Liberal sweetheart and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will deliver the keynote address to an expected crowd of 10,000 Sunday at the Detroit Branch NAACP’s 62nd annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner at the Cobo Center.
It will be Warren’s first time in Michigan since she visited in 2014 to speak at the Netroots Nation conference and campaign for Democratic Sen. Gary Peters, who was running to succeed Carl Levin.
The former Harvard law professor’s academic career brought her to Michigan when she served as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School in the 1980s.
Warren, 67, began touring this week to promote her 11th book, “This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class,” though her appearance in Detroit is separate from that tour, a spokeswoman said.
Some observers have said the book is a soft launch for Warren’s presidential campaign to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in 2020, but in interviews this week Warren sidestepped questions about whether she’d run.
Appearing Tuesday on “The Tonight Show,” Warren told host Jimmy Fallon that she and the Democrats plan to keep up their resistance to Trump. “We’ve got to be in this fight. We cannot lay down and play dead,” she said. “We’ve got to keep the focus on what he actually does to working families across the country … because that’s what he’s got to be held accountable for.”
That spirit is in part what prompted organizers of the Fight For Freedom Dinner to invite Warren to speak. They cited her record of speaking out in Congress as an advocate for consumer protection, financial oversight, aging and labor issues.
She “is a senator without a need for any kind of introduction,” said the Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the NAACP branch.
“She is a firebrand. She is a people’s person. She’s concerned about all the things we are concerned about: Health care, education, finance, foreign policy, so she is the right person for this task at the right time.”
Earlier this year, the Republican-led Senate voted to silence Warren after she began reading aloud on the Senate floor a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King, widow of civil-rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., opposing the nomination of Jeff Sessions to a federal judgeship.
King in the letter claimed Sessions had used his position as a federal prosecutor to intimidate African-American citizens.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell interrupted Warren, saying she had violated rules against impugning other members of the chamber. Sessions, until his confirmation as attorney…