When she was a young law professor, Elizabeth Warren set out to discover why people go bankrupt. She traveled to
federal courtrooms across the country and listened to the stories of people in financial distress. Many were middle
class, she found, but had fallen on hard times after becoming sick, losing their jobs or getting divorced. The
realization that so many Americans were one bad break away from bankruptcy was the beginning of a four-decade
career that has taken Warren from the lecture halls of Harvard to the halls of Congress. As a consumer advocate, a
senator from Massachusetts, and now a Democratic presidential candidate, Warren has always preached a message of
economic fairness and championed regulations on credit card companies and big banks. “I got a plan” has become a
core message of her presidential campaign, but critics say her plans are unrealistic in an era of political gridlock.