In a video announcement and email to supporters sent Monday morning, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced that she was officially launching an exploratory committee to seek the 2020 Democratic nomination, making her the first candidate to officially announce in what's expected to be a "long and crowded" primary, according to the New York Times.
In her video, Warren leaned on the anti-Wall Street themes that have become a hallmark of her political career since she was elected to the Senate in 2013 after defeating moderate Republican incumbent Scott Brown. Prior to that, she had been a bankruptcy law professor at Harvard.
"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 said in the video. "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."
"But this dark path doesn’t have to be our future," she continued. "We can make our democracy work for all of us. We can make our economy work for all of us."
Watch the video below:
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
Warren's announcement comes after reports surfaced over the weekend that she and a handful of other prominent contenders woud likely announce by the end of January.
The race for the 2020 nomination is expected to be the most wide open for Democrats since 1992. Oddly enough, the most popular candidates according to public opinion polls are Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, both of whom are still debating whether to run because of their advanced age.
By forming the committee, Warren can begin filling key staff roles and raising money for her primary bid. Though forming an exploratory committee is different than officially declaring an intention to run, it typically signals that a candidate is preparing to do so. CNN reported that Warren's staffers are searching for campaign headquarters space in the Boston area, and that Dan Geldon, who served as Warren's chief of staff and was once her student at Harvard, is likely to fill a senior role in her campaign.
Notably, Warren's decision to move toward an official announcement follows a decision by the editorial board for her hometown newspaper, the Boston Globe, to publish an editorial imploring Warren to abandon her plans for a potential run, claiming Warren "missed her moment in 2016, and there's reason to be skeptical of her prospective candidacy in 2020."
There's probably some truth to that, given her recent history of political gaffes, Warren will likely struggle with the perception that she's an inept campaigner ill-equipped to go toe-to-toe with President Trump. In a widely mocked decision, Warren took a DNA test intended to "prove" her Native American heritage. Instead, it had the opposite effect, showing that Warren has no more Native DNA than the average white American. Native American leaders accused Warren of undermining "tribal interests" with her failed political stunt.
Warren will face stiff competition: More than three dozen Democratic senators, governors, mayors and business leaders are also weighing primary bids. To accommodate the crush of contenders, the DNC recently revealed that it would double the number of primary debates during the 2020 campaign season from 6 to 12.