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JOAN VENNOCHI

Warren finally delivers her long-coveted endorsement

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks to the American Constitution Society National Convention in Washington onThursday.ZACH GIBSON\THE NEW YORK TIMES

Senator Elizabeth Warren finally came through for Hillary Clinton, giving the presumptive Democratic nominee a critically important blessing from the party’s progressive wing.

In the end, the Massachusetts senator didn’t try to sell Clinton as a “progressive.’’ She endorsed her as “a fighter” who for 25 years has been “taking the incoming” from the right wing.

“A lot of people would hang up their spurs. She gets back up and she gets back in the fight,” Warren told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Thursday night.

Addressing the issue of Clinton as her party’s first female presidential nominee, Warren said, “A female fighter in the lead is exactly what this country needs.”

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Warren’s long-awaited backing of Clinton followed her brutal take-down of Donald Trump earlier Thursday as a “loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud,” in an address given at the American Constitution Society’s national convention in Washington.

It capped a remarkable day for Clinton, which included endorsements from President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

The one-two-three punch from these Democratic political heavyweights made Bernie Sanders an afterthought in the day’s political news. And it was a gut-punch to Trump, who was lampooned as ignorant, racist, and generally unfit for the Oval Office.

That’s the battle Warren is ready to take up on Clinton’s behalf.

Calling Trump a threat and a danger, she pledged to do all she can to make sure he never sets foot in the White House as president.

If he does, she said, the country can say goodbye to the Affordable Care Act, to Dodd-Frank and to “a Supreme Court that is truly open and balanced and looking out for the American people.”

Warren’s timing was good for Clinton and perfect for Warren.

Had Warren endorsed Sanders, her progressive soul mate, she might have tipped the nomination his way. She said she waited, because she believes the debate that took place was constructive for the party.

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“It’s not just about one candidate, it’s about all of us coming together,” Warren told Maddow.

The “coming together” part remains a work in progress.

Warren still faces questions about the gap between her progressive stands and Clinton’s more centrist and often more fluid positions. And then there are all those unpleasant questions about Clinton’s email server and her speeches to Goldman Sachs. Warren told the Globe’s Annie Linskey, it’s up to Clinton to decide whether to release the transcripts of her high-priced speeches to Wall Street bankers.

Warren’s is very much in the mix of conversation as Clinton’s potential running mate, and she’s not discouraging the talk. Asked by Maddow to respond to criticisms from former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell that she’s not qualified to be vice president because she’s not ready to be president, she said she believes she is qualified.

She is. The bigger question is whether she can be the principled, uncompromising progressive worshipped by the party’s left wing and do what needs to be done for Clinton as a vice presidential candidate — and, if Clinton wins, as vice president.

Warren’s heart and soul really are with Sanders on the issues. But, for better or worse, she’s with Clinton now. And Clinton’s lucky to have her.


Joan Vennochi can be reached at vennochi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Joan_Vennochi.