Lawrence, MA — Not long ago, a presidential bid announcement by Elizabeth Warren would’ve been the biggest event of the year for many progressives. When she entered the national political scene more than a decade ago, her aggressive (if wonkish) critique of Wall Street greed resonated with liberals and rankled Republicans. Warren made financial regulations sound almost fun; she has PowerPoint presentations with more than a million views on YouTube. Soon groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee began to describe the left flank of the Democratic Party as the “Warren wing,” and several tried to draft her to run for the presidency in previous elections.
Her announcement today is still a big deal for many, especially the thousands who attended official campaign launch in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
“The man in the White House is not the cause of what is broken. He is just the latest and most extreme symptom of what’s gone wrong in America,” Warren said of President Donald Trump. “A product of a rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else.”
The location was chosen carefully: Lawrence is known as the “immigrant city” and home of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. This textile strike was successfully organized by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical labor union devoted to ending capitalism – although Warren is explicit that she does not share this goal.
Her defeat of incumbent Sen. Scott Brown in 2012 was one of the most expensive Senate races in history. Warren’s fundraising from small donors – defined as under $200 — was a major strength and helped account for her lack of financial support from the financial sector.
As of 2018, 56 percent of her money came from small donors. This is second among all senators (behind Bernie Sanders at 77 percent), according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
But much has…