Elizabeth Warren is wasting little time in beefing up her prospective presidential campaign, hiring the man who spearheaded the successful digital strategy for Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections.
Warren, who announced this week that she formed an exploratory committee to run for president, hired Joe Rospars to help lead her emerging campaign, CNN reported. Rospars will be in charge of grassroots mobilization for Warren and will also oversee national operations and planning for early primary states.
Obama was seen as a pioneer in digital engagement, using emerging social media to connect with voters and build grassroots support and volunteers. He was also one of the first candidates to fully embrace the power of smaller online donations, a strategy picked up in 2016 by Bernie Sanders.
Rospars was not the only hire for Warren, the first major candidate to formally take steps toward running for president. She also hired Richard McDaniel, who served as political director for Alabama Senator Doug Jones’s successful campaign.
As the CNN report noted, Warren’s aggressive moves come ahead of what is expected to be a very crowded Democratic field. She is one of a handful of big-name Democrats potentially running, a field that also includes Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, and Bernie Sanders.
Elizabeth Warren has already laid the stakes of her prospective campaign, issuing statements against the influence of corporate money in politics and in support of the middle class, which has been a focus since her early days on the national scene spearheading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In doing so, Warren has laid out a potential line of attack against other Democrats that may be too closely tied with big money interests.
“Is this going to be a Democratic primary that truly is a grassroots movement that is funded by the grassroots, that’s done with grassroots volunteers?” Warren said in an appearance on MSNBC (via NPR). “Or is this going to be something that’s just one more play thing that billionaires can buy?”
Warren has already attracted the attention of Donald Trump, who this week tweeted a meme mocking her prospective campaign and her Native American heritage. Trump had frequently attacked Warren for past claims that she had Native American ancestry, and continued that line of attack after Warren released the results of a DNA test showing that she did indeed have a distant Native American relative.
Missing from so much of the news coverage of Native people being outraged by Elizabeth Warren's DNA test: Native voices.— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) January 4, 2019
I asked prominent tribal leaders and Native people about it. Surprise: they said Warren is an ally and this narrative is media fodder. https://t.co/f6EMJmHcds
Trump was met with criticism for the attack, and a number of Native American leaders spoke up to defend Elizabeth Warren, saying she has been an ally.