Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren sent out a video message and email to supporters yesterday saying that she is forming an “exploratory committee” and will run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
In the video, which was also posted on YouTube, Warren said:
“America’s middle class is under attack. How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie. And they enlisted politicians to cut them a bigger slice.”
“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. What I’ve found is terrifying. These aren’t cracks that families are falling into, they’re traps.”
“If we organize together, if we fight together, if we persist together we can win. We can and we will.”
The announcement by the former Harvard professor came about 13 months ahead of the Iowa caucuses which will kick off the 2020 presidential primary season. She is now the most prominent Democratic candidate who has officially thrown her hat in the ring.
Warren, known for her strong advocacy on behalf of consumers, has long been a leading contender for the Democratic 2020 nomination.
She was first elected to the Senate in 2012 and was re-elected this year for a second term. She is very well-known nationally and has both high regard and high name recognition among likely Democratic Party primary voters. She has also been very successful in raising large amounts of campaign contributions, both for herself and other less well known Democratic candidates.
She first came to national prominence after the 2008 financial crisis when she was chairman of an oversight panel established by Congress that evaluated government programs intended to bolster the American financial system after the crisis. She then took the lead to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Although early opinion polls have shown former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as the leaders among Democratic voters, Warren also has a strong following. She is about ten years younger than Biden and Sanders, and is expected to draw much support from those who want another female presidential candidate in 2020.
Many political observers belief that if Sanders also enters the 2020 race he will compete with Warren for liberal voters.
The formation of an exploratory committee is the first step toward a formal announcement of a presidential campaign. Over the past few months Warren has taken other steps that indicated she was preparing for a White House run, so today’s announcement is not a surprise. It is merely the first among what will surely be many similar announcements to be made by other Democrats in the weeks ahead.