the Democratic party. Shortly afterward, the New Republic ran a terrifying cover calling Warren “Hillary’s Worst Nightmare.” Through it all, Warren has fervently denied any interest in running. Nor has she made behind-the-scenes moves in early primary states that might imply dishonesty in her answers.

So what spurred this round of headlines? Have the calls for her candidacy grown more marked since the last time she told a reporter “no”? Did a rumor get started that she’s weighing a run behind the scenes? It appears that the only reasons for today’s headlines seem to be that Warren was, once again, publicly asked the question, and that her manner of saying “no” was even more definitive than usual. “I pledge to serve out my term,” she said, which reporters are interpreting to be some kind of blood oath that narrows her ability to change her mind (even more than the time she told the Boston Globe, “No, no, no, no, no.”) This “pledge” was “her most definitive statement to date,” the Globe says.

At this point, the headlines almost seem like attempts to troll Warren more than inform readers. She seems a bit at a loss for strategies to convince anyone she’s telling the truth. (Maybe she should start her own birther rumors?)

And don’t expect this to be the last you hear about Warren’s presidential hopes. Most analysis suggests that Warren’s calculus can’t be made in earnest until Hillary Clinton decides whether to run, and for now, Clinton still hasn’t said. We imagine that when she does, reporters will once again check in with Warren, even if they’ve done so a half dozen times between now and then, too.