BOSTON — One year after she announced her decision to run for president, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was back in her home state to deliver a New Year’s Eve speech that looked ahead to the 2020 election fight and to call on Americans to imagine what the country will look like in the after Donald Trump’s presidency.
Warren's speech in Boston’s historic Old South Meeting Place, centered on an idea she has often expressed on the campaign trail: that big, bold ideas of “structural change” are within grasp and that the next step is to fight for those ideas.
“So, just for a moment, here in this place of ideas that took root and shaped a nation, here on the eve of a New Year, let us come together to imagine,” Warren said Tuesday, “Imagine what our country will look like, imagine what your own life will look like, when we finally turn this page in our history.”
She stressed the idea of what the country could be if more Americans could live without fear of white supremacy, police brutality, student debt or the soaring cost of prescriptions.
Warren also invoked the historic nature of her candidacy with a reminder than a woman has never occupied the Oval Office.
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“Imagine an America where the lived experience of women is reflected in committee rooms and corner offices and yes, even that really nice Oval-shaped office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” Warren will say.
“If you can imagine all this — if you can imagine that something better lies on the other side of the chaos and ugliness of the last three years— then you are more than halfway there. The first step is to see it. The next step is to fight for it,” she said.
Warren also addressed her critics, who have said her ideas are unlikely to come to fruition.
“The billionaires, the corporate executives and their favorite presidential candidates have one clear goal: to convince you that everything you imagine is impossible. To convince you that reform is hopeless. To convince you that because no one can be pure, it’s pointless to try to make anything better," she said. "Those with power — and those who do their bidding — dump an endless avalanche of excuses, misdirections, and distractions on the American people. It’s all designed to get us to give up and resign ourselves to the way things are — with them in power and everyone else left behind."
“But we know in our hearts that power in America can rest with the people,” she said.
Warren announced her exploratory committee to run for president in a video message posted online Dec. 31, 2018. Since then, she has campaigned in 29 states and Puerto Rico and held just under 200 town halls.
“Exactly a year ago today I got in the race for president. And I made the decision to run a campaign straight from the heart. As I stand here today, I am deeply grateful that so many of you have put your full hearts into this campaign, as well,” Warren said.
Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who endorsed Warren last month, introduced the senator.
After getting off to a slow start, her campaign built momentum in the crowded Democratic field on the strength of her myriad policy ideas.
“Warren has a plan for that” became something of a rallying cry for her supporters and by October, she was able to take a slight lead in national polling averages over former Vice President Joe Biden, according to Real Clear Politics. Those numbers have since dropped and she is currently polling third behind Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.