Elizabeth Warren Switched Up Her Twitter Handle — And People Think It's A Sign
If you weren't repeatedly refreshing Twitter this weekend, you might have missed a potentially big hint about one senator's political goals in 2020 — namely, Elizabeth Warren's Twitter handle looks different. The change was initially caught by a bot account called Changes of Congress, which tracks when congressional Twitter accounts are activated, deactivated, or renamed. On Saturday evening, Warren's handle changed from "@elizabethforma" to "@ewarren."
Warren is among prominent Democrats, including Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand, speculated to be eyeing a 2020 run for president. She hasn't confirmed anything publicly, but removing the reference to her home state of Massachusetts from her handle could be a sign that she's gearing up for campaign season. Bustle has reached out to Warren's office for comment.
It's not as though she's never broached the topic, however. At a town hall meeting in Holyoke, Massachusetts in September, Warren told a cheering crowd, "After Nov. 6, I will take a hard look at running for president." That statement in itself was a departure from her previous stance on the 2020 elections — as late as August, according to CBS Boston, Warren insisted she wasn't running for president in 2020, and would instead be focusing on her 2018 senate bid.
Earlier this month, Politico published a review of Warren's current political apparatus — $12.5 million in funding, a robust digital outreach setup, and campaign staffers in multiple states ready to go, all of which indicate she could be in the early stages of a presidential campaign. Aides even told the outlet anonymously that they've supposedly been looking around for a campaign headquarters space in Boston.
"Let me say that of all the people who are running that I can see from my perspective — and I don’t have visibility into everything everybody is doing — there isn’t anybody who had done more to position themselves for 2020 than she had up to that point," former Obama strategist David Axelrod said on Politico's "Off Message" podcast in late October.
Harris, Booker, and Gillibrand have reportedly also begun assembling their campaign teams. If all four politicians run, 2020 will see the most diverse array of Democratic presidential candidates in history — two are people of color, three are women, and all except Warren are under 55. That range of diversity comes following midterm elections in which a record-breaking number of women were chosen for office.
Still, following Warren's election for a second Senate term, it's unclear whether she has the support, even from her own state to make a successful presidential run. In September, according to Politico, only 32 percent of Massachusetts residents wanted her to run for president in 2020, slightly favoring former Sen. John Kerry and former Gov. Deval Patrick over Warren.
It's also worth mentioning that she won her Senate race this cycle by just 24 points. That's relatively low, considering that Hillary Clinton won Massachusetts by 27 points in 2016, and Warren had advantage of incumbency in a year when Democrats were generally more popular across the nation.
"While Warren won reelection, her margin of victory in November suggests there’s a ceiling on her popularity," wrote The Boston Globe editorial board following the midterms. "While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure." Still, a lot can change in an election season — and only time will tell if she's actually running for president or not.