Elizabeth Warren Is Out Of The 2020 Campaign, Not Out Of The Fight
After her announcement this morning that she'd be ending her presidential campaign, Elizabeth Warren appeared outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to offer a brief message and take some questions. She was upbeat and thoughtful, and promised she'd keep doing what she's always done: Use her place in public life to fight for Americans who have "gotten the short end of the stick over and over. That's been the fight of my life and it will continue."
Here's the video; yes, her dog Bailey and her husband not-Bailey were there too.
Warren's prepared remarks were brief, thanking "every single person who got in this fight, every single person who tried out a new idea, every single person who just moved a little in their notion of what a President of the United States should look like." After saying she'd keep fighting the good fight, she took a few questions.
She isn't endorsing anyone just yet, and suggested her supporters join her in taking a deep breath and thinking it over. As for an eventual endorsement, sure, but for the moment, "I need some space around this, and I want to take a little time to think a little more," after mostly focusing on making the decision to end the campaign and making sure her organization winds down smoothly for her staff and volunteers.
Asked what her message would be "to the women and girls who feel like we're left with two white men to decide between," Warren's voice caught a bit as she said one of the hardest things about dropping out was "all those pinky promises and all those little girls who are going to have to wait four more years. That's going to be hard."
Warren's "pinky promise" to little girls at her events was that "I'm running for president because that's what girls do."
But Warren also said she didn't have any regrets, far from it:
Ten years ago, I was teaching a few blocks from here and talking about what was broken in America, and ideas for how to fix it. And, pretty much, nobody wanted to hear it.
And I've had a chance to get out there and talk with millions of people. And, you know, we have ideas now that we talk about that we just weren't talking about even a year ago; a two cent wealth tax, and universal child care that could be real — we could make it happen — and canceling student loan debt for 43 million Americans, and raising Social Security payments.
And just because she won't be the one putting her agenda into action as president, those plans haven't gone away. They're there to be incorporated into the 2020 platform, and into legislation that a Democratic majority can enact.
Finally, we got to the Woman Question, which Warren answered only in part, promising to say more about it later:
Gender in this race, you know, that is the trap question for every woman. If you say, "Yeah, there was sexism in this race," everyone says, "Whiner!" And if you say, "No, there was no sexism," about a bazillion women think, "What planet do you live on?" I promise you this: I'll have a lot more to say on that subject later on.
And we're looking forward to hearing it.
Warren closed by noting there's plenty left to be done, and she's looking forward to being right there for every bit of the fight:
However we talk about this, there still is a trillion-and-a-half dollars of student loan debt outstanding. There are still tens of millions of people across this country who — one bad medical diagnosis and they're upside down financially. There are still mommas and daddies all across this country who can't finish their education, can't take on jobs, because they can't find access to decent childcare that they can afford.
And I had to think a lot about where is the best place for me to go to keep fighting those fights because those problems don't disappear when I stand here in front of you. Those problems go on. And my job is to keep fighting and to fight this smartly and effectively as I can.
We bet she'd be in exactly the perfect place for that fight if she were Senate Majority Leader. She's still got plans, if America is smart enough to make use of 'em.
You should also take a few minutes to read Warren's farewell message to her campaign staff and volunteers. It strikes a lot of the themes that made her campaign so attractive, noting that she proved that it's possible for a newbie with a good message to build a real grassroots campaign from the ground up, without relying on big money donors. And more:
We have also shown that race and justice — economic justice, social justice, environmental justice, criminal justice — are not an afterthought, but are at the heart of everything that we do.
We have shown that a woman can stand up, hold her ground, and stay true to herself — no matter what.
We have shown that we can build plans in collaboration with the people who are most affected. You know, just one example: Our disability plan is a model for our country, and, even more importantly, the way we relied on the disability communities to help us get it right will be a more important model.
Warren also picks up a tune from Molly Ivins and hums it in her own key:
And we also did it by having fun and by staying true to ourselves. We ran from the heart. We ran on our values. We ran on treating everyone with respect and dignity.
And if the last few paragraphs, with their refrain, "the fight goes on," don't have you thinking of Tom Joad's farewell, well then you need to reread / rewatch that. It's really a heck of a good valediction, and she isn't even going away! She'll be right there in the Senate. Have a hankie handy, because the ninjas will sneak in and cut up some onions around you. The closing is perfect:
One last story: When I voted yesterday at the elementary school down the street, a mom came up to me. And she said she has two small children, and they have a nightly ritual. After the kids have brushed teeth and read books and gotten that last sip of water and done all the other bedtime routines, they do one last thing before the two little ones go to sleep.
Mama leans over them and whispers, "Dream big." And the children together reply, "Fight hard."
Now this is your OPEN THREAD. And we'll be here, too.
[NYT / WBUR / Team Warren on Medium]
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