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Warren announces White House bid, getting early jump on 2020 race

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAdams, Garcia lead in NYC mayor's race: poll Exclusive: Democrat exploring 'patriot tax' on multimillionaires' wealth McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats MORE (Mass.) became the first major Democratic name to jump into the 2020 presidential race on Monday, announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to run for the White House. 

The senator made the announcement in a video sent to supporters and posted on YouTube. 

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“America’s middle class is under attack,” Warren said in the video. “How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie. And they enlisted politicians to cut them a bigger slice.”

Warren’s announcement comes about 13 months before the Iowa caucuses. Aside from Warren, the biggest name to have announced an exploratory committee is former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Warren has long been seen as a leading contender for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination. The liberal stalwart, first elected to the Senate in 2012, is a proven fundraiser and party heavyweight who declined to step into the 2016 presidential primary. 

Warren, 69, is a former Harvard professor who first came to national prominence after the 2008 financial crisis. Warren chaired an oversight panel established by Congress that evaluated government programs intended to bolster the country after the crisis and worked to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Polls suggest former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders won't vote for bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan infrastructure deal takes fire from left and right Politics of discontent: Who will move to the center and win back Americans' trust? MORE (I-Vt.) are the early leaders for the Democratic nomination, which could be a reflection of their high name recognition. If Sanders enters the primary, he and Warren could compete for progressive voters.

The primary is expected to be crowded. Other figures looking at the race include Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report O'Rourke clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid O'Rourke says he's not planning on run for Texas governor MORE (Texas), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Biden's European trip Teen who filmed Floyd murder awarded honorary Pulitzer Senate confirms first Muslim American federal judge MORE (N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill House unveils antitrust package to rein in tech giants Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' MORE (Minn.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' Cryptocurrency industry lobbies Washington for 'regulatory clarity' Biden 'allies' painting him into a corner MORE (Ohio), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety, efficacy in SC event to kick off tour Kamala Harris is still not ready for primetime (much less 2024) Lara Trump calls on Americans at border to 'arm up and get guns and be ready' MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Austin and Milley talk budget, Afghanistan, sexual assault and more at wide-ranging Senate hearing Top general: Military justice overhaul proposed by Gillibrand 'requires some detailed study' Cher apologizes for confusing Sinema, Gillibrand MORE (N.Y.). 

The formation of the exploratory committee was preceded by other signals from Warren that she is going to run for president.

In October, Warren announced the results of a DNA test that showed "strong evidence" that she has Native American ancestry. The move was intended to put to rest scrutiny that she had claimed Native American ancestry, something President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE had used to question her credibility. 

Trump frequently refers to Warren as "Pocahontas," a racially charged remark that has drawn intense criticism.

The release of the test does not appear to have ended Trump's insults, and it also drew criticism from some Native American groups who see such genetic tests as problematic. 

Warren discusses themes such as economic equality, government accountability and reining in big corporations in the four-and-a-half minute video. 

“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,” Warren says. “What I’ve found is terrifying. These aren’t cracks that families are falling into, they’re traps.”

She concludes the clip by saying, “If we organize together, if we fight together, if we persist together we can win.

“We can and we will.” 

The move from Warren comes just a couple days after she dropped the Massachusetts prefix from her official Twitter account handle, fueling speculation that a bid for president would soon be announced. 

The Washington Post reported that Warren is expected to base her campaign headquarters in Boston. It will likely be led by longtime aide Dan Geldon.