Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a populist who some liberals hope will seek the White House in 2016 — despite her many denials — will keynote the California Democratic Party convention in May, the party announced Thursday. Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will also address delegates.
"Sen. Warren and retired Rep. Frank embody Democrats’ fight for fairness in our economy and financial reforms that reward Americans’ hard work and hope for the future," said state party Chairman John Burton. "As California Democrats, we’re proud to count so many elected leaders who are in the same tradition and are showing leadership through action."
While Warren has spurned efforts by supporters to draft her for a presidential run, she appears to be tilting the 2016 presidential campaign. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who announced her White House run on Sunday, has adopted Warren’s populist tone during her early forays on the campaign trail.
"I think we all know that Americans have come back from some pretty tough economic times, and our economy and our country are much better off because American families have basically done whatever it took to make it work," Clinton said Tuesday in Monticello, Iowa, at her first public campaign event. "But I think it’s fair to say as you look across the country, the deck is still stacked in favor of those already at the top. And there’s something wrong with that."
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is among the other Democrats weighing a presidential bid and is expected to make a decision by late May. O’Malley addressed California Democrats in 2014.
State party gatherings, which draw thousands of delegates and supporters, typically are magnets for Democratic presidential candidates. In 2007, the last time there was a competitive contest for the Democratic nomination, Clinton, then-Sens. Barack Obama and Chris Dodd, former Sen. John Edwards and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson were among the speakers.
That year, when the California primary took place on Super Tuesday, in February, the state had a big role in both parties’ nominating contests. With the primary next year scheduled for June, California looks to be mostly ignored except for fundraising forays.
Nearly all of the prospective candidates have already sought to raise money in the state, funds that will be used in more competitive states.
The convention will take place May 15-17 in Anaheim.
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