Warren to ask Americans to ‘imagine something better’ in New Year’s Eve speech


BOSTON (Reuters) – U.S presidential contender Elizabeth Warren will seek to bolster her flagging campaign in a New Year’s Eve speech on Tuesday, as the race for the Democratic nomination hurtles toward the first test before voters.

FILE PHOTO: Senator Elizabeth Warren participates in an interview in the spin room after the sixth 2020 U.S. Democratic presidential candidates campaign debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot/File Photo

Speaking one year after launching her campaign, Warren ask Americans to “imagine something better lies on the other side of the chaos and ugliness of the last three years.”

The turning of the calendar brings crunch time for the field of Democratic hopefuls, who must now shape their closing arguments with only weeks remaining before voters begin the process of selecting a nominee. Warren is under pressure to perform well in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, which vote in February, or risk being relegated from the race.

In remarks in Boston, the U.S. senator will also draw a contrast between her and other Democratic candidates, arguing that her decision to forgo high-dollar fundraisers keeps her from having to “kiss the rings” of the wealthy.

“One year into this campaign, you’ve never found me behind closed doors with corporate executives or spending hours on the phone sucking up to rich donors to fund my campaign,” she plans to say, according to excerpts released ahead of delivery. “The billionaires, the corporate executives and their favorite presidential candidates have one clear goal: to convince you that everything you imagine is impossible.”

The 15 remaining Democrats competing to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election include two billionaires, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer.

Warren, from Massachusetts, has also sparred recently over the issue with outgoing South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Warren has faulted Buttigieg for holding expensive fundraisers in swanky environs, while the mayor has accused her of hypocrisy for holding similar events during her past Senate campaigns.

Warren’s address will take place at a church in downtown Boston known as a gathering place for revolutionary colonists in the 1770s.

Warren remains a top Democratic candidate in national opinion polls but saw her standing slip since early autumn after a months-long surge that briefly vaulted her to front-runner status.

She is in third place behind Joe Biden, the former vice president, and fellow U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, according to the website RealClearPolitics’s polling average.

Warren’s momentum stalled under sustained attacks from more moderate Democratic candidates like Buttigieg over her support for Medicare for All, the healthcare overhaul that would eliminate private insurance in favor of a single government-run plan.

In response, Warren has revised her rhetoric on healthcare, emphasizing her intention to phase in Medicare for All over several years to preserve “choice” for Americans.

She has also sought to return to the theme of economic populism that has animated her campaign since she launched her bid a year ago.

Warren has suffered a slowdown in her fundraising pace. The campaign said last week it had raised just over $17 million in the fourth quarter with a few days to go, lower than the $24.6 million she raised last quarter.

Reporting by Joseph Ax and Amanda Becker; Editing by Peter Cooney and Alistair Bell

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