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Sen. Elizabeth Warren talks to reporters outside her home in Cambridge, Mass., on New Year's Eve, accompanied by her husband, Bruce Mann, and their golden retriever, Bailey. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

After two months of behind-the-scenes jockeying since the midterms, the Democrats' race for president is about to burst into the open with a series of candidacy announcements and staff hires, 2020 operatives tell me.

What's happening: "This has been a slow dance," one top strategist said. "No one was in a rush — people said they would make a decision over the holidays. Now, the pace is about to change fast."

A wave of announcements, like the one Sen. Elizabeth Warren made on New Year's Eve morning, is planned for the next few weeks.

  • The hopefuls need to raise money, and need an organization for housing the aides they want to hire to take them off the hot 2020 job market.
  • Look for announcements this month by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and likely others.
  • "They need a vehicle," the strategist said. That could include an exploratory committee or a full candidacy.

I'm told that "the Bs" — Biden, Bernie, Beto and the billionaires, including Mike Bloomberg — can wait longer because they'll be able to quickly raise money.

  • Be smart: A veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns said top aides will start to jump to campaigns this month. But many of the "big-time consultants, many of whom have multiple possible 2020 clients," will take longer.

Go deeper: The Democrats' 2020 crowd jumps the gun

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Go deeper

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.