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Warren Visit Kicks 2020 New Hampshire Primary Into Gear

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When Elizabeth Warren hit the stage at Manchester Community College, in her first visit to New Hampshire since declaring her intent to run for president, she was quick to characterize her visit as an almost social call.

“So this is great - I am so excited to be here. You know this is just coming to see our next door neighbors."

She even hauled her husband and dog onstage to say hello:

“I thought I’d bring the two guys in my life. Bruce and Bailey come on up.”

And then she moved quickly to a sweeping call for political change in America.

“So here’s how I see this, we need to make change in our country, not little bitty change, not change at the margins, not a nibble around the edges, not even pass one good law here and one good law, there, we need to make systemic change in the country, systemic change, real change.”

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR
Elizabeth Warren's husband Bruce and their dog Bailey watch Warren speak at Manchester Community College

For Warren, this includes making college less expensive and boosting the minimum wage, and taxing inherited wealth to fund affordable housing. She also called for ending for profit prisons and fighting racial bias in the justice system

“African Americans are more than twice as likely to be arrested for marijuana use. How about, for an opener, we just legalize marijuana, and stop that whole business. There’s a place, that’s criminal justice reform.”

After she was done on stage, in between lengthy bouts of posing for selfies with voters, Warren was quick to tell reporters that this visit, which stressed her personal story as much as policy, and which followed a trip to Iowa last week, bodes well for 2020.

“I am just delight to be here on a saturday afternoon when people gave a lot of other things to do, they packed this place, they had good questions good energy. They are in this fight.”

And some voters in the crowd, like Chris Miller, a semi-retired nurse from Manchester say they are already convinced, Warren has what it takes to win the fight for the democratic nomination - and the presidency.

“It’s her attitude, it’s the way she presents herself, it’s how she can rally a crowd. She is believable, she is believable.”

Sarah Mamlet, who travelled from Massachusetts to see Warren pitch herself as a president, says her senator  is showing new political range.

"I was expecting her to talk a lot about economics and the working class struggle and all that, but she also talked a lot about marginalized identities, and the environment and I was really reassured to hear a more well-rounded platform." 

Credit Josh Rogers for NHPR
Jon Hall of Amherst still sports Bernie Sanders pins on his winter hat.

Jon Hall, a software engineer from Amherst who showed up at the event wearing a hat decorated with Bernie Sanders pins, says in his view, Democrats ought to give  Elizabeth Warren serious consideration, but that takes time.

“So we need to see who is the best person, right not just a person, you know I think Elizabeth has good chances, but I’d like to see the other people too.”

That shouldn’t be hard for Hall, or any other interested local voter. Many  Democrats could end up vying the party’s 2020 nomination, and they’ll be making their way to New Hampshire soon.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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