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Are You Ready for Senator Elizabeth Warren?

4:45 PM, Feb 15, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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In an email today to subscribers, DailyKos campaign director Chris Bowers announced a petition to encourage Elizabeth Warren to run for the Senate in Massachusetts against Republican Scott Brown next year:

Virtually no one has done more than Professor Warren to fight against the bloodthirsty excesses of today’s financial sector. She exposed corruption in the Wall Street bailout, and basically created the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on her own. She picks fights, wins them, and packs a populist punch in the process....

Right now, Warren is working to set up the CFPB as a special Assistant to the President. However, it’s extremely unlikely she’ll ever be confirmed to formally lead the new CFPB. That means she’ll need a new fight in a few months, and this one just seems perfect...

Bowers doesn't mention why it's unlikely Warren will be confirmed to head the CFPB, but perhaps her conflicts of interest as a member of the TARP oversight panel are a factor in the administration's efforts to avoid a congressional confirmation hearing.

The Boston Globe also supports her running for the Senate, but what sort of advantages would Warren have against Brown? Brown has maintained high approval ratings since his upset victory in 2009, and his self-positioning as a centrist will make it difficult for any Democrat to accuse him of being a right-wing extremist. Brown's yes vote on the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill could also diminish Warren's biggest selling point: her reputation as a liberal crusader against Wall Street. The Hill points out that Brown has also made local events and media his focus, despite his high profile. Polls show Brown is about as well-positioned as any Massachusetts Republican could be to keep the seat.

But the best advantage for Warren, or any challenger, will be the "D" next to her name on the ballot. Despite Brown's special election win, Democrats still largely outnumber Republicans in Massachusetts. In 2008, Obama won the state by 26 percentage points and nearly 800,000 votes. With a presidential election and the full force of the Organizing for America team to help, 2012 won't be the same electoral environment as 2009, when the health care debate was in full swing and Obama wasn't on the ballot.

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