Waiting for Warren?

Though four individuals have already publicly declared their candidacies, Massachusetts Democrats appear to be scouting around for a “big name” to challenge Republican Scott Brown in next year’s U.S. Senate race.

Many of them would like to see Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor and consumer advocate who chaired the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis and who’s been instrumental in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, take the plunge.

A fierce populist defender of the beleaguered middle-class — a perfect antidote to the Koch-funded Tea Party movement — is precisely what the party needs, they say.

The calls for a Warren candidacy began as early as January 2010, only days after the Tea Party-fueled Brown unexpectedly captured the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.

“Warren and the Democratic Party need to think seriously about her prospects for higher office,” wrote Ethan Porter in an opinion piece in the Boston Globe at the time.

“Going into 2012, Massachusetts Democrats will have no shortage of candidates to choose from, eager, party-trained politicians ready to take a run,” continued Porter. “Republican Scott Brown’s victory to the US Senate last week made clear that voters crave something besides the norm: someone from outside the traditional political structure who can speak to their everyday, bread-and-butter concerns in a credible way. Warren fits the bill.”

The calls for a Warren candidacy continue.

“If Elizabeth Warren runs, she would bring the serious, honest, baloney-free and respectful debate that is long overdue in American politics,” wrote Brent Budowsky last month. Warren, he contends, would be the “true heir to the Boston Tea Party.”

There are currently four Democrats in the race — former lieutenant governor nominee and Episcopal minister Bob Massie, Salem immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco, Newton Mayor Setti Warren and philanthropist Alan Khazei, who’s making his second try for Kennedy’s seat— as well as several others who are thinking of jumping in, including former state lawmaker Warren Tolman, an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2002.

But many Bay State Democrats are waiting to see who else might enter the race before committing to any of the declared candidates lining up to run against the state’s junior senator.

In the meantime, Scott Brown and the Republicans are already running scared. Imagine how frightened they would be if the plain-spoken and tenacious Warren — a woman that crusading journalist Matt Taibbi and many others believe should run for President — were to enter the fray.

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