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Elizabeth Warren on Twitter

At a town hall in Marion, Iowa, Sunday night, Elizabeth Warren switched up her usual format. Instead of the usual stump speech followed by a few questions (followed by selfies until the wee hours), Warren spoke only briefly, about 10 minutes, before opening up the floor to questions. Seventeen-year-old Raelyn, whose short hair wasn't unlike Warren's own 'do, started choking up with tears as she asked a really personal question: "I was wondering if there was ever a time in your life where somebody you really looked up to maybe didn't accept you as much, and how you dealt with that?"

Raelyn, who asked only to be cited by her first name, later told reporters that her question grew out of some Thanksgiving-week conversations with family about her own membership in the LGBTQ community. And then Warren, on the verge of tears too, got to her own answer.


Yeah [pause]

My mother and I had very different views of how to build a future. She wanted me to marry well, and I really tried, and it just didn't work out. And there came a day when I had to call her and say, this is over. I can't make it work. And I heard the disappointment in her voice. I knew how she felt about it. But I also knew it was the right thing to do.

ABC News notes that Warren ended her first marriage when she was just 22, although she often glosses over that as a minor point in her journey to law school and Harvard. She has also been open about her sometimes "rocky" relationship with her mother.

In her 2017 book, she wrote about an argument over Warren's chances at college that became so heated her mother slapped her across the face.

Part of growing up sometimes involves doing what you have to do, even if it disappoints your mom or someone else, Warren went on:

And sometimes you just gotta do what's right inside and hope that maybe the rest of the world will come around to it. And maybe they will, and maybe they won't, but the truth is, you gotta take care of yourself first and do this.

Raelyn told CNN afterwards that Warren privately told her, "We've got it. We're going to be OK. You're going to get through this. You're going to be good."

Raelyn explained that while she's out to her immediate family, she hadn't really talked about it with extended family members who were visiting for Thanksgiving, which made her hesitant about asking Warren the question in front of cameras, but you know how today's youths are: kind of fearless, Crom love 'em.

"I was really nervous. Honestly, I was most nervous about, 'OK, what if this is the question that gets aired on TV and then there's a bunch of questions about it at home.'" She said she was touched by Warren's answer.

"I loved it. I was scared. I didn't want her to feel, almost, pressured to answer it, because I know being put on the spot and being on that big of a pedestal in front of America, it's kind of like, you don't want to put all of your personal information out there," she said.

"You don't want to have everybody see everything, every single side of you. And I was just really touched that she had the courage to answer that question in a different way than she has spoken before. And that she cared enough about me and about her for voters to be able to open up."

That really got me. If I may overshare myself, I'm a recovering Catholic whose own mom was pretty dismissive of my own choices. Not long before she died -- she'd had a stroke and had no filter -- Mom said, when I showed her a graduate school diploma, "Masters Degree in English, huh? Probably just write a bunch of dirty novels." (And here I am 25 years later, making filthy jokes about politics!)

Raelyn told ABC News she plans to be a precinct captain for Warren in the upcoming Iowa caucuses, and that she's looking forward to voting in her first presidential election in 2020. And she thanked Warren for the answer, too:

So what we're saying is that Elizabeth Warren sure does a good job of connecting with people, for a cynical neoliberal shill. Also, good lord we love retail campaigning sometimes.

[ABC News / CNN / Photo: Elizabeth Warren on Twitter]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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