TIME

The Left’s Quest to Create Hundreds of Elizabeth Warrens

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Delivers Semiannual Report On The Economy To The Senate Banking Committee
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, listens to Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, during her semiannual report on the economy to the Senate Banking Committee in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 16, 2015.

“Elizabeth—she’s here?”

The thumbs up came from the back of the meeting room, and two hundred future Sen. Elizabeth Warrens stood up and waited for their prototype to enter. Spindly and with a bouncy step, the Massachusetts senator strode rapidly into the room and was waylaid by a friendly sea of imperfect facsimiles calling for selfies. “What a way to start the morning!” Warren said at last, breathless at the podium.

Warren was stopping by a conference on Thursday just a 10-minute walk away from the Capitol building in Washington DC, where the goal was unabashedly to bolster the Warren brand of the Democratic party. In the belly of the swank Washington Court Hotel—also the host of a recent events for steel wire producers and the beef industry—progressive candidates for municipal and state office across the country had gathered for a four-day affair to create a surge of Democratic candidates in municipal and state elections, and build a movement of rookie Warrens.

The conference, organized by the advocacy group Progressive Change Campaign Committee, was intended to train candidates and activists from states far flung as Wisconsin and Louisiana to run for office and eventually shape national policy. TIME was one of the only publications granted access to the meeting.

Much of the focus was on the nuts and bolts of effective campaigning and fundraising. Questions flew: Do candidates need to fundraise within their own district? How much time should candidates spend on fundraising calls? How do you best target voters during get-out-the-vote efforts? Should candidates’ events have red wine, or are cookies enough? The PCCC offered candidates who attended back-end internet tools replete with website templates, and readymade email blasters and event managers.

But Warren was the star attraction. “You are the progressive bench, and we need a bench,” Warren told them. Dozens of attendees wore identical blue shirts that said, I’m from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic party. “Elizabeth Warren is the North Star,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the PCCC. And the enthusiasm for Warren has spilled over all across the left: “I want to clone Elizabeth Warren into every candidate,” said Tefere Gebre the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, in an interview with TIME two weeks ago.

In the Washington hotel, building an army of Warrens to challenge establishment-backed Democrats was exactly the point. “Yes, this is about building campaigns and winning office, but this is also about building a movement,” Warren said during her keynote on Thursday. “You are the living spark of the progressive movement.” It was a sentiment made clear by the conference organizers. “How do we elect 300 more Elizabeth Warrens?” said Stephanie Taylor, the co-founder of the PCCC who dreamt up the conference. “This training is part of it: finding them and giving them the tools to run great campaigns.”

For progressives, movement-building with Warren in the lead is in large part about catching up to conservatives. Republicans can boast of presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh and a formidable coalition of right-wing legislators threatening to unseat their house speaker. Meanwhile the left has a few big-city mayors, a struggling cable network (MSNBC), handful of legislators (Sherrod Brown, Keith Ellison) and a upstart presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who counts Eugene V. Debs and the nation of Denmark among his biggest influences. And Warren, the progressive nonpareil, has refused to run for the White House.

Anger over the Obama years is a key motivator for conservatives. The stimulant on the left is made of a milder sauce, namely, disappointment over the Obama years, and many progressive ideals have faltered in Congress and on their way to the White House.

Republicans have taken notice of Warrens influence over Democrats. While the activists met in Washington, her name came up on the Republican campaign trail in Cedar Falls, Iowa. “The fact is the Democratic Party has a problem,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. “Their problem is that Elizabeth Warren is taking over that party.”

“They’re all running to be just like Elizabeth Warren,” he added, saying that Hillary Clinton has borrowed from Warren’s playbook on the campaign trail.

Though Warren was only present for the first hour of the four-day training session, her name came up again and again. When she ran for Senate in 2012, Warren liked to make fundraising calls from her kitchen at home while boiling a pot of tea and wearing a headset, an alumna of Warren’s fundraising team, Sarah Badawi, told trainees. Joel Silberman, a speech trainer, said in a session that when he consulted Warren before a Massachusetts state convention speech, he told Warren a trick to cure nerves: count the number of steps to the podium.

Taylor and Green of the PCCC once sat on Warren’s front porch and shared lemonade and iced tea to convince her to first run for Senate, Warren noted during her address. The former director of research for Warren’s senatorial campaign, Peter Jones led a class on opposition research. (A quick Google search on Warren’s defeated opponent for Senate, Scott Brown, shows him shirtless in photos hawking diet pills, a fact that Warren recently noted in a speech.)

Most of those hoping to follow Warren’s lead at the conference don’t look anything like her or share her Ivy League background. There was the black state senator who represents Ferguson, an Indian-American candidate for Congress from a Detroit suburb, and as many pairs of sneakers as suits. Union organizers, mothers, climate activists, feminists and campaign staffers were in Washington from Vermont and Georgia.

“You are a part of a global re-owning of a populist, progressive vision of America,” said Zephyr Teachout, chief executive of the Mayday PAC which aims to get money out of politics.

Many at the conference argued local victories could sway their states, and ultimately, Congress. Over a lunch of ravioli and tagliatelli with lemon sauce and iced tea, two attendees from Rhode Island debated the merits of the conference. “The more states have something like paid leave, and it’s successful, more likely we’ll be able to get Congress to move it forward,” Shandi Hanna, an activist at the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. “We need to infiltrate the system and change it.”

“You look around this room people—the people I’ve met makes me realize the country is moving in a good directions,” said Margaux Morisseau, a candidate for Rhode Island state Senate.

So far, the left has been incapable of the kind of movement that caught fire on the right after President Obama’s election. But in some ways, things have changed in recent years. Cities and states like California and Rhode Island are requiring businesses to provide paid family leave; activists in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle have with mixed success pushed for a $15-minium wage; Bernie Sanders has attracted crowds of 10,000 and more in purple and red states like Wisconsin and Arizona. To progressives, those are signs of shifting winds. “People will start to realize there’s a change happening from underneath. They’ll either have to evolve or die,” said Chris Larson, a state senator in Wisconsin.

Some date the recent wave in progressive activism back to Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign. A left-backed candidate, Dean’s loss in the primary spawned Democracy for America, a progressive PAC. The past five years has seen a slow increase in organizational support for progressive Democrats. DFA, MoveOn.org, Progressive Majority also aim to train progressive candidates for office.

It’s Warren’s message that has helped motivate them in recent years, and attendees repeatedly mentioned Warren’s name during the conference. “We can whine about this, we can whimper about this, or we can fight back,” Warren said Thursday. “I’m fighting back!”

The goal, of course, is victory against Republicans, and against old-line Democrats in primary contests. If they win, it will come the way of conquerors of old: by conversion, or a rout.

“It’s our movement,” said CM! Winters Palacio, a Chicago librarian (with punctuation in her first name) who is running for City Council and says she is facing pushback from the moderate Democratic mayor, Rahm Emmanuel. “We will eat the elephant one bite at a time.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Praises Mother In First TV Ads of 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Stephen B. Morton—AP In this July 23, 2015 photo Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a campaign event in Columbia, S.C.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign will air the first two television ads of the Democratic primary race on Tuesday, as part of an effort to head off Republican attacks and present Clinton as a “tenacious fighter” for everyday Americans.

In a five-week ad buy worth $1 million each in Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton will share her personal story, explaining how she drew inspiration mother’s life, and discuss her work in and out of government on behalf of children.

The two advertisements, which appear geared to building Clinton’s reputation as a politician who cares about regular voters, will air in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s biggest media markets, and statewide in New Hampshire.

“When I think about why I’m doing this I think about my mother Dorothy. She was abandoned by her parents at the age of eight, sent from Chicago to LA to live with grandparents who didn’t want her,” Clinton says in the first advertisement. “But people showed her kindness, gave her a chance.”

Accompanied by footage of mothers and their children, Clinton says say, “That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I’ve always done this. For all the Dorothys.”

The second advertisement focuses on Clinton’s time after college, when she worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, a kids’ advocacy group, and then touts her work on school reform and health care. The ad then turns to Clinton’s time as senator from New York, when she “made sure the heroes and families of 9/11 got the care they needed,” according to a voiceover.

The ad buys fit in with a larger theme the campaign has sought to broadcast since she announced: that Clinton has long been a strong advocate for children and Americans, a trait she learned from her own mother’s difficult childhood.

The Clinton campaign had long planned to air television ads sometime in the late summer, a campaign official said. Republicans are amassing cash for large ad buys in the four early states, and Clinton’s campaign anticipates that much of it is intended to attack Clinton.

Clinton’s spots aim to define the Democratic frontrunner with a positive biographical message.

“We’re going to make sure everyone knows who Hillary Clinton really is — who she fights for and what has motivated her lifelong commitment to children and families,” campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement. “Since Day One, we’ve planned for a competitive primary with Hillary herself working to earn every vote and, ultimately, the nomination. This is the natural next step.”

According to a nationwide Quinnipiac poll released at the end of July, 52% of Americans believe Clinton does not care about their needs.

Clinton’s campaign hopes that when voters know the Democratic frontrunner’s personal story, much of which was deemphasized during her last run for president, her poll numbers will improve.

The campaign filmed the footage of Clinton speaking to the camera about her mother in the first advertisement in June, as part of a plan to show Clinton’s record.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s challenger for the Democratic nomination, has gained momentum in Iowa and New Hampshire but is still at least 10 points behind her in polls.

TIME 2016 Election

Beau Biden’s Dying Wish Was for His Dad to Run for President, Report Says

Beau Biden, Joe Biden
Charles Dharapak—AP At the time of the photo, Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, embraces his son Beau on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on Aug. 27, 2008.

Joe Biden is reportedly considering running in 2016

Vice President Joe Biden’s late son Beau told his father to run for president before he died, according to a report.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, in her weekend column entitled “Joe Biden in 2016: What Would Beau Do?,” describes, in great detail, a conversation that Beau had with his father before dying, urging his father to run for president rather than letting the office fall to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Joseph “Beau” Biden III died of brain cancer at the end of May. Dowd’s source for the anecdote is not clear from the column.

Vice President Biden has been holding meetings at his Washington home to discuss the possibility of a run, according to Dowd.

TIME Campaign Finance

Few New Mega-Donors Join 2016 Fundraising

Jeb Bush
John Raoux—AP In this July 27, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in Longwood, Fla.

The 2016 presidential race may be a whole new ball game in terms of fundraising, but most of the players’ names are awfully familiar — even if their faces are a bit more lined.

Very few of the top donors to the super PACs backing one of the many GOP White House hopefuls or handful of Democratic candidates are new to giving substantial political gifts, according to a review of Federal Election Commission data by the Center for Responsive Politics, and many have been active for decades.

The relative absence of new faces in the very small pool of really big donors magnifies the impact of ultra-wealthy individuals who have been participating in the process for years — the Robert McNairs, Jeffrey Katzenbergs and Richard Uihleins of the fundraising world.

But they are anteing up more than ever before as their favored candidates’ campaigns become ever more intertwined with the super PACs, announcing combined fundraising totals and splitting up activities, like voter outreach, that once were firmly functions of the campaign committees — not the supposedly independent outside groups.

While there are no complete ingenues among the rosters of top donors to the super PACs, which filed their disclosure reports for the first half of the year this week, there are a few who previously haven’t given sums anything like those they are notching this year. They include the Texas-based Wilks family, four members of which gave $15 million to groups backing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas); brothers Farris and Dan are religious conservatives who got rich in the fracking business. Another: Laura Perlmutter, who gave $2 million to a super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

The pure numbers are staggering: In the 2012 election cycle, all the presidential super PACs together had raised about $26 million by June 30 of the year before the vote. This time, the total comes to more than $258 million at the same point in time.

That’s about double the more than $130 million the presidential campaigns raised in the first six months of this year, setting up a new paradigm for campaign finance at the federal level. Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, with combined totals of $114 million and $71 million respectively, have settled themselves atop the all time list of presidential campaign-related fundraising in the first six months of the year before the election.

Several of the Republican efforts have been utterly dominated by outside groups raising unlimited amounts from individuals, corporations and other organizations. Seven Republican candidates reported larger fundraising totals for their supposedly unconnected super PACs than they disclosed for their campaigns, with the pro-Bush Right to Rise group pulling in nearly 10 times as much as the campaign itself.

A caveat, though: Absent this super PAC fundraising, the candidates themselves are lagging far behind the pace set in 2007, the last campaign with no incumbent seeking re-election. Six of the seven largest fundraising totals at this point in all prior cycles came in 2007 when Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and John Edwards all raised more than $23 million by June 30. Only four of this year’s competitors (Bush, Clinton, Cruz and Rubio) have reached that level for their campaigns and super PACs combined.

One important impact of super PAC activity in the 2012 presidential race could be looming again itself again in the earliest stages of the 2016 contest. These groups, which allow candidates to benefit from the seemingly limitless financial support of a small number of ardent and affluent supporters, can keep campaigns going long after they ordinarily would have died a natural death.

In 2012 the campaigns of former Rep. Newt Gingrich (Ga.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.) and other Republicans were prolonged by funding in the tens of millions from a handful of supporters. Friday’s filings show that contributions from five or fewer donors make up the majority of the super PAC funding for nine of the GOP candidates: Rubio, Rand Paul, Cruz, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee and Santorum. In many cases, the money given by five or fewer individuals or institutions is more than the total given by all individuals directly to the presidential campaign committees of these contenders.

Some donors have hedged their bets, giving large amounts to groups backing multiple candidates. Hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, for instance, was among the top three donors to super PACs backing both Jindal and Cruz, though he gave far more to the pro-Cruz effort. Houston Texans owner Robert McNair was more equitable, giving $500,000 each to super PACs backing no less than four Republican candidates: Security is Strength (Graham), Unintimidated (Walker), Keep the Promise (Cruz) and Right to Rise USA (Bush).

Only a few of the 17 declared Republican candidates, five Democrats, or the Green Party entry lacks at least one supporting super PAC, including Sen. Bernie Sanders(D-Vt.), former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. On the other hand, Paul has at least two major super PACs in his corner, andCruz has four, each of which seems to have been “purchased” by one or two mega-donors and has a name that is some version of “Keep the Promise.”

What’s a wealthy donor to do? The two primary outside groups supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign have addressed the potential for confusion by organizing a joint fundraising committee to distribute funds among themselves — one-stop shopping that keeps prospective contributors from having to choose and the groups from having to compete for checks. Priorities USA Action will get the bulk of the funds, with a smaller share going to Correct the Record, the group that fights attacks on the former secretary of state.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Releases Eight Years of Tax Returns

Democratic Presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls for an end to the Cuban trade embargo as she gives a policy speech at the Florida International University on July 31, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images Democratic Presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls for an end to the Cuban trade embargo as she gives a policy speech at the Florida International University on July 31, 2015 in Miami, Florida.

Since 2007, the Clintons have paid $43.8 million in federal taxes

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released eight years of tax returns Friday, as well as a complete listing of the millions she and her husband have received for paid speeches over the years.

Clinton’s release of her returns from 2007-2014 bring to 38 the number of years of publicly released tax returns by the Clintons over the course of four presidential campaigns, topping former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s previous record of 33 years set last month.

Since 2007, the Clintons have paid $43,885,310 in federal taxes, with an effective tax rate of 35.7 percent in 2014—roughly the same as Bush’s average of 36 percent.

The Clintons reported devoting more than 10 percent of their income to charity, outpacing Bush’s reported 3.1 percent average from 2007-2013.

Earlier this year, Clinton filed her personal financial disclosure revealing she and her husband earned more than $30 million in paid speeches since January 2014.

In a statement coinciding with the release, Clinton reiterated her call for comprehensive tax reform, including closing the carried interest loophole and passing the so-called Buffett Rule, which would set a minimum effective tax rate for the highest earners. Contrasting her plan with Republicans, Clinton repeated her call to raise the short-term capital gains tax rate for those in the highest income bracket.

“They want to give me another tax cut I don’t need instead of putting middle class families first,” Clinton said of Republicans. “Families like mine that reap rewards from our economy have a responsibility to pay our fair share. And it’s not just the right thing to do—it’s also good for growth.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Doctor: Hillary Clinton In ‘Excellent’ Physical Condition

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can be seen wearing special glasses while testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
MANDEL NGAN—AFP/Getty Images US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can be seen wearing special glasses while testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

The letter has the most detail yet on her 2012 concussion

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in “excellent physical condition,” her doctor said in a letter released Friday.

According to Dr. Lisa Bardack, her physician, Clinton, is in good health, currently diagnosed with only hypothyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies. The letter is the first of its kind to be released in the 2016 cycle, and comes as Clinton, 67, has come under scrutiny from some Republicans for her age and questions about her health stemming from a 2012 incident in which she suffered from a blood clot and concussion.

Bardack’s letter provides the most detailed accounting of the 2012 episode, which came as Clinton was set to testify before Congress on the 2012 Benghazi attacks shortly before leaving office.

According to Bardack, Clinton fainted after becoming dehydrated from a stomach virus and suffered a concussion during the fall. During subsequent evaluations, Bardack said, Clinton was diagnosed with a “transverse sinus venous thrombosis,” a type of blood clot in the brain, and was given anticoagulants to dissolve the clot. After the concussion, Clinton experienced double-vision and wore glasses with a Fresnel Prism.

“Her concussion symptoms, including the double vision, resolved within two months and she discontinued the use of the prism,” Bardack wrote. “She had follow-up testing in 2013, which revealed complete resolution of the effects of the concussion as well as total dissolution of the thrombosis. Mrs. Clinton also tested negative for all clotting disorders.”

Clinton also suffered from deep vein thrombosis in 1998 and 2009, according to Bardack, as well as an elbow fracture in 2009, and takes Armour Thyoid and Coumadin daily.

“She does not smoke and drinks alcohol occasionally,” Bardack wrote. “She does not use illicit drugs or tobacco products. She eats a diet rich in lean protein, vegetables and fruits. She exercises regularly, including yoga, swimming, walking and weight training.”

Clinton’s last physical was March 21, 2015, and she is up to date on routine screenings, her doctor added.

“In summary, Mrs. Clinton is a healthy female with hypothyroidism and seasonal allergies, on longterm anticoagulation,” Bardack concludes. “She participates in a healthy lifestyle and has had a full medical evaluation, which reveals no evidence of additional medical issues or cardiovascular disease. Her cancer screening evaluations are all negative. She is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States.”

The full letter is below:

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Takes the Fight to GOP in Florida Trip

Democratic Presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls for an end to the Cuban trade embargo as she gives a policy speech at the Florida International University on July 31, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images Democratic Presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls for an end to the Cuban trade embargo as she gives a policy speech at the Florida International University on July 31, 2015 in Miami, Florida.

"The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all"

Hillary Clinton attacked Republicans presidential candidates on Cuba policy, voting rights and social welfare policy during a jaunt on Friday to Florida, the home state of contenders Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and a likely swing state in the general election.

During two appearances in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, where Clinton discussed race and engaging with Cuba, the Democratic frontrunner called out Bush and others who have opposed President Obama’s thaw with the isolated island nation.

Clinton did not mention Bush’s name in her first speech at the National Urban League’s annual conference in Fort Lauderdale, but dropped the name of his super PAC, “Right to Rise.”

“You cannot seriously talk about the ‘Right to Rise’ and support laws that deny the right to vote,” Clinton said. “I don’t think you can credibly say that everyone has a right to rise and then say you’re for phasing out Medicare or for repealing Obamacare. People can’t rise if they can’t afford health care.”

Tim Miller, a spokesman for Bush tweeted a quick response to Clinton’s criticism: “The DNC and Hillary scramble to attack Jeb today and misrepresent his record betrays their fear of his ability to broaden GOP support,” he tweeted.

A few hours later on Friday in Miami, Clinton made a case for continuing to open up relations with Cuba, calling on Congress and the White House to lift the embargo on trade with Cuba.

“It’s time for [GOP] leaders to either get on board or get out of the way. The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all,” Clinton said.

The 2016 Republican candidates “have it backward,” Clinton said. “Engagement is not a gift to the Castros, its a threat to the Castros. An American embassy in Havana isn’t a concession, it’s a beacon.”

Republicans argue that the United States should not normalize relations with Cuba unless the government makes significant steps to curb human rights abuses and open up the country.

Clinton’s campaign in the last few days has set out specific criticism of Rubio, Bush and Scott Walker’s position on Cuban relations with a detailed “fact check” of their past statements, arguing that a policy of isolationism has not succeeded in leading to democratization in the communist island nation.

Clinton proposed on Friday finding ways to increase business with Cuba as well as the rest of the Americas, saying that the United States too often looks “east and west, but we don’t look south” and calling Latin America a crucial part of American foreign policy. “Our economies, our communities and even our families are deeply entwined,” Clinton said.

Polls show that Clinton has struck on a winning issue in Cuba: a Gallup survey found that 59% of Americans support reestablishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.

“We cannot afford to let out of touch out of date partisan ideas and candidates strip away all the progress we’ve made,” Clinton said.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Criticizes Proposals to Defund Planned Parenthood

Secretary Hillary Clinton tours the DART Central Station, before taking questions from journalists, to highlight her climate change policy announcement, in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday, July 27, 2015.
The Washington Post—The Washington Post/Getty Images Secretary Hillary Clinton tours the DART Central Station, before taking questions from journalists, to highlight her climate change policy announcement, in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday, July 27, 2015.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton may agree with Republicans that recent undercover videos taken of Planned Parenthood employees are disturbing, but she disagrees with what they want to do next.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with AFL-CIO leaders in Silver Spring, Maryland, Clinton said the organization has “provided essential service for women in our country” for more than a century.

“I think it is regrettable that Republicans are once again trying to undermine, even end those services that so many women have needed and taken advantage of,” she said. “I think that it’s another effort by the Republicans to try to limit the health care options of women and we should not let them succeed once again.”

The Center for Medical Progress released several secretly recorded videos this month showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal tissue extraction and the costs involved. Republicans have alleged that the videos show the organization is illegally selling fetal parts and called for publicly defunding the group. Planned Parenthood has defended itself, saying it only receives reimbursements for associated costs, which is allowed.

Eighteen House Republicans have already said they will not support any government funding resolutions this fall that contain any funding for Planned Parenthood. Under the long-standing Hyde Amendment, none of the federal money that goes to Planned Parenthood can be spent on abortions.

On Tuesday, Clinton told the New Hampshire Union Leader that she had seen pictures from the videos and found them “disturbing,” adding that they raise broader questions about the process of fetal tissue donation.

TIME elizabeth warren

Elizabeth Warren Wants You to Run For Office

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) attends the Planned Parenthood Generation Conference opening ceremony and welcome reception at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on July 8, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Jennifer Graylock—Getty Images Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) attends the Planned Parenthood Generation Conference opening ceremony and welcome reception at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on July 8, 2015 in Washington, DC.

If you're a progressive, that is

Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged down-ballot candidates and grassroots Democrats to run for office at a gathering of liberals in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, saying that local elections won in 2016 will help build a national progressive movement in future races.

The Massachusetts Democrat spoke at the kickoff of an intensive four-day conference designed to train a deep bench of progressive candidates to run for local office and build a movement of liberal candidates.

“This is about building a movement,” said Warren. “We build real change in this country by putting energy on our side by bringing ideas to the front, by showing people there are choices.”

Activists on the left have long lamented the lack of a strong grassroots movement to help reshape the Democratic Party equivalent to the Tea Party, which helped elect prominent Republicans such as Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, leading to a swell of GOP victories in 2010 and 2014.

The conference in Washington, organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, is intended to train state legislators, state senators and school board members, building up an infrastructure of candidates to eventually match conservatives’ ascent in Congress.

Warren, a standard-bearer for the progressive left who had never run for office before her 2012 Senate campaign, told attendees from states far-ranging as Rhode Island and Minnesota, that they are a central part of the Democratic movement.

“It is so important that we secure victories at the state and local level,” Warren said. “Washington is dysfunctional. We need you to be out there, town by town, county by county, state by state across this nation.”

Warren set out a progressives’ manifesto that received repeated standing ovations.

She called for raising the minimum wage, protecting workers’ bargaining rights, fighting for debt free college and combating racism. “We believe that no one should work full time and still live in poverty,” Warren said. “We believe that black lives matter.”

Warren is much beloved among liberals, who see her as one of the few prominent voices in Congress for the Democratic left. Progressive groups including Democracy for America and MoveOn.org spent months organizing a campaign to encourage Warren to run for president.

Though Warren has declined to run, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has taken her place as the progressive candidate in the Democratic primary, attracting many of Warren’s grassroots supporters to work for his campaign.

Warren is seen as having a wide-ranging influence on the Democratic primary despite her refusal to run, challenging frontrunner Hillary Clinton to take positions on debt-free college and cabinet appointees.

Some in the audience were running for mayors of a small town, state legislature or considering running for city council. For many, the politics of left and right at the national level have few practical implications for effectively running a small town.

“At this point I’m not espousing far left, progresssive ideas. I just want to get stuff done,” Luke Feeney, who is running for mayor of Chillicothe, a town south of Cleveland, Ohio said before Warren spoke. “If the grass in the park isn’t cut, people won’t get behind the big platform.”

Still, Warren riled up her audience with a long view toward rallying a left movement.

“Victories in 2015 and 2016 are the victores of tomorrow,” she said.

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Losing Strength in New National Polling

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Jim Cole—AP Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to questions during a campaign stop on July 28, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.

She is strong against Democratic challengers, but weaker against Republicans

Six weeks after setting her candidacy into high gear, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are continuing to fall, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Across nearly every key metric, from trustworthiness to caring about voters to leadership, Clinton has seen an erosion in public approval, as likely Republican rivals have erased her leads in the poll. Clinton has a net -11 favorability rating in the poll, with 40% of the American public viewing her positively and 51% negatively, with more than 50% of independents on the negative side.

If the election were held today, Clinton would be tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the poll—down from significant leads in a May 28 survey—but would top the current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

The poll, which was conducted amid new reporting on the existence of classified information on Clinton’s private email server, found further declines in Clinton’s perceived trustworthiness, with 57% of Americans now viewing her as neither honest nor trustworthy. And as Clinton has invested heavily in a campaign designed to appeal to Americans who feel left behind in the economic recovery, a majority of Americans now believe Clinton does not care about the needs or problems of people like them. But while the numbers have softened in recent months, Clinton is continued to be viewed as a strong leader by 58% of Americans.

Despite her struggles in general election match-ups, Clinton’s position as a front-runner for the Democratic nomination remains solid with 55 percent of Democrats supporting her—roughly unchanged from a year ago. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ gains, meanwhile, have slowed. The May poll found the avowed socialist’s support spiking from 8% to 15% from a month before; this month he has the backing of 17% of Democrats.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, meanwhile, has struggled for recognition, with 76% of Americans and 78% of Democrats saying they don’t know enough about him to form an opinion of him. Despite intense campaigning and jabs at Clinton and Sanders, O’Malley only garners the support of 1% of Democrats, unchanged from two months ago.

The poll of 1,644 registered voters has a margin of error of ± 2.4 percentage points and was conducted from July 23-28. The smaller sample of 681 Democrats has a margin of error of ±3.8 percentage points.

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