Elizabeth Warren, the consumer advocate and former adviser to President Barack Obama, established an exploratory committee Thursday ahead of declaring herself a 2012 Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.
The site, ElizabethforMA.com, allows users to sign up to receive email updates, recruit their friends via Facebook and make campaign contributions.
Warren’s husband, Harvard professor Bruce Mann, is listed as the committee’s treasurer on forms filed to the FEC, the Boston Globe reported.
Warren is conducting a “listening tour” around the state and meeting with grassroots coordinators ahead of her run against Sen. Scott Brown, the Republican who won the seat in a special election following Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 2009 death.
One unnamed attendee of a Warren event told Politico that “we don’t have to worry about her pulling a Coakley,” referring to Attorney General Martha Coakley’s campaign against Brown in the special election, often criticized for being dispassionate and too focused on the Boston area only.
Earlier this week, Brown sent out a fundraising plea that criticized Warren and the attempt to “draft” her as a candidate. Warren has long been a favorite target of Republicans. The National Republican Senatorial Committee today piled on with its own anti-Warren statement.
“As a native of Oklahoma, the anointed candidate of the Washington establishment, and someone who has spent many years ensconced in the hallways of Harvard, it’s a good idea for Professor Warren to learn more about her adopted state of Massachusetts as she prepares to compete in a crowded Democrat primary,” the statement said.
Democrats, however, are eager to see her run and believe she has a shot against Brown, whose approval ratings are a strong 56 percent. The president of EMILY’s List, a group that supports female candidates who are strong on women’s and reproductive issues, told the Globe that she was happy to see Warren dipping a toe in the electoral waters.
“I’m thrilled that Elizabeth is pursuing this next endeavor with the thoughtfulness and respect that’s been such a hallmark of her career,” Stephanie Schriock said. “Elizabeth is strong, smart, and a dedicated fighter for working Americans. We’d love to see her take her talents to the U.S. Senate.”