Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is a dyed-in-the-wool progressive, but how does she feel about the idea of having a full-fledged democratic socialist run the country? So far, she's not opposed to it.
On Tuesday, the Boston Herald published an article on Elizabeth Warren in which she offered praise for Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) bid for the White House.
"Bernie's out talking about the issues that the American people want to hear about," Warren told the Boston Herald.
When she was asked if she would endorse him, she responded neither in the affirmative nor the negative. "Too early to say," she said, according to the Boston Herald.
In the interview, Warren carefully avoided horserace banter and instead opted to bring the conversation back to the substance of Sanders' campaign — which she considers to be his strength.
"These are people who care about these issues, and that's who Bernie's reaching. I love what Bernie is talking about. I think all the presidential candidates should be out talking about the big issues," she told the Boston Herald.
The Warren factor: Warren has little to gain from offering any candidate in the Democratic primary an early endorsement, regardless of how she feels about them. Being outwardly agnostic about the candidates is in fact the best way she can serve the advancement of her own political goals: By withholding and delaying backing for any candidate, she will increase the likelihood that they hew to her political vision to win her prized seal of approval.
We've already seen a bit of this in Hillary Clinton's attempts to appropriate Warren's message, whether by penning Warren's bio for the Time 100 or overzealously embracing her on stage. For the firebrand senator who has become the standard-bearer for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, silence is a virtue. The longer she waits, the keener Democratic candidates will be for her nod of approval.
Sanders wants the Warren wing: Sanders, though, can do anything but wait. As an outsider for the Democratic nomination who can't rely on corporate donors filling up his war chest, he must bank on the popularity of his persona and ideas. Warren's anti-establishment credentials and following represent an essential kind of currency for him.
So far, he's made some overtures toward her most ardent followers. Earlier in June, he called up the executive director of Democracy for America, which partnered with MoveOn to oversee the Run Warren Run campaign, when they announced that they were suspending their campaign to draft Warren into the 2016 race. Sanders has an established relationship with Democracy for America, and undoubtedly having their followers back his campaign was top of mind during their chat.
Sanders has already had some success in winning over Warren fans. During one of the best weeks of his campaign, the group Ready for Warren officially decided that Sanders was worthy of their backing.
"While Warren is the champion who inspired this movement, the draft effort was never just about her — it's about her message and the values she represents," Ready for Warren campaign manager Erica Sagrans and co-founder Charles Lenchner wrote on CNN.com. "Bernie Sanders has caught fire in a way that's reminiscent of the 'draft Warren' movement itself. From the Internet to town halls in Iowa, Sanders has captured the imagination and support of people looking for a real progressive challenger in the 2016 Democratic primary."
There's still a long, long way to go in this race, but every bit of support that Sanders receives from Warren or the restless movement that she triggered makes it far more likely that he'll go further than anyone expected him to.