Progressives at the Netroots Nation conference in Detroit said they want Hillary Clinton to run for the presidency because they're sure she'll win, but they'd rather see a candidate who is closer to their hearts in the election — Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The Massachusetts Democrat's views are much closer to those of the Democratic base, more than a dozen attendees at the conference told Politico
, even though she has insisted that she does not want to seek the White House.
Warren Friday morning gave a much-awaited keynote address to the conference, speaking around people cheering for her to enter the presidential race, reports U.S. News and World Report
In her speech, she didn't make a presidential announcement, but spoke of her campaign to implement the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, saying it is an example of progressive ideas that succeed.
"If we push back hard, we can win. We fight, we win," she told the convention. "We don't win every time, but we're learning to win. We're learning to win and we will keep winning."
But that didn't stop the calls of "Run, Liz, Run" or keep a new group, Ready for Warren, from handing out signs and stickers promoting a Warren campaign.
Clinton is not planning to attend the conference, as she is still on her book tour for her memoir, "Hard Choices."
The most liberal factions of the Democratic base typically attend the Netroots conference, reports Politico, and the most politically active.
And several people even said they see her as as a political trailblazer, but also worry that she leans too far right and is too close to Wall Street, acts too conservatively on national security issues and is not enough of a champion for the middle class.
The concerns reflect some that were voiced when she sought the nomination in 2008 and was blocked out by then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, a relative newcomer.
"Certainly, I would vote for her, OK, but if she wins the primary, I'm going to focus on local elections," said Alberto Saavedra, who traveled from Los Angeles to Detroit for the conference.
But he would remain more excited by a Warren campaign.
"She has spoken so well about the issues that concern average Americans, she's not too of-Wall Street," said Saavedra. "Hillary is too Wall Street and also too hawkish, but compared to any of the Republicans, she's acceptable."
Clinton hasn't officially announced she plans to run, and a series of statements she made promoting her book have left some doubting her connection with the middle class.
But she's also been showing a more populist side, including saying last month that the country needs to work on "renewing the American dream so Americans feel they have a stake in the future and that the economy and political system is not stacked against them."
And Clinton's backers are attending the Netroots Nation gathering. Ready for Hillary, the grassroots group that is trying to encourage her to run.
Some at the conference said they'd like to see both women run for the presidency.
Warren is the more aggressive fighter, one attendee, Elizabeth Beier told Politico, but Clinton is more electable.
"I'm going to be in a bit of a pickle if both [Clinton] and Warren run...Technically, Elizabeth Warren is a little closer to my heart," she said.
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