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Michael Swartz / March 6, 2020

Warren’s Unplanned Exit

A bad candidate ran a bad campaign, so it’s no surprise she turned off voters.

Elizabeth Warren’s claim to fame is that she has a plan for everything. Alas, both the planning and execution of her presidential campaign were miserable, so the senator from Massachusetts — who came to national prominence when she was tapped by President Barack Obama to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010 — suspended her campaign yesterday. Technically, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and her two hard-won delegates from American Samoa remain in the race, but she’s a non-factor. Thus, Warren’s departure leaves Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to duke it out, and neither old white guy received Warren’s endorsement.

So, what went wrong for Warren?

After reaching the top of the polls for a brief time last fall, her popularity waned as she failed to win over voters who’d previously backed also-rans such as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. She placed third in Iowa behind Pete Buttigieg and Sanders, then an awful fourth in New Hampshire, behind Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar. And even as Klobuchar and Buttigieg left the race and fell in behind Biden, Warren’s paltry pickup of 55 Super Tuesday delegates was barely a third of what Sanders has so far won in California alone. Most telling of all, Warren finished third in her home state of Massachusetts.

Warren’s whoppers — including her bogus claim of Native American ancestry — are well documented, and her failure to drop out at the same time as Klobuchar and Buttigieg certainly harmed Sanders. President Donald Trump noted as much, claiming that she cost the Vermont socialist wins in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Texas — states where Sanders lost narrowly to Biden. Warren did, however, do the electorate a favor by single-handedly destroying the campaign of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, but even those votes went Biden’s way.

In the end, Warren simply made too many missteps. Tone-deaf to criticism about her plan to forgive student-loan debt, she shamelessly pandered to other groups by promoting a Medicare for All plan full of “unworkable reforms” and vowing to allow a “transgender” child the right of first refusal on her pick to head up the Department of Education.

Warren might well have had a plan for everything, but her schemes were mostly nonstarters to all but the inhabitants of the ivory tower — academics who deal with the theoretical and not the practical.

And while there’s quite a bit of fun to be had at Warren’s expense thanks to the whole “Fauxcahontas” episode, she’s likely to be around for years to come. Her Senate seat is safe until 2024, and her heightened status means her nagging will echo around the Swamp whenever she deigns to be heard.

After all, this is the woman who addressed questions of sexism (among Democrat primary voters) by saying, “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?’”

For now, though, she can have herself a beer and ponder what might have been. And given the Democrats’ penchant for septuagenarian presidential candidates, Warren could always launch her 2024 campaign at the ripe young age of 74.

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