In a move seen as an official signal that she is entering the 2020 contest for president, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday sent an email to supporters and shared a video on social media announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to examine her viability as a candidate in the next presidential race.
"Today, corruption is poisoning our democracy," Warren declares in the video. "Politicians look the other way while big insurance companies deny patients life-saving coverage, while big banks rip off consumers, and while big oil companies destroy this planet. Our government's supposed to work for all of us, but instead it has become a tool for the wealthy and well-connected."
Warren recalls her childhood in Oklahoma and working as a public school teacher and law professor before she joined the Senate and fought for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to 2007-08 financial crisis. As she notes: "Working families today face a lot tougher path than my family did. And families of color face a path that is steeper and rockier, a path made even harder by the impact of generations of discrimination."
Vowing to continue challenging the "billionaires and big corporations" as well as the politicians they've enlisted to cripple unions, dismantle financial regulations, and push tax cuts for the rich, the senator says: "We can make our democracy work for all of us. We can make our economy work for all of us. We can rebuild America's middle class—but this time, we gotta build it for everyone."
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
On top of the publicly-released video, Warren sent an email to supporters on Monday morning to announce the exploratory committee, which enables her to fundraise and fill campaign staff positions ahead of formally seeking the presidency.
"I don't have binders full of bankers and CEOs to call for ginormous checks to launch this committee—in fact, most of them aren't going to like what I'm doing and will probably spend their money somewhere else. That's ok by me," Warren's email reads. "This has always been a grassroots campaign... Because this isn't just my fight, it's our fight."
Progressives and writers welcomed Warren's announcement as a positive step for what is expected to be a crowded and competitive field for the Democratic nomination:
Democrats need a #2020 presidential primary driven by bold, inclusive populist ideas and a battle for the support of the New American Majority, and having @ewarren in the race ensures we’ll get one. Happy to hear you’re running for President, Sen. Warren! https://t.co/F25H37cDfl
— Democracy for America (@DFAaction) December 31, 2018
— Osita Nwanevu (@OsitaNwanevu) December 31, 2018
Warren is impressive, honest and in it for the right reasons. It is great that she will be using her platform to force the presidential campaign debate to focus on these issues. https://t.co/LADfhodHGl
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) December 31, 2018
— Winifred (@WaywardWinifred) December 31, 2018
Warren, who is 69, is one of the high-profile Democrats who has long been expected to challenge President Donald Trump's re-election. Others expected to seek the Democratic nomination for the 2020 race include former Vice President Joe Biden as well as a few of Warren's colleagues in Congress—notably, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
"The timing of Warren's announcement—on New Year's Eve, for many the close of the holiday break—was unusual," the Washington Post pointed out. "But it allowed Warren at least some time to dominate the race, since two lesser-known politicians, Rep. John Delaney of Maryland and former San Antonio mayor Julián Castro, are the only candidates to officially declare their interest so far."
Speculation that Warren was preparing to announce her candidacy came after rumors ramped up over the weekend, triggered by the senator changing her campaign Twitter account handle from @elizabethforMA to @ewarren.