‘America Needs Her’: Readers React to Elizabeth Warren’s Exit

‘America Needs Her’: Readers React to Elizabeth Warren’s Exit

The news that Senator Elizabeth Warren was exiting the Democratic presidential primary led to an outpouring of reactions across the country.

Many of her supporters described how meaningful it had been to see her rise to the top of the presidential field, and praised the policies she had brought to the table. Others said they were disillusioned to see that the narrative that women are less electable than men persists and the glass ceiling above the White House remains intact. Some wondered about what she would do next.

Tributes for Ms. Warren blanketed social media, with people using the hashtag #ThankYouElizabeth to express their gratitude. Others honored her in a more tangible way, writing messages on Post-it notes and surrounding her portrait in a hallway at Harvard Law School.

Our readers left thousands of comments on our website about Ms. Warren’s importance to them and what they would like to see from her going forward. Here is a selection of comments; they were edited for clarity.

Many said what they’d miss most about Ms. Warren and her campaign was her “I have a plan for that” approach, and how she introduced her ideas on the national stage and explained how she would make them a reality.

“Her words are absolutely right — on student debt, health care, child care, income inequality. As an old woman (pushing 80), having raised two children on my own, I appreciated all of her words. She understood, understands, what my struggles have been about, and I truly appreciated hearing what she had to say.” EB, San Diego

“Senator Warren has spent the last three years developing a formidable body of what might be called policy I.P. Not simply aspirations, her plans are flushed out by solid proposals and road maps for carrying them out in the complex governmental and regulatory world she knows so well. Many of these policies have the agreement of the majority of Americans, not just Democrats. It would be negligent for the Democratic Party and its apparent standard-bearer to not adopt much of her work as the core of the upcoming presidential campaign. She simply is not a great candidate for this particular weird cycle of presidential politics. But she could be a historic figure in the revival of America.” — Louis, California

“I’m so sad. Elizabeth Warren truly made this race better. Her plans forced other candidates to offer actual policy ideas instead of vague generalities. Her success with small donors showed that it is possible to run without the support of big money. Although I can no longer campaign for her, I’ll continue to work to achieve her policy goals.” — E, Chicago

Others were sad and disappointed that a woman who was once a front-runner had dropped out of the race, and that questions around electability had hovered over her campaign.

“I am grieved and angry that the most qualified candidate who, like Hillary Clinton, is a woman, has been forced by squeamish voters to bow out. She was hampered by the steady drumbeat of media analysis in which she was either treated as an also-ran or ignored completely. There is ample evidence pointing to the ingrained misogyny and sexism that is the fallback position in this country, but which is routinely dismissed as a victim mentality by those whose interests are most threatened at the prospect of a woman in power.” — Barbara Harman, Minnesota

“Warren was the most qualified and talented presidential candidate this country has had in my lifetime. Wicked smart, passionate, a master communicator, a fighter for average Americans, empathetic, kind and an absolute star of a public servant. She would have made a superb president if not for American pettiness, misogyny, and cultured ignorance.

She suffered the proverbial fate of Adlai Stevenson, who, when a supporter told him that, ‘Every thinking person in America will be voting for you, sir,’ replied, ‘I’m afraid that won’t do — I need a majority.’ I hope Senator Warren remains in public service for a long time. America needs her.” — Socrates, Downtown Verona, N.J.

“I’m sad to see Elizabeth Warren bow out. In many ways, she has been the candidate with the highest character and the best set of ideas and policies to carry out the kind of transformational change the country needs. A return to so-called ‘normalcy’ would be a nice relief after the destructive madness and corruption of Trump but would not in itself do anything to resolve the many problems we face, from health care to immigration reform to growing economic and social inequality. She is the most decent, thoughtful and fitting person to lead the country. Her departure says most about the continuing polarization, dysfunction and gender inequality in the country.

Someone else in this section cited Warren’s supposed dishonesty, but that’s a gross distortion along with a dishonest take in viewing male vs. female candidates. Her claim to some Native American heritage was not a ‘ruse,’ and her explanation should have settled it. I was disappointed that she didn’t answer the question about whether middle income people would see a tax increase under her plans — not just a net benefit after all factors are calculated — but she did not alienate sensible and progressive voters overall. Those who seek to disparage her by cherry-picking three or four supposedly damning aspects of her candidacy are looking for easy excuses and hiding their gender bias. Warren deserves to be president and would have done an excellent job when we really need it.” — TRJ, Los Angeles

Many readers saw Ms. Warren as a barrier-breaking candidate and an inspiration to young women who might want to pursue politics in the future.

“Our country has missed an incredible opportunity. Elizabeth Warren would have made a brilliant president. She has it all. I’m sad that we, as a nation, are too fearful to reach out for the big, structural change we clearly need. I thank Elizabeth Warren for providing inspiration to millions of people, especially young women and girls.” — Ann, Massachusetts

“Dear Senator Warren: Thank you for your grace and courage, and inspiring millions of young women. I literally cheered in my living room as you called out Mr. Bloomberg on his record. America is lucky to have you out there fighting on our behalf.” — Anni Framson Hill, Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Ms. Warren’s endorsement immediately became one of the most coveted in the primary. A lot of her supporters believe that she should endorse Senator Bernie Sanders, the last progressive candidate left in the race, to help move the agenda she campaigned on forward.

“If she does not throw her support behind Sanders then her beliefs were a sham.” – LFK, Virginia

“How could she possibly endorse Biden? She is much closer to Bernie’s ideology and platform than Biden’s. Perhaps if she went with Biden it would only be if she got a guarantee that she’d be offered the vice presidency or a cabinet position. But does she want to give up her Senate seat at all since there is a Republican governor of Massachusetts who would choose her replacement? I hope she endorses Bernie.” — Benbulben, US

“If the Latina janitors mentioned in this article were not just props to further her political career, she needs to endorse Sanders immediately. The progressive movement is more important than any leader, including Sanders. Advancing that movement must be the highest priority of any progressive leader.” — ZA, New York

Others think that Ms. Warren should endorse former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Some believe that her best path to the White House would be as Mr. Biden’s running mate.

“I want Elizabeth Warren to endorse Joe Biden. I want Joe Biden to select Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. I want to see Elizabeth Warren knock out Mike Pence in a debate the way she knocked out Mike Bloomberg. I still think that Elizabeth Warren was the best candidate that ran for president this year. How could she not be the best running mate?” S. Butler, New Mexico

“I predict she’ll surprise a few people and endorse Biden. Her policies may align more with Bernie, but she’s not a socialist or an independent — she’s a capitalist and a Democrat, with a history of supporting down-ticket candidates. And she must want to return to the Senate with the greatest chance of NOT having to work with Mitch McConnell in 2021. In 2016, when she declined to run, people expected her to endorse Bernie. But she endorsed Hillary. Past is usually prelude.” — D Price, Wayne, N.J.

Some of her supporters think that Ms. Warren doesn’t need to weigh in on the race at all, arguing she doesn’t owe either candidate anything and that making a choice could close doors for her in the future.

“The Bernie Bros and Biden Bros should catch a breath, keep their ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ to themselves, and take a day off.” — BarryNash, Nashville

“Elizabeth Warren gave it her ‘all’ and elevated the political discourse. Of all the candidates, I believe that her candidacy is the most complex and worthy of future consideration. Does she need to endorse another candidate? I am not sure. Senator Warren is neither moderate nor radical. I appreciate her hesitation.” — Jane, San Francisco

Weighing in on Ms. Warren’s future, readers suggested that if she is not chosen as a candidate’s running mate, she would be a good potential Senate majority leader or presidential cabinet pick.

“Ms. Warren is one of the best our country has to offer. I hope her voice remains strong. Actually, she should have Schumer’s job. We need a strong Senate for the sake of our country.” — Adam, Arizona

“Her endorsement will not be enough to sway Warren supporters. We want her on the ticket. Not a promise to be on the short list, but her on the ticket now. Neither Bernie or Biden will have enough votes to beat Trump without Warren supporters. The first female V.P. who will help broker a New Deal to rebuild the middle class with her keen understanding of the economy.” — Hope, California

“Elizabeth Warren is probably the sharpest mind in the party. I certainly hope whichever of these two candidates wins picks her to be in their cabinet as a close adviser. We need her working for us.” — Patrick Stevens, Minnesota

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