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Dems: Warren ready to get off sidelines

Dems: Warren ready to get off sidelines
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Democratic senators expect Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenCastro takes steps toward likely 2020 bid What midterm exit polls tell us about 2020 Deval Patrick: Obama was too eager to compromise with GOP MORE (D-Mass.) will soon make moves to mollify restive liberals and unify the Democratic Party behind Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February What midterm exit polls tell us about 2020 MORE.

Several Democratic senators say they have approached Warren about the role she can play, insisting she is best positioned to mend the schism between the Clinton and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersProgressive House Dem pushes for vote on 'Medicare for all' bill Castro takes steps toward likely 2020 bid Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February MORE wings of the party.

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Warren has a loyal following among the more liberal Democrats who favor Sanders. She has told colleagues she will play the role of peacemaker, but not until after the last major round of primaries on June 7.

“I think Elizabeth can and will be very helpful,” said Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenCongress should broaden legislation to curb medical price gouging Pro-Israel organizations should finally seek payback against Iran deal Dems Democrat Chris Pappas wins New Hampshire House seat MORE (D-N.H.), a Clinton backer who spoke to Warren on Wednesday.

“She is very interested, at least in my conversations with her, in doing everything she can to help get the party to unite for November,” she added.

Warren and her office declined requests to comment. 

Shaheen expressed hope that Warren would attend and act as a unifying figure at the New Hampshire's Democratic convention that is scheduled for June 18. 

Democrats fear Sanders supporters might provoke more disruptions, such as what occurred last weekend at the party's convention in Nevada, which devolved into shouting matches and chaos. 

Another Democratic senator who has spoken to Warren and requested anonymity to discuss their interaction said, “We’ve got to land this plane, and I want her in the control tower.”

“She’s trying. I think she’s an honest broker,” the lawmaker added.

But there’s some doubt about whether Clinton’s inner circle will welcome Warren, who was once seen as a rival for the nomination, into the role of party unifier.

“The question is whether the interior of the Clinton campaign is willing to trust her,” the Democratic senator said.

Other Senate Democrats, however, note that Warren signed a letter in early 2013 urging Clinton to run for president and see that as evidence that she will get behind Clinton in the next several weeks.

“I feel fairly confident that she will endorse Hillary in her own time. That will help,” said Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: What the midterms mean for defense panels | Pompeo cancels North Korea meeting | Trump eyes Kim summit in early 2019 | Pentagon drops name for border mission Five takeaways from a divisive midterm election GOP to retain Senate majority MORE (D-Va.), another pro-Clinton Democrat who is believed to be on her short list for vice president.

“Her validation of Hillary at the right time will help bring everybody together,” he added of Warren.

Democrats decided at a meeting Tuesday to let Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSchumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress Democrats have a Puerto Rican problem Dem Susie Lee defeats Danny Tarkanian to retain Nevada House seat MORE (Nev.) take the lead in handling Sanders after the blow-up in Nevada, but that effort has yielded little so far.

Lawmakers had hoped Reid, who according to senior Democratic aides has a close personal relationship with Sanders, would persuade him to soften his tactics.

The leader spoke to Sanders for 10 minutes on Tuesday and urged him to rein in his supporters as reports emerged of Nevada Democratic Party Chairwoman Roberta receiving death threats. 

But the result fell short of expectations. Soon after their talk, the Sanders campaign issued a statement criticizing the party for allegedly unfair treatment and addressing the turmoil in Nevada only in passing.

Reid himself said he was “surprised” by the defiant response.

Sanders doubled down later Tuesday during a speech in Southern California, where he challenged the party leadership to “open the doors, let the people in!”

His senior campaign advisers now say they will make an all-out push in the final weeks to challenge Clinton and defeat her in California’s June 7 primary, in which 546 delegates are at stake.

Democratic senators on Thursday recoiled at a New York Times report that Sanders plans to open an intense two-month phase of the campaign intended to inflict “a heavy blow on Clinton.”

“That’s a mistake for him to be more aggressive and more divisive. I think having the Democratic candidates in an important primary attacking each other instead of debating each other’s policies just simply puts at risks our prospects in the fall election,” said Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsGrassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Is Matthew Whitaker stooge or savior? His actions will tell us Dem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners MORE (D-Del.), who supports Clinton.

The Senate’s Democratic women, who make up Clinton’s most loyal supporters in Congress, have for months been pressing to back Clinton.

But the effort picked up urgency in the last several days as the animosity between Clinton and Sanders supporters intensified.

Lawmakers fear that liberals in the “Bernie or Bust” movement could spin off into an extreme faction within the party such as they believe now exists within the GOP.

“I’m worried about what’s turning out to be the creation of a Tea Party-like element in the Democratic Party,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

Just as Republican establishment figures such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham backs bill to protect Mueller Grassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Former staffers push Congress for action on sexual harassment measure MORE (Ky.) and former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse Republicans need history lesson in battle over next leader Republicans jockey for top GOP spot on House Foreign Affairs Committee McMorris Rodgers won't run for GOP leadership MORE (Ohio) have had trouble controlling the Tea Party, Democrats fear their leaders may have limited influence over the newly emboldened liberal faction.

They see Warren, however, as someone who can win disaffected liberals over to Clinton, even if Sanders withholds his enthusiastic endorsement.

“I told her she’s in a unique position to fix this,” said one Democratic senator who spoke recently with Warren.

Senate Democratic leaders tapped Warren as their liaison to liberal groups after their disastrous showing in the 2014 midterm elections, creating a new position in the leadership for her. 

She noted in an interview with the Boston Globe at the time that the new role gave her “a seat at the table” and an “opportunity to talk, to persuade and sometimes to lead.” 

Her Democratic colleagues say now’s the time for her to step up.