Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren formally declared today that she’s running for president, capping a months-long buildup that included DNA testing, online video experiments and much debate.
Warren made her announcement at a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and will then barnstorm, visiting New Hampshire, Iowa and four other states. The Lawrence site was chosen because of its connection to a successful labor strike started by women, hitting on themes Warren will emphasize in her campaign.
She faces an uphill battle. Her DNA testing that proved she had minuscule Native American heritage was once believed to be a fatal blow to her presidential ambitions, and the issue refuses to die. Just this week, a handwritten registration for the Texas bar surfaced, listing her heritage as “American Indian.”
Warren was also mocked for an online video that showed her sipping a beer with her husband in her home kitchen, an attempt to humanize that fell flat. She was also lampooned on notoriously liberal Saturday Night Live in a Weekend Update sketch.
Warren’s speech in Lawrence focused on the middle class, claiming the economy favors wealthy donors.
“Today, millions and millions and millions of American families are also struggling to survive in a system that has been rigged by the wealthy and the well-connected,” Warren said. “Like the women of Lawrence, we are here to say enough is enough!”
She added later, “When I talk about this, some rich guys scream ‘class warfare! Well, let me tell you something, these same rich guys have been waging class warfare against hard- working people for decades – I say it’s time to fight back!”
Warren proposed a tax hike on the wealthy, which she called the “Ultra-Millionaire Tax.”
Warren received two endorsements Saturday, being supported by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts, who also introduced her at the rally.