Good evening from the Emerald City!
NPI is live at the Seattle Center Armory for Elizabeth Warren’s first Washington campaign rally of the 2020 calendar year. Her last appearance in Seattle, an August 2019 rally, attracted 15,000 supporters and it was reported many in the crowd waited in line afterward for her well-known “selfies” for over four hours.
The line to enter today’s rally was already packed down the block almost two hours before the advertised 6 PM speaking program start time.
Supporters of all ages and ethnicities stand waiting, gathered in front of a stage decorated with an American flag backdrop. Others wait in the back the Armory where some lucky onlookers scored the limited seating.
Earlier this afternoon, NPI interviewed Warren supporters on the way to the rally, many of whom voice their enthusiasm for the Senator’s candidacy.
“We’re all in for women leadership,” said one supporter.
“She’s got plans. She’s got intellect. She knows how to get things done.”
Another noted that it’s shameful that the United States has not elected a woman president yet, even though women gained the right to vote a hundred years ago.
When asked about Warren’s recent debate performance, they all agreed the Senator had shone more than the other Democratic candidates.
“She killed it,” one said, noting that it reinvigorated her support for Warren over Bernie Sanders and Warren’s other rivals for the nomination.
Some supporters we spoke with are returning for the second time for an Elizabeth Warren rally, having been to the August event.
When asked what they believe sets Warren apart from other candidates, one supporter it says it’s her plans. (Warren had a viral moment during the summer after replying “I have a plan” to a question on America’s wealth gap. Her campaign ran with it and it has become one of her main slogans.)
One supporter followed that by mentioning Warren’s work to create the Consumer Protection Bureau after the financial crash. “She cares about making sure people aren’t taken advantage of. Nobody else seems to actually do things.”
Another rallygoer waiting for the bus told NPI that “before politics was even on [Warren’s] mind, she was doing the work.”
“She’s really great about reaching out to people where they are, even if they’re not as left as she is, and educating them in a way that welcomes them in.”
One supporter said she was still trying to decide if she would cast her vote for Warren in the primary, and she was hoping the rally may help her find clarity.
She noted that she was most likely voting for Warren.
“I’m looking for that person who says ‘I value you, and your children and your grandchildren’ as much as themselves and their family,” she said.
The anticipation is building, made clear by the chorus of cheers as a campaign staffer walked briefly onto the stage. Classic, like Queen’s “I Want to Break Free” and Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” are playing.
When Neil Diamond’s beloved “Sweet Caroline” came on, many in the audience enthusiastically sang along and waved their arms.
More supporters are filling up the loft as space below in front of the main stage disappears. The Armory only has a capacity of a couple thousand people, so not everyone who wants to see Warren may get in.
Stay with us as we continue to cover the Warren campaign’s February 22nd Seattle Center rally, live from the Armory underneath the Space Needle.