Elizabeth Warren sat down for an emotional interview with Jimmy Kimmel that included tears from both Warren and Kimmel—and the requisite amount of shots fired at both former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Donald Trump.
Asked by Kimmel if she felt her entire campaign to win the Democratic nomination for president was riding on the results of Super Tuesday, Warren didn't provide a direct answer. Instead, she focused on what she has learned from the campaign itself. “For me, it's about having built this whole movement across the country,” she said, before citing her oft-discussed selfie lines, where supporters waited for hours to take a photo with Warren. “We've now done well over 100,000 selfies. A lot of them are just fun, people giggle and make funny faces. But there are also the ones where somebody comes through—the little girl is adorable and she passes on through, and the mom gives me a hug and says, please hang on to health care, she has brain cancer,” Warren said, holding back tears. “Someone will say to me, I have student loans and you're my last hope. I am never going to get out of this hole in my whole life.”
An equally emotional Kimmel interrupted, tears in his eyes as well: “And you say, the other one has brain cancer, never mind you and your student loans.”
The audience's laughter broke the tension—but Warren wasn't through. “It's about every 20th person. It's all fun and then someone, it's honestly like a knife between the ribs because it is so painful,” she said of the selfie lines. “They so much need a government on their side. They're not asking for a handout—they're just asking for a government that's on their side.”
The pundits are saying it’s a two-man race. But one woman isn’t ready to throw in the towel.
As the sun set on the not-quite-packed quad at East Los Angeles College, a few thousand Elizabeth Warren supporters gathered to hear the last remaining major female candidate in the race—and the youngest contender at just 70 years old!—make her final pitch before Super Tuesday.
In the 48 hours since, Tom Steyer, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have all dropped out, with the latter two formally endorsing Biden at a competing rally in Dallas, Texas. Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his billions of dollars can stay in the race as long as they please, but even his campaign seems to be seeing the writing on the wall.
So where does that leave Warren?
Going into Super Tuesday, Warren has just eight pledged delegates, putting her in a distant third place behind Sanders and Biden (if you discount Buttigieg). According to FiveThirtyEight’s projections, she will mostly likely drop to fourth place overall, behind Bloomberg, after Super Tuesday with Sanders and Biden nearly tied far out in the lead.
But the candidate and this crowd of her young, diverse, and majority female supporters are not prepared to cede the field to the three septuagenarian men left in the race.
“I know a lot of male talking heads on television have counted Elizabeth out,” Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the “first partner” of California, said during her introduction before adding, “one of them was forced to resign tonight.” It was a reference to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who abruptly resigned on air Monday night following weeks of controversy. Among his transgressions was a post-debate interview with Warren during which he questioned why Bloomberg would lie about his alleged sexual harassment.
And BuzzFeed has a great example at how dedicated Warren’s supporters are to help her win:
By his count, (Jared) Mollenkof had knocked on 1,250 doors for Warren, across not just Minnesota but Tennessee, his home state, and on freezing cold weekends in Iowa, too. He had heard that same worry, that Warren couldn’t win because she was a woman, a lot. And he had tried to talk people out of it a lot.
And the more he’d heard it, the more Mollenkof saw Warren slide in the polls.
With three days to go until Super Tuesday, he was upbeat. He was hopeful. And he was also getting, well, a little angry.
“I think we could unite after a contested convention,” he said. “And I kind of want to leave some blood and teeth on the way.”
“Blood and teeth” — a phrase borrowed from Warren a decade ago, in her fight to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Her first choice, she had said, was to create a strong, independent agency. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”
Warren hasn’t won a single delegate since Iowa. But she has raised $30 million in February. And in the wake of an abysmal finish in South Carolina on Saturday, her campaign began to talk openly about a contested convention — their plan to take the fight all the way to Milwaukee, where the convention will be held, in July.
She has stayed in the race even as two other candidates, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, dropped out in the days before Super Tuesday, endorsing Joe Biden in an attempt to consolidate the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
Warren has given no indication she will do the same. On the campaign trail lately, she has been fighting, openly, with the fierce energy that began her career in politics.
To understand why, you can look at Jared Mollenkof.
“Every office I’ve ever worked in has told me they want to have more black employees, but it’s just a supply, not a demand, issue,” Mollenkof said. “I am just so fucking sick of people saying, like, ‘I really want a woman to be president, but just not this woman at this moment.’
“And I want the party to have a reckoning with that fact.”