“Black history — American history — has shown us the way to the America of our highest ideals,” she said. “A road map of resistance and endurance in the fight to transform the heart of our nation.”
The speech was Ms. Warren’s fourth major address of the year, beginning with her formal campaign launch in February, that was built around a woman or group of women in American history who have effected change. As the leading female candidate in the race, Ms. Warren made a nod to the glass ceiling that Hillary Clinton fell short of shattering four years ago.
“Imagine an America where the lived experience of women is reflected in committee rooms and corner offices and yes, even that really nice oval-shaped office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” she said to particularly loud applause.
Ms. Warren, who has vividly diagnosed America’s woes as stemming from corruption, sought an uplifting tone on Tuesday, speaking with what she called “a heart filled with optimism.”
“People tell me what’s broken, but the fear always comes lit by a hope for change,” she said, in an echo of President Barack Obama’s famous slogan. “Hope for change because they believe in America, and in each other. And I believe, too.”
Ms. Warren has spent recent months urging her party not to give in to fears, particularly about her viability as a rival to Mr. Trump. She said Tuesday that America’s strongest moments were “rooted” in the nation’s ability to transform “despair into hope, fear into courage, improbability into triumph.”
Mr. Sanders, who is also pitching a message of broad change, closed out the year in Des Moines, where he scrapped plans to hold what had been billed an “end-of-year press conference” and instead offered brief remarks to volunteers in a supporter’s living room. He then fielded a few questions from reporters before taking a brisk walk through the neighborhood and canvassing at three homes.
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