Warren backer: We're shell-shocked

Article Image

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren is ending her campaign, a source familiar with her plans tells CNN.

Posted: Mar 6, 2020 7:10 AM
Updated: Mar 6, 2020 7:11 AM

She's out of the race. And those of us who supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president are shell-shocked.

The heartbreak began when we saw Super Tuesday's returns -- vote totals that fell well short of even pessimistic estimates of what the Warren campaign could expect. She'd win or come in a close second in Massachusetts, her home state, the theory had gone. According to her campaign manager Roger Lau, she was at the 15% or above "viable" level in congressional districts across nearly all 14 states holding primaries, and was a firm (if distant) second in coveted California with its 415 delegates, a third of all of those being awarded that day.

She had encouraging signs in Texas, in Colorado, and, if you squinted hard, signs of life in Minnesota, Virginia and Oklahoma. Surely she'd garner enough of a delegate count to remind people that it was way too early to count her out.

And her speech the night before had been an electric one, a history lesson of the Justice for Janitors union organizing campaign that transformed the lives of custodial workers across the nation, and that had begun in Los Angeles in 1990. It was intended to send the message that together, we could overcome any obstacle -- and also, that she, the daughter of a janitor, was not about to turn back from a fight without, per her most famous quote, "plenty of blood and teeth on the floor."

Today, blood and teeth are everywhere, and so are tears.

She leaves the race indicating that she won't endorse anyone until she has a serious sit-down with them about platform and policy -- seeking to make her former rivals better even as she helps to elevate them. It's how she's always worked, because continuous learning and constant teaching are her lifelong reality.

So, whom will she ultimately endorse?

It seems implausible that she'd endorse Joe Biden, given her siren call of big structural change and her longtime allyship with Bernie Sanders. Of course, she did endorse Hillary Clinton in 2016 -- but only after Clinton had mathematically eliminated Sanders, after former President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Biden had endorsed the eventual nominee. Warren was the last Democratic woman in the Senate to endorse Clinton.

She essentially stuck by Sanders until the last possible moment, when everyone around him had already been urging him to end his implausible run for weeks.

Some Sanders supporters painted that as an act of betrayal; in truth, it was evidence of uncompromising loyalty in the face of tremendous pressure.

Meanwhile, in this cycle, let's remember that Warren saw a rocket-boost spike in her popularity that made her the undisputed front-runner for the better part of October -- right after Sanders had his heart attack. Biden was flailing; Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and others were barely registering in the polls.

If Sanders had chosen to stand down then and throw his support to Warren instead of relaunching his campaign, the union of her coalition and his loyalists on the left would've likely dealt Biden a finishing blow. Buttigieg would never have had the chance to briefly catch fire. Pundits would have dubbed Warren the unity candidate who'd healed the rift between the Sanders and Clinton factions of the Democratic Party.

Mike Bloomberg -- her mortal nemesis -- would have entered the race even sooner, but that would've played directly to her strengths. After all, it was the Nevada debate, in which she eviscerated first-time-on-stage Bloomberg, that briefly rejuvenated her campaign. My point? If anyone engaged in an act of divisive "betrayal" of the progressive movement, it was Sanders.

So my guess is that unless the math looks impossible, she'll end up throwing her support behind her longtime friend and ally Sanders. Sanders undoubtedly has the ability to smooth a path to that endorsement. Naming her to his ticket would put Biden back on his heels.

Sanders has already vetted her, according to a report by The Intercept, as a combination vice president and secretary of the Treasury. Plus, the 60-odd delegates that Warren has likely earned total, with California still counting, would almost exactly close the current gap between Biden and Sanders -- eliminating the former's current advantage.

As for those of us who supported her, we can only mourn that the woman who's widely seen as the most qualified and exceptional person in the race has exited it, and that the most broadly diverse Democratic candidate field in history has boiled down, once again, to two old, heterosexual white men. When will America be ready again for something different?

Terre Haute
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 51°
Robinson
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 51°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 57°
Rockville
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 50°
Casey
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Brazil
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 51°
Marshall
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 51°
Clear, Bright Moon
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1671275

Reported Deaths: 27903
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook63319811182
DuPage1078031375
Will910281124
Lake797931082
Kane68211868
Winnebago40918559
Madison40014592
St. Clair36230595
McHenry34584326
Champaign26931196
Peoria26845368
Sangamon25682284
McLean22947217
Tazewell20601330
Rock Island18783360
Kankakee17848248
Kendall16162113
Macon15259250
LaSalle14983285
Vermilion14303199
Adams13097152
DeKalb12114133
Williamson12027174
Whiteside8265183
Jackson808394
Boone790483
Coles7857122
Ogle754587
Grundy735386
Franklin7317115
Knox7244169
Clinton7113102
Macoupin6927104
Marion6907143
Henry661677
Effingham658099
Jefferson6523143
Livingston596098
Stephenson580992
Woodford575292
Randolph553799
Christian531882
Fulton525875
Monroe5243103
Morgan505299
Logan494274
Montgomery489881
Lee478060
Bureau442190
Saline433169
Perry432375
Fayette429564
Iroquois419977
McDonough373460
Shelby345848
Jersey335153
Crawford331330
Lawrence330833
Douglas326237
Union305848
Wayne301762
White279333
Richland279057
Hancock273035
Cass265330
Clark265240
Pike263358
Clay258254
Edgar256749
Bond255625
Warren243665
Ford242859
Carroll236038
Moultrie231433
Johnson225131
Wabash217019
Jo Daviess215129
Massac214148
Mason212752
Washington211628
De Witt204930
Greene204840
Mercer203435
Piatt200914
Cumberland189526
Menard171913
Jasper161021
Marshall141221
Hamilton133622
Schuyler107010
Brown106410
Pulaski103811
Edwards103418
Stark81228
Gallatin7878
Alexander71712
Scott7136
Henderson69814
Calhoun6902
Hardin59816
Putnam5614
Pope5476
Unassigned1632433
Out of IL70

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 1000163

Reported Deaths: 16309
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1347632106
Lake660041156
Allen57441793
Hamilton46100461
St. Joseph44109607
Elkhart35696507
Vanderburgh32087477
Tippecanoe27796257
Johnson24902443
Hendricks23738354
Porter22802362
Madison18614404
Clark18424250
Vigo17347301
Monroe15180197
LaPorte15046250
Delaware14984259
Howard14626287
Kosciusko12217147
Hancock11630175
Bartholomew11505179
Warrick11255189
Floyd11013214
Wayne10897250
Grant9964218
Morgan9404176
Boone8863116
Dubois8227130
Dearborn817093
Henry8139151
Noble7984106
Marshall7838134
Cass7499119
Lawrence7403170
Shelby7138114
Jackson694088
Gibson6533113
Harrison644491
Huntington633999
Knox6273106
DeKalb626397
Montgomery6208109
Miami589797
Putnam575377
Clinton570271
Whitley560455
Steuben554675
Wabash5279101
Jasper524475
Jefferson506996
Ripley495685
Adams476073
Daviess4616113
Scott435869
Greene422096
Wells420987
Clay420260
White415962
Decatur4133101
Fayette404286
Jennings385160
Posey375343
LaGrange353978
Washington353249
Randolph341999
Spencer337342
Fountain332558
Sullivan326752
Starke313369
Owen312070
Fulton306567
Orange291762
Jay280445
Perry264752
Franklin264042
Carroll259132
Rush258832
Vermillion255454
Parke230026
Pike227943
Tipton226659
Blackford190540
Pulaski181855
Crawford158623
Newton156048
Benton150217
Brown144547
Martin137419
Switzerland134211
Warren120516
Union106815
Ohio84112
Unassigned0538