Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren made her bid for the presidency official today, grounding her 2020 campaign in a populist call to fight economic inequality and build “an America that works for everyone”.
Sen Warren delivered a sharp call for change at her presidential kickoff, decrying a “middle-class squeeze” that has left Americans crunched with “too little accountability for the rich, too little opportunity for everyone else”.
She and her backers hope that message can distinguish her in a crowded Democratic field and help her move past the controversy surrounding her past claims to Native American heritage.
Weaving specific policy prescriptions into her remarks, from Medicare for All to the elimination of Washington “lobbying as we know it”, Sen Warren avoided taking direct jabs at US President Donald Trump.
She aimed for a broader institutional shift instead, urging supporters to choose “a government that makes different choices, choices that reflect our values”.
Sen Warren announced her campaign in her home state of Massachusetts at a mill site where largely immigrant factory workers went on strike about 100 years ago, a fitting forum for the longtime consumer advocate to advance her platform.
She was scheduled to travel later in the day to New Hampshire, home to the nation’s first primary, where Sen Warren could have an advantage as a neighbouring-state resident with high name recognition.
She intended to spend tomorrow in Iowa, where the leadoff caucuses will be the first test of candidates’ viability.
Sen Warren was the first high-profile Democrat to signal interest in running for the White House, forming an exploratory committee on New Year’s Eve.
She was introduced today by Rep Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., who has endorsed her in the primary. The backing could prove valuable for Sen Warren, given his status as a rising young Democratic star and his friendship with one of her potential 2020 rivals, former Rep Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas.
Sen Warren enters the race as one of the party’s most recognisable figures. She has spent the past decade in the national spotlight, first emerging as a consumer activist during the financial crisis.
She later led the congressional panel that oversaw the 2008 financial industry bailout.
After Republicans blocked her from running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency she helped create, she ran for the Senate in 2012 and unseated a GOP incumbent.
She has US$11 million left over from her commanding 2018 Senate re-election victory that can be used on her presidential run.
Still, Sen Warren must compete against other popular Democrats who will be able to raise substantial money.
A recent CNN poll found that fewer Democrats said they’d be very likely to support Warren if she runs than said the same of former Vice President Joe Biden or Sens Kamala Harris of California and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Still, about as many Democrats said they’d be at least somewhat likely to support Warren as said the same of Sens Harris or Sanders.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019