Berkshire Democrats Want Warren to Run, Run, Run
Local attorney and Democratic leader Sherwood Guernsey said the amount of people who came to his office to support Elizabeth Warren was 'fantastic' — especially on three-days notice, in the summer and on a Friday.
Warren is kicking around the idea of running and stopped in Pittsfield on Friday to meet with party members to gauge their support as part of a listening tour across the state.
What she found in Berkshire County was a whole lot of support.
"She is exactly the person we need in the U.S. Senate," Lee Harrison, chairman of the local Democratic organization, said. "We're going to campaign like hell for her."
Warren, a Harvard professor teaching contract, bankruptcy and commercial law, boasts a resume that includes chief adviser to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission, member of the Federal Judicial Education Committee and most recently appointed as assistant to the president and special adviser to the secretary of the Treasury on consumer financial protection.
A movement to draft Warren for a Senate run has raised $100,000; on Thursday, she filed to form an exploratory committee. Many Democrats see her as a home-run candidate to oust Brown, a Wrentham Republican who won in a special election last year to complete the late Ted Kennedy's term.
In 2008, Warren was picked to chair the special Congressional Oversight Panel for the government bailout and she pushed for formation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was signed into law last July.
"We just kept pushing. We not only got the bill, we got a stronger version of the bill. We got a consumer agency," Warren told a packed room in the Law Offices of Sherwood Guernsey. "It repairs one hole in the bottom of the boat. There is so much more that is going on."
The country is now in a time where it can re-write the rules regarding economics, she said, and she wants to focus on rebuilding the middle class. The Senate seat could provide an avenue but if she is going to make a successful run, Warren said it will need to be a "truly" grassroots campaign.
The Berkshire Democrats decorated the law office with mock signs, buttons and large banners encouraging Warren to run.
Warren spent more than an hour with the local group discussing politics and the goal of rebuilding "middle-class opportunities."
"Families are caught in a squeeze - no higher income but all the big costs are going up," Warren said.
That middle-class focus resonated with the local Democrats, many of whom pleaded with her to run. The office was decorated with signs and buttons reading "run, Elizabeth, run."
"I'm here to endorse your running," Democratic doyenne and former Middle Berkshire Registrar of Deeds Mary O'Brien told Warren. "What we'd like to do for you is to go out and speak to people across the state."
Brigade member Ethan Klepetar said a grassroots campaign for Warren is "the way to go."
"I'm very excited about Elizabeth Warren," Klepetar said. "She has terrific ideas about economic policy."
With just three days notice on a rainy Friday in August, Democrats from all over the county jumped at the invitation and filled the offices for a chance to speak with Warren. Guernsey, a former state representative, said it was one of the biggest turnouts he's seen for a person who is not an announced candidate.
"The energy she brings is something people are yearning for," Guernsey, also a Brigade member, said. "She has stood up for people in the middle class for years."
Harrison said he likes her leadership and ability to stand up against pressures — traits that will help her lead a successful campaign.
Warren has held 12 meetings in five days with Democratic leaders across the state and has four more scheduled. Announced candidates for the Democratic nomination include Newton Mayor Setti Warren; Wayland Rep. Tom Conroy; City Year founder Alan Khazei, immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco and activist and nonprofit executive Robert Massie.
Below is a video of the event's conclusion posted on Friday by Greylocknews,
Editor's Note: Lede changed at 2:33 p.m., Aug. 20, to clarify the event was not sponsored by the Berkshire Brigades although a number of its members were there.