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Warren says she will ‘take a hard look at running for president’

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 9/29/2018 By Victoria McGrane
US Senator Elizabeth Warren. © Patrick Semansky/Associated Press US Senator Elizabeth Warren.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren made her most definitive indication to date that she is mulling a run for the White House in 2020, telling a town hall crowd Saturday that she will take a “hard look at running for president” after the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

Until now, Warren has responded to questions about her presidential ambitions by insisting she is focused on winning her re-election in November. On Saturday, she linked her potential interest in the nation’s highest office to the damage she sees President Trump doing to the country and, more recently, how Republicans have handled the sexual assault accusations against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

It is vitally important that Democrats not lose focus on the upcoming midterm elections and winning back majorities in the House and Senate, Warren stressed, when a town hall attendee asked her if she planned to run for the White House.

“But let’s face it: Donald Trump is taking this country in the wrong direction,” she continued. “I am worried down to my bones about what Donald Trump is doing to our democracy.”

Her voice shaking slightly with anger, Warren then recalled Thursday’s extraordinary hearing featuring Christine Blasey Ford detailing how Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school.

“I watched powerful men helping a powerful man make it to an even more powerful position,” Warren said, and she thought “time’s up.”

It’s time, Warren said, “for women to go to Washington to fix our broken government, and that includes a woman at the top.” Then she dropped her news.

“After November 6 I will take a hard look at running for president,” Warren said.

For the past year, Warren has made a series of public and private moves that have been widely interpreted as laying the groundwork for launching a presidential run: She’s worked to cultivate key Democratic constituencies, such as black voters, reached out to key politicos in early presidential primary states, and improved her once-frosty relations with the national press.

She’s barnstormed across the country on behalf of Democrats running for office – most notably in key states on the presidential battleground map, such as Nevada and Ohio, and used her hefty e-mail list to help raise money for candidates in crucial races. Earlier Saturday, for instance, she sent out a fundraising plea on behalf of Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, a Democrat in a tough re-election fight to fend off the state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, in a race among those that could determine control of the US Senate.

Two of her aides recently were dispatched to the Democratic Party in New Hampshire, home of the first-in-the-nation primary.

Warren would start the primary race — which will unofficially begin shortly after the midterm elections — with an impressive war chest and tried-and-true fundraising prowess. Warren has $15.6 million in the bank as of August 15, according to federal filings, and has raised a total of $22.4 million this election cycle.

Much of her cash has come in the form of small-dollar donations, which proved a powerful force in the 2018 primary campaign of Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent.

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