Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced Monday that she is forming a committee to explore the potential of a run for president in 2020. The news came through an early-morning email to supporters, and all but ensures Warren, 69, will join what promises to be a crowded field of Democrats looking to restore order to the White House. She elaborated on her intentions in a video posted to her Twitter feed.
“Our government is supposed to work for all of us, but instead it has become a tool for the wealthy and well-connected,” she says in the video. “The whole scam is propped up by an echo chamber of fear and hate, designed to distract and divide us. People who will do or say anything to hang on to power point the finger at anyone who looks, thinks, prays or loves differently than they do. This dark path doesn’t have to be our future.”
Every person in America should be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, & take care of themselves & the people they love. That’s what I’m fighting for, & that’s why I’m launching an exploratory committee for president. I need you with me: https://t.co/BNl2I1m8OX pic.twitter.com/uXXtp94EvY
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 31, 2018
The video, which runs for nearly four-and-a-half minutes, touches on Warren’s family’s military tradition, her parents’ struggle to provide their children with opportunities and her career fighting for the marginalized in a political system that has been rigged to favor the wealthy. “I’ve spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others, who work just as hard, slip through the cracks into disaster,” she says. “And what I’ve found is terrifying: these aren’t cracks families are falling into, they’re traps. America’s middle class is under attack.”
With the announcement, Warren becomes the first of several high-profile figures rumored to have designs on a presidential run to announce their intention to do so. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who took the top spot in Rolling Stone‘s recent Democratic primary power rankings, said she will make a decision about whether to run “over the holiday.” Others, like Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and former vice president Joe Biden have remained coy about whether they plan to run. A flurry of announcements similar to Warren’s could be coming this winter, and to accommodate what is expected to be a historically large field the Democratic National Committee announced before Christmas that they will hold a least a dozen debates in 2019 and 2020.
Warren lathered up hype around a potential run in October when she released another video touting her Native-American heritage, which President Trump has long ridiculed. She has also reportedly been coordinating with grassroots leaders in key primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Despite her efforts, the media has been slow to embrace the idea of Candidate Warren, as Matt Taibbi explained earlier this month.
In a poll of liberal grassroots activists conducted this month by Democracy for America, 8 percent of those surveyed favored Warren in 2020. She trailed Sanders (36 percent), Biden (15 percent) and O’Rourke (12 percent). Harris was fifth behind Warren with 7 percent.
“Our country needs a 2020 Democratic nominee defined by bold, inclusive populist ideas and a vision for the future of the country that wins the support of the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters,” Democracy for America Executive Director Charles Chamberlain said in a statement after Warren’s announcement on Monday.”Senator Elizabeth Warren’s formal entrance into the 2020 race for President today helps launch what we believe will be a vibrant discussion of bold, inclusive populist ideas in the Democratic Primary, and we look forward to the wide array of progressive candidates that we expect to join her in it in the year ahead.”
Warren tweeted later Monday morning that she expects to formally announce her decision to run “early in the new year.”