WASHINGTON --U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is joining the Senate Democratic leadership team, a move that gives the first-term senator even more exposure. The Massachusetts Democrat has long been the source of speculation about a 2016 presidential campaign, although she has repeatedly denied having any interest in running.
“I believe in what the Democrats are fighting for,” Warren said after her selection was announced. “Wall Street is doing very well, CEOs are bringing in millions more, and families all across this country are struggling. We have to make this government work for the American people, and that’s what we’re here to fight for.”
Warren has been a consistent liberal voice in the Senate, advocating for student loan reform and regulations that protect consumers and places restrictions on Wall Street. Joining the leadership team gives her a larger platform to make those same arguments.
“Somebody asked me on the way in here, ‘Elizabeth Warren is going to be part of your leadership, what do you expect her to do?’” Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said after the announcement that Warren’s title and exact role in leadership is still being figured out. “I expect her to be Elizabeth Warren,” he finished. Reid was selected by his caucus to be the minority leader in the next session.
Despite her liberal credentials, Warren was a popular surrogate on the campaign trail this year. She traveled blue states and red states, including in Kentucky, home to Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will be the majority leader when Republicans take over the Congress.
Her crisscrossing the nation only fueled speculation that she could make a run for the White House in 2016. The left wing of the Democratic Party sees her as more ideologically aligned with them than Hillary Clinton, the presumed front-runner for the nomination.
Warren wasn’t the only woman added to the Democratic leadership. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also joined the team. Reid said he had pushed to include more women.
“One reason [the Senate has] changed for the good is because of women,” Reid said. “It has changed. Women think differently than men, and I am so blessed with the women I have in my caucus that I wanted to reach out to them because they represent what America is all about.”