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

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted 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 BidenJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Krystal Ball tears into 'Never Trump' Republicans 2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum 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'RourkeNRA deems O'Rourke 'Salesman of the Month' after Arizona gun store sells out of AR-15s during 'Beto Special' MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump pushes back over whistleblower controversy MORE (Texas), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE (N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharMSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot The two most important mental health reforms the Trump administration should consider Sanders searches for answers amid Warren steamroller MORE (Minn.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBipartisan housing finance reform on the road less taken Hillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Senate Democrats want answers on 'dangerous' Amazon delivery system MORE (Ohio), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Gillibrand Gillibrand relaunches PAC to elect women Analysis: 2020 digital spending vastly outpaces TV ads Two years after Maria, Puerto Rico awaits disaster funds 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 TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest 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.