Campaigning for the last US election ended less than two months ago. Two years before the next election, it’s back on again.
Progressive Massachusetts senator, Harvard professor, and Donald Trump adversary Elizabeth Warren ended longtime speculation with the announcement today (Dec. 31) that she had launched an exploratory presidential committee to assess a potential run for president:
The announcement of an exploratory committee, which allows a potential candidate to hire staff and raise money, typically means a candidate will run for president, but it does not guarantee it.
Warren is the first major Democratic candidate to put her name forward for the 2020 elections, in a primary field that many believe will be crowded. Amongst those rumored to also run are New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, former vice president Joe Biden, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, and possibly even 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Trump, who has frequently sparred with Warren, has already raised $100 million for his 2020 election bid.
Warren’s message hits on familiar campaign notes with a focus on inequality and income disparity. She starts her video by sharing her family history, growing up in Oklahoma with a mother who worked an entry-level job at Sears and a father who worked as a janitor. Despite this humble start, she notes, she was able to become a teacher, law professor, and US senator. Today’s working-class families, Warren said, are not afforded the same chance of chasing these types of dreams, while things are even harder for people of color.
“I spent my career trying to get to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families while others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster,” Warren explains. The video features a montage of Republican presidents and politicians from Ronald Reagan and George W Bush, to Paul Ryan, and—of course—Donald Trump, signing tax cuts, posing with money-sign cakes, and holding fresh sheets of dollar bills.
“Our government is supposed to work for all of us, but instead it has become a tool for the wealthy and the well-connected,” Warren says, adding, “this stark path doesn’t have to be our future.” Warren specifically mentions immigrants, too, noting that the American middle class dream should be accessible to people “no matter where you come from.” Against the backdrop of images from the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, Warren presents her potential run as a continuation of the so-called “resistance,” referring to the movement of people who have taken political and social action since Trump’s election.