Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Monday took a page from the political playbook of a rising political star, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), live-streaming to supporters in her kitchen hours after launching a 2020 presidential exploratory committee.
“I’m here in my kitchen — and um — I thought maybe we’d just take some questions and I’d see what I can do,” Warren began as she stared into her camera broadcasting to Instagram Live.
Elizabeth Warren is on Instagram live cooking dinner and drinking a beer. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is picking our next president. We just don’t know it yet. pic.twitter.com/Yuv6rzBGx5
— David Catanese (@davecatanese) December 31, 2018
“It’s been kind of an amazing day, she continued. “So, today, I got up early this morning and talked to a bunch of folks on the phone, and then went outside and talked to the press and this is our house, and has been for a long time, and there are all these reporters, and trucks, and everybody outside the house.”
Warren took the first major step toward launching a widely anticipated campaign for the presidency, hoping her reputation as a populist fighter can help her navigate a Democratic field that could include nearly two dozen candidates. Addressing reporters outside her home Warren following the move, affirmed that she is “in this fight all the way” and vowed to “build a grassroots campaign” to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.
At one point during the live-stream, Warren cracked open a beer and offered one to her husband, Bruce Mann, who responded, “No, I’ll pass on a beer for now.”
7 PM on New Years Eve and Elizabeth Warren is drinking a beer in her kitchen on Instagram Live. pic.twitter.com/V1X3i7fpyk
— phil (@PrettyGoodPhil) January 1, 2019
Later, the 2020 hopeful revealed her plans for New Year’s Eve, which according to the lawmaker, would include a movie and a casual bite.
“Here it is — getting ready for New Year’s Eve. It’s easy for Bruce and I to make plans, because we pretty much do the same things every year,” Warren said. “Um, for New Year’s Eve we watch Casablanca, we get some good food and, um, we sit there upstairs and we watch Casablanca.”
Since her upset victory over 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) last spring, Ocasio-Cortez, 28, has used live streaming to provide constituents a more personal and behind-the-scenes look at how government works. The soon-to-be youngest woman to ever serve in Congress recently made headlines for making mac-and-cheese while discussing various legislative committees. Other progressive lawmakers, including Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX), have also used live streams to connect with voters.
If you’re not watching Beto’s border livestream on Instagram you’re missing out pic.twitter.com/wNgajW2STF
— abhi (@abhiprofen) December 23, 2018
Warren enters a Democratic field that is shaping up as the most crowded in decades, with many of her Senate colleagues openly weighing their own campaigns, as well as governors, mayors, and other prominent citizens. One of her most significant competitors could be Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is eyeing another presidential run fueled by the same populist rhetoric.
The 2020 Dem primary is gonna be like a season of Top Chef America pic.twitter.com/cCni8gMC6m
— Ben McDonald (@Bmac0507) January 1, 2019
She must also move past a widely panned DNA test meant to bolster her claim to Native American heritage. The move was intended to rebut President Donald Trump’s taunts of Warren as “Pocahontas.” Instead, her use of a genetic test to prove ethnicity spurred controversy that seemed to blunt any argument she sought to make.
The DNA analysis was done by Stanford University professor Carlos D. Bustamante, a prominent expert in the field. He concluded that the great majority of Warren’s ancestry is European but added that the results “strongly support” the existence of a Native American ancestor. In his report, Bustamante said he analyzed Warren’s sample without knowing the identity of the donor. He concluded that Warren has a pure Native American ancestor who probably lived six to ten generations ago, and that it was impossible to determine the individual’s tribal connection.
If Warren’s ancestor were six generations removed, she would be 1/64th Native American. But if her ancestor had been as much as ten generations removed, that would make the individual a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent and render Warren only 1/1,024th Native American, according to Blaine Bettinger, a genealogist, and author who specializes in DNA evidence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.