Ex-Obama official launches bid to take back Kennedy's old Senate seat
September 14th, 2011
09:12 AM ET
3 years ago

Ex-Obama official launches bid to take back Kennedy's old Senate seat

(CNN) - Saying "I'm going to do this. I'm going to run for the United States Senate," former Obama administration official, consumer advocate, and Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren officially launched her bid to try and unseat Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who Democrats think may be one of the most vulnerable GOP senators in next year's election.

Warren will kick off her campaign at five stops across the Bay State Wednesday: Boston, New Bedford, Framingham, Worcester and Springfield. Using an outsider approach, Warren listed the reasons she's running in a video on her campaign website early Wednesday morning.

"Middle class families have been chipped at, hacked at, squeezed and hammered for a generation now and I don't think Washington gets it. Washington is rigged for big corporations that hire armies of lobbyists," Warren said. "We're telling seniors they may have to learn to live on less. It isn't right and it's the reason I'm running for the United States Senate."

Warren's announcement is anything but a surprise. She set up an exploratory committee in August and has spent the last few weeks traveling around Massachusetts on a "listening tour."

Warren is the eighth declared candidate in the race for next year's Democratic Senate nomination in Massachusetts, but none of the other contenders have strong name recognition and some national Democrats were concerned that none of the others would be able to effectively challenge Brown, who made national headlines by beating Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley in a special election early last year to replace the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, who held the seat for nearly five decades.

A WMUR poll of Massachusetts voters released last week suggested Warren has the best chance of any of the Democratic candidates to win back the Senate seat. According to the survey, Brown led Warren by nine points in a hypothetical 2012 general election matchup. Brown led the other candidates listed on the poll by wider margins. The survey indicated that Warren led her competitors in the battle for the Democratic nomination.

Warren was named a special adviser by President Barack Obama to oversee the development of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This year she was in contention but was not nominated as the director of the new bureau. She left Washington in early August and returned to Massachusetts, a move that stirred rumors she would launch a bid for the Senate.

While she sounded like an outsider in her video announcement, Republicans will try to portray her as an insider.

A Massachusetts Republican source tells CNN that "Warren, who continues to earn her reputation as a creation of DC and the insiders pick with little interest or attachment to the state, made another Martha Coakley-like error in failing to even once utter the word 'Massachusetts' in her announcement video."

The Washington DC-based Progressive Change Campaign Committee announced Wednesday it raised over $200,000 for Warren's campaign. The liberal organization said they would make the funds raised available to Warren when she launched a campaign.

Fundraising is crucial to Warren's effort. Brown's re-election campaign has approximately $10 million cash in hand to put toward his efforts and polls indicate he is popular with Massachusetts voters.

– CNN's Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.

– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN.


Filed under: 2012 • Elizabeth Warren • Massachusetts • Scott Brown
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. tv22

    I wonder how they'll blame a handpicked White House candidate for losing? Should be fun to watch her lose along with the rest of the Dems.

    September 14, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Ed

    Why do you need her you already have a DEM in office he just thinks he is a Repub.

    September 14, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  3. SiriusVH

    Go for it!! Wish you the best!

    September 14, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Unless there is a gaffe on Brown's part, I just do not see MA voters changing course. There are a number of easily frightened voters in New England.

    September 14, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Annie, Atlanta

    She's a wonderful voice for average Americans. How do I know this? The Republicans would have never approved her for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Heck, they're threatening to defund it as it is. Why don't Republicans want average Americans to be protected from financial institutions? Anyway, good luck Elizabeth Warren.

    September 14, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. gt

    she is a job killing machine.....brown is one of a few senators that gets it....he does not have a agenda ....she just wants to get back at those who would not give her a ego aand a power hungry government job...

    September 14, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. proudmemberofglobalzero

    I do not live in her state but she will get a donation from me. Advise to everyone...CREDIT UNIONS ARE THE WAY TO GO. I miss small banks with customer service and honesty. I have not been with a big bank since 2006. Wells Fargo + Wachovia= BIG FAIL.

    September 14, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    This woman will be TROUNCED by Scott Brown. She's an Obama lackey with even LESS experience in the real world than he had. A Harvard law professor knows jack squat about "middle class families"! And the fact that Progressives/Socilaists/Communists are backing her should tell you all you need to know. This woman is Obama on steroids and we all see what a disaster Obama has been for this country.

    September 14, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Sniffit

    Why is CNN purposefully ignoring Elmendorf's testimony before the "Super Committee"?? Is it because he keeps providing expert economic opinion and advice that coincides almost 100% with the proposal Obama just made and the GOPers' on the commission are struggling (poorly) to try to combat what constitutes widespread, overwhelming professional concensus on how we must go about stabilizing and fixing the economy? Hmmm? I'm sure you'll report non-stop about all the little tiffs and trite little ideological talking points each side spews on the subject...SO WHY ARE YOU IGNORING THE FOREMOST EXPERT AND WITNESS TESTIFYING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE REGARDING HOW WE GOT IN THIS MESS AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO GET OUT OF IT?

    September 14, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. DIANA

    Where can I contribute to her campaign? Go Warren!

    September 14, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    The anti-Democrat tsunami is just beginning with the HUGE win of Weiner's seat. Winning by 8% in a district that is 3 to 1 in the Democrats favor is nothing short of a miracle. It is a miracle that only Obama and the Democrat's could have provided. Thje country has caught on to them and their class warfare, wealth redistribution scam. There is NO WAY somebody like Warren will win in 2012. But of course, the Democrats will continue to remain clueless. It is what they do best. I can hardly wait until the Democrats are thrown out in droves in 2012. Their union-backed thuggery and theft will be ended and the country will be the better for it.

    September 14, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. John K.

    And she will be the next flaming liberal to go down in defeat. Along with Obama.

    September 14, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. a health economist

    Elizabeth Warren would be a great Senator. It's a shame she is going after Scott Brown's seat. He's one of the very few Republicans I like because he is willing to compromise.

    September 14, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. Reg

    She is an absolute loon so they should love her in that deranged district. By the same token those democrats in the bible belt are in trouble – even the good ones. Obama hangs like an anvil around their neck.

    September 14, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Liberty Queen

    Elizabeth Warren is highly qualified to be a Senator of Massachusetts... she's smarter than any of the candidates, including the lying Scott Brown, she's honest and she went after the big boys in DC. Warren all the way!

    September 14, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. O.T.

    If MA voters want national bankruptcy, they will vote for her.

    September 14, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. Rickster

    I think the people have seen what democrats will do when elected to office. Please, no more democrats.

    September 14, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. Steve- Illinois

    Another "Harvard" genius! These educated idiots keep insisting they are helping as they pile on useless regulations that keep business from expanding and hiring! If they had ever run as much as a lemonade stand, they would have a better idea how things work than they do now!

    September 14, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Don

    I think that's awesome. I hope she wins.

    September 14, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. depechemode

    Obama is the worst President in the HISTORY of the United States. Period.

    September 14, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |