Warren to Speak at Emily’s List Gala as She Considers Campaigns

March 22, 2017

March 22, 2017

Bloomberg: Warren to Speak at Emily’s List Gala as She Considers Campaigns

by Jennifer Epstein

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren will raise her profile as a leader among President Donald Trump’s opposition — and a potential re-election opponent — with a major speech at the Democratic women’s group Emily’s List’s annual gala in May.

Warren is up for re-election in 2018 and is regarded as a possible contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. She will deliver the keynote remarks at the Emily’s List gala, the group will announce today — a high-profile platform for a senator who is a liberal hero and has already emerged as one of Trump’s fiercest opponents.

“Even Republicans know Elizabeth doesn’t give up — she persists,” Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock said in a statement, referencing a remark by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that has turned into an Internet meme and Democratic rallying cry.

In February, as he sought to prevent Warren from reading a letter critical of then-attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions on the Senate floor, the Kentucky Republican said that Warren “had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

The remarks have inspired social media posts, T-shirts, tattoos and, curiously, the title for a forthcoming children’s book by Chelsea Clinton.

Warren’s role at the “We Are EMILY” gala is the latest sign that she seeks to claim Hillary Clinton’s mantle as the most powerful Democratic woman in the U.S., complete with her own White House aspirations. Clinton was the keynote speaker at the 2015 gala, just a month before she launched her second presidential campaign.

In 2013, Emily’s List started a “Madam President” project to work toward putting a woman in the White House in 2016. Though it was not officially tied to any one candidate, the project was seen as an attempt to shape public attitudes before Clinton entered the race.

Emily’s List exclusively works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, and the group says that since Clinton’s loss to Trump it has heard from more than 10,000 women interested in running for office.

Warren’s first political engagement beyond voting came nearly two decades ago when she sent a check to the group in response to a mailer. In 2011, Schriock played a key role in recruiting Warren, who was then working on starting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to run against then-Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, a Republican.

Before she can think about challenging Trump’s re-election, though, Warren has to worry about her own. There are signs she won’t enjoy a cakewalk. Traditionally liberal Massachusetts elected a Republican governor last year, Charlie Baker, and a January poll conducted by Boston radio station WBUR found that just 44 percent of the state’s voters want Warren re-elected, compared to 46 percent who want her replaced.