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York: Why Elizabeth Warren should run for president

Published: Friday, May 2, 2014 9:38 p.m. CDT

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is on a publicity tour for her new campaign-style book, “A Fighting Chance.” As she talks to the press, Warren is repeating previous statements that she will not run for president in 2016. But her denials aren’t really denials, and her party’s unique presidential circumstances give Warren plenty of room to run. Judging by what she has said publicly, there’s no reason to rule out a Warren candidacy.

First, the non-denial denials. Recently ABC’s David Muir asked Warren, “Are you going to run for president?” Warren’s response was, “I’m not running for president.”

That’s the oldest lawyerly evasion in the book. Warren, a former law professor, did not say, “I am not going to run for president.” Instead, she said she is “not running,” which could, in some sense, be true when she spoke the words but no longer true by, say, later this year.Muir tried again: “There’s nothing that could change your mind?”

“David, like I said, I’m not running for president.”

Muir also asked Warren about the dominant frontrunner in the Democratic race. “Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president?”

“I think Hillary Clinton is terrific,” Warren said, which is no way answered the question. Then Warren added, “We’ve got to stay focused on these issues right now,” which sounded very much like something a candidate might say.

The bottom line is that Warren’s statements are entirely consistent with someone who is planning to announce a presidential candidacy later this year. Maybe she will, maybe she won’t. But she ruled nothing out.

• Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

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