Today—on the last day of 2018—the 2020 presidential race officially began as Senator Elizabeth Warren made her presidential run official. Meanwhile, former campaign staffers of Senator Bernie Sanders have asked for a meeting with Sanders and his team about sexual assault and harassment during the 2016 campaign, potential clean-up for his speculated run in 2020.
The New York Times reports that Warren announced her candidacy in an email to supporters. She also released a video, documenting her upbringing, political background, and hopes for America’s future.
Warren noted that opportunity for working families, especially families of color, are harder to come by now than when she was growing up, a scourge she blames on the political influence of corporation and the mega rich.
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. And what I’ve found is terrifying. These aren’t cracks that families are falling into—they’re traps.
America’s middle class is under attack. How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie, and they enlisted politicians to cut them a fatter slice. They crippled unions so no one could stop them...dismantled the financial rules meant to keep us safe after the Great Depression, and cut their own taxes, so they paid less than their secretaries and janitors.
Warren’s class-heavy campaign strategy is likely to be similar to a Bernie Sanders 2020 run, which hasn’t been officially announced but looks increasingly poised to happen.
Politico reports that over two dozen women former Sanders 2016 staffers have requested a sit-down with Sanders and his political advisors to discuss sexual harassment and violence during the 2016 campaign.
Politico acquired a copy of the letter, which staffers say they did not intend to go public:
In recent weeks there has been an ongoing conversation on social media, in texts, and in person, about the untenable and dangerous dynamic developed during our campaign. We the undersigned request a meeting with Senator Sanders and his leadership team to discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment in the 2016 campaign, for the purpose of planning to mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle—both in the primary and potential general election campaigns for 2019 and 2020.
According to Politico, the staffers hope their efforts aren’t reduced to “Bernie Bro” shenanigans and will instead put a spotlight on the culture of “toxic masculinity” in the campaign world in general. Sanders agreed to a meeting.
Sanders’s campaign committee responded to Politico’s request for comment with the following statement: “We thank the signers of the letter for their willingness to engage in this incredibly important discussion. We always welcome hearing the experiences and views of our former staff. We also value their right to come to us in a private way so their confidences and privacy are respected. And we will honor this principle with respect to this private letter.”
Other speculated 2020 contenders include Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Kristen Gillibrand, Andrew Gillum, Sherrod Brown, and Michael Bloomberg. Get excited!