U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren remained coy about her future during an interview presented by Suffolk University in partnership with the Boston Globe, carefully phrasing her answers to leave open the possibility that she could become a vice presidential candidate in 2016.
The Sept. 2 on-campus interview with Globe reporter Joshua Miller was the second installment of the LIVE Political Happy Hour series. It was webcast live, and the Globe published a news story and video highlights.
Asked directly whether she and Vice President Joe Biden had discussed running on a joint presidential ticket when they met privately in Washington a few weeks ago, Warren said without further elaboration that “it was a long conversation.”
Focused on Senate responsibilities
Miller then tried a different line of questioning on her future, asking Warren if she would honor the pledge she made in 2013 to complete her Senate term, which ends in 2018.
“I truly love this job,” said Warren. “It’s all I’m thinking about, and you just can’t put a different thought in my head. I am thinking about my job in the United States Senate.”
Not satisfied with that answer, Miller repeated his question.
“There’s nothing that has changed any of my thinking around this,” Warren told him. “I’m working hard doing the work I want to be doing.”
Despite Warren’s insistence that her agenda was “a lot more important than just politics,” the conversation eventually returned to the presidential race, Warren saying that she probably would make an endorsement for the Democratic nomination in response to Miller’s questioning but giving no indication of whom she would support.
Warren was more forthright on other topics, giving the Affordable Care Act high marks, lamenting the Senate’s failure to pass gun legislation, stressing the importance of funding for the National Institutes of Health, and highlighting the two issues that have made her a national political figure—student debt and an economy that she says is rigged in favor of the rich and powerful.
Warren even addressed one of Massachusetts’ thorniest political issues, a potential 2016 ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
“I’m open to it,” said Warren, who had opposed legalization during her Senate campaign in 2012. “I think that we’ve learned more. A couple of states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Frankly, I think we ought to be learning what we can from those states.”
Warren said that she is pushing for research on the possible medical benefits of marijuana.
University’s focus on public policy
Suffolk University President Margaret McKenna said that hosting events like LIVE Political Happy Hour is an essential part of Suffolk’s mission, noting that the institution is located between the State House and City Hall and educates many of the people who work in those buildings.
“It’s right in our sweet spot,” she said. “Public policy is so important to us, because it’s what we do and what we need to expose our students to.”
Undergraduate Alexa Miguel said she went to the event because she felt an obligation to become more informed about local political issues.
“It’s important for us as representatives of Suffolk University to learn a little more about politics in Boston, and to be able to learn it from Elizabeth Warren herself is a great experience,” she said.
Up next: Mayor Marty Walsh
The next LIVE Political Happy Hour, an interview with Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston, will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 9, in Suffolk University’s Sargent Hall.