Elizabeth Warren, Then: 'I Am Not Running For President.' Now: 'I Don't Think So.'

On the delicate parsing of campaign speech.

Trying to read into politicians' language is often an exercise in futility—like trying to divine postmodern critical theory from Amelia Bedelia.

But in a new interview with People, Sen. Elizabeth Warren openly shifted her tone when asked about her presidential ambitions.

For the past year (at least), Warren has repeated the same line to every reporter who asked about any larger ambitions she might have: "I am not running for president."

"No, I am not running for president," Warren told Katie Couric in September. "It is absolutely critical right now that we focus on the 2014 elections."

Now, however, she's injecting more room for change into her response.

"I don't think so," she told People when asked if she's interested in running. "If there's any lesson I've learned in the last five years, it's don't be so sure about what lies ahead. There are amazing doors that could open."

Some political groups, like Ready For Warren, are already set to throw those doors open and embrace her, no matter how hesitant Warren may be to walk through them.

Warren's office, however, denied any shift in rhetoric.

"Nothing has changed," a spokeswoman for Warren told National Journal.

2016 forecasters are already projecting Warren could be a more progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. The People interview, which doesn't go online in full until Friday, also gives a brief window into the relationship between the two women. "We have talked," Warren told the magazine. "It's not much more than that. Not much more."

It's not the first time Warren has suggested some distance with Clinton. In her interview with Couric in September, Warren was asked if she thinks Clinton is "too cozy" with Wall Street. "I worry a lot about the relationship between all of them—regulators, government, and Wall Street," Warren said. Asked about Clinton, again, specifically, Warren said, "Well, I worry across the board."

And both Warren and Clinton have upped their national profiles in recent months. Warren, like Clinton, has become a regular campaign surrogate in 2014—though Clinton didn't start campaigning in earnest until after Labor Day.

For now, both women are content to campaign for other Democrats.