Elizabeth Warren first major candidate for 2020 US presidential race

Stinging attacks on Trump and Wall Street make her a favourite of grassroots liberals

Elizabeth Warren  after announcing she has formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020, outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Elizabeth Warren after announcing she has formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020, outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

 

US senator Elizabeth Warren, a sharp critic of big banks and unregulated capitalism, entered the 2020 race for president on Monday, becoming the first major candidate in what is likely to be a long and crowded primary marked by ideological and generational divisions in a Democratic Party determined to beat President Donald Trump.

The competition for the Democratic nomination is poised to be the most wide open since perhaps 1992. The party has no single leader, no obvious front-runner for 2020, and no broadly unifying ideology as it moves away from a quarter-century of dominance by the Clintons and Barack Obama.

After a midterm election that saw many women, liberals, minorities and young Democrats win, the presidential primaries and caucuses next year are likely to be about not only finding a candidate who is the right policy match for the party, but also which mix of identities should be reflected in the nominee.

Faces challenges

Ms Warren (69) is among the best-known Democrats seeking to take on Trump. While Warren’s stinging attacks on Trump and Wall Street have helped make her a favourite of grassroots liberals, she also faces challenges as a presidential candidate: controversy over a DNA test to prove her Native American heritage, scepticism from the party establishment and a lack of experience in a national race. Two potential top-tier candidates who have run before, former vice-president Joe Biden and senator Bernie Sanders, are eyeing 2020 and are expected to disclose their plans this winter.

Criticisms

In an email to supporters on New Year’s Eve, 13 months before votes will be cast in Iowa, Ms Warren said she was forming an exploratory committee, which allows her to raise money and fill staff positions before a formal kickoff of her presidential bid. On Monday afternoon outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ms Warren reiterated her criticisms of wealthy financial interests as she criticised Mr Trump and branded herself as a champion of the middle class.

“The problem we’ve got right now in Washington is that it works great for those who’ve got money to buy influence, and I’m fighting against that,” Ms Warren said. “And you bet it’s going to make a lot of people unhappy. But at the end of the day, I don’t go to Washington to work for them.” – New York Times