Now that Bernie Sanders is in the race, there seems to be no need for two populist progressives with terrible hairdos to share the stage.
Attendance at “Run Warren Run” events has dwindled from the teens to the single digits as the last vestiges of hippiedom turn their Rascal scooters towards the bright light of Bernie. Warren’s committed cadre of lily-white liberal Democrats who consider themselves experts on knowing how poor people should run their lives have found a new king to serve, and one that is already doing the dirty work of moving Hillary Clinton back to her leftward roots with talk of hunger-inducing deodorant and expensive trainers. And as such, the Run Warren Run movement has finally lost its most committed community organizers, the employees of MoveOn.org.
Six months after launching “Run Warren Run,” a quixotic campaign to draft Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 presidential race, the two progressive organizations behind it will call it quits and focus more broadly on a populist agenda in the 2016 presidential race, according to a spokesman.
Democracy for America and MoveOn.org, which together spent $1.25 million dollars launching the campaign last December, plan to visit Warren’s Washington, DC office on June 8 and deliver a petition with 365,000 signatures asking the senator to run.
The organizations will then pivot to more issue-specific advocacy, including thwarting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an enormous, 12-nation free trade pact that liberals argue will kill jobs and reduce labor and environmental standards worldwide.
This was, unfortunately, inevitable. Those 365,000 signatories are likely the only people in America who considered Elizabeth Warren a viable candidate. And while there were plenty of attendees willing to share crudite over Karl Marx, there was never any guarantee that any of them would live to see 2016. The last, best hope of Elizabeth Warren’s promoters was that the Social Security Administration would miss the sudden demise from old age of many of her most ardent supporters and send their progressive children their absentee ballots anyway.
And thus, an era comes to a sad and predictable end. Run Warren Run will, of course, remain in operation as a pressure group, hoping to catch Elizabeth Warren’s eye with their dedicated fandom and progressive policy pushes, but they will do it without MoveOn and Democracy for America’s considerable largesse and organizational capabilities. They did have some success – the organization cites this Boston Globe op-ed as one of them, though it’s not really earned media and convincing sixty legislators in the blue NorthEast that a quasi-socialist was the way to go – and while even TIME admits that the movement was lead mostly by “blind optimism” it was still a movement. A slow-moving one, of course. Perhaps a water aerobics type movement, maybe. Definitely one powered by electric wheelchairs and Ensure. But a movement nonetheless.