Senator Elizabeth Warren is expected to formally launch her presidential bid in MA on Saturday with a populist call to fight economic inequality - a message she hopes will distinguish her in a crowded Democratic field and help her move past the controversy over her prior claims to Native American heritage.
Weeks after announcing her exploratory committee, Warren's announcement in MA today kicked off her campaign in what's shaping up to be a large Democratic field running against President Donald Trump.
She was the first high-profile Democrat to signal interest in running for the White House, forming an exploratory committee on New Year's Eve.
In her speech on Saturday in Lawrence, in her home state of Massachusetts, Ms Warren called Mr Trump "the latest and most extreme symptom of what's gone wrong in America, a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else".
"This is the fight of our lives", she said.
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"I can't go back", Warren told The Washington Post.
Despite sub-zero temperatures and a blustery wind, an estimated crowd of several thousand turned out to hear the MA senator pledge to fight corruption in Washington, level the economic playing field and reform the United States democratic process. "I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets", she said. "Separating a momma from a baby does not make this country safer", Warren said in an interview with CNN last summer, a message she has returned to during her time on the campaign trail.
The storm over Warren's ancestry claim deepened when she sought to neutralise the attacks by releasing a DNA analysis in October, which said that she had a Native American ancestor "six - 10 generations ago". The backing could prove valuable for Warren given his status as a rising young Democratic star and his friendship with her potential 2020 rival, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas. "I want to know what people are going to do to fix the issues that matters that we face".
However, when all is said and done, almost two dozen Democrats are expected to enter the fray, with others like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, California Congressman Eric Swalwell and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke having signaled they're considering a run.
The Boston Globe, in an editorial, ripped into her ahead of her announcement on Saturday, saying, in part: "Voters ready to forgive and move on might feel differently if the slow drip continues, or if her explanations don't hold up".
Her platform includes a tax on the richest 75,000 Americans.
Rawding added that she's thrilled Warren chose Lawrence to launch her 2020 Democratic presidential run, particularly in wake of the deadly September gas explosions that impacted the city and surrounding communities.