On Sunday, one Democratic presidential hopeful hosted her first formal campaign rally. Speaking in Oakland, California, Sen. Kamala Harris' official 2020 campaign launch included a passionate speech wherein the Senator pledged to be a "president of the people, by the people, for all the people."
"If I have the honor of being your president, I will tell you this: I am not perfect. Lord knows, I am not perfect," Harris said during her announcement, according to CNN. "But I will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. And I will speak the truth."
Harris confirmed that she planned to run about a week prior to the rally. Sunday marked her campaign's formal launch. As many Democratic challengers — and even potential Republicans — are expected to do, Harris positioned herself as the foil to Donald Trump's administration.
"We are here because the American Dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before," she said, according to CNN. "We are here at this moment in time because we must answer a fundamental question. Who are we? Who are we as Americans? So, let's answer that question to the world and each other right here and right now. America: we are better than this."
The location of Harris' launch event was also significant for her. She was born in Oakland, and she pointed to that fact in her speech.
"I am so proud to be a daughter of Oakland, California," she said, according to a transcript of the rally. "And as most of you know, I was born just up the road at Kaiser Hospital. And it was just a few miles away my parents first met as graduate students at UC Berkeley where they were active in the civil rights movement."
But her ties to Oakland exceeded her personal and familial history, she said on Sunday. She shared that she had reached certain career milestones in the California city, as well — milestones that appear to be influencing the early stages of her campaign.
"It was just a couple blocks from this very spot that nearly 30 years ago as a young district attorney I walked into the courtroom for the very first time and said the five words that would guide my life’s work: Kamala Harris, for the people," she said, referencing her newly-unveiled campaign slogan.
The 2020 presidential election is still nearly two years away, and Harris has joined an already crowded list of would-be Democratic candidates. It will likely be some time before the playing field narrows and verifiable party favorites emerge. But while it appears that this campaign cycle may be unusually long, Harris and her Democratic peers seem to be responding to a pendulum already set in motion. President Donald Trump began promoting his own reelection just weeks after being sworn into office for his first term, after all. So while the 2020 presidential election appears to be starting unusually early, the energy is definitely coming from both sides of the aisle.