Elizabeth Warren’s early stroke of genius

Until Kirsten Gillibrand walked out onto Stephen Colbert’s set on Tuesday and then flew out to Iowa for the weekend, the only competition for attention among the expected heavyweights was Kamala Harris, doing a mostly biography-focused tour to promote the book she obviously wrote as a placeholder for launching her campaign. (Julián Castro announced last weekend and was here in New Hampshire on Wednesday, and John Delaney was campaigning here on Saturday after flying in from Iowa, but so far, neither has generated nearly as much steam).

For Warren, that was two weeks dominating media coverage, two weeks getting crowds of hundreds who probably would have showed up for whoever the first heavyweight to go to Iowa was.

That gave her first crack at questions that had dominated early speculation and coverage of the 2020 Democratic primary race: when was it going to get started already? What were people going to do about taking super PAC money? What happens when Donald Trump tweets his way in? What happens when people bring up Hillary Clinton? How are people going to handle women running this time around? How open are campaigns going to be to reporters chasing them down for comment on everything?

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