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

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial 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 BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters 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'RourkeVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Biden calls for revoking key online legal protection Trump mocks Booker over suspended presidential campaign MORE (Texas), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Black caucus in Nevada: 'Notion that Biden has all of black vote is not true' The Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two MORE (N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Moore defends Sanders's reputation: 'We don't want the fake, and the phony and the fraudulent' MORE (Minn.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Senate Democrat: 'Fine' to hear from Hunter Biden MORE (Ohio), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandGOP-Biden feud looms over impeachment trial Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial 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 John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg 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.