Elizabeth Warren, in New Book, Muses on Why She Didn’t Win

Source: The Washington Post

In late 2019, Elizabeth Warren had skyrocketed to the top of the Democratic primary pack, and late one evening, after a town hall and lengthy photo line, she ducked into a bar for a hamburger with her husband, Bruce Mann. “Babe, you could actually do this,” Mann told her. “You could be president.”

Warren allowed herself to imagine what her inauguration would look like: photo lines instead of balls, “pinkie promises” for the country’s little girls, all 81 of her policy plans ready to become law. But the moment faded; Warren’s poll numbers plummeted, and she withdrew in March 2020, never finishing above third in any primary contest.

Now, in a new book, Warren is reflecting on why she failed — in an unusually public way. “In this moment, against this president, in this field of candidates, maybe I just wasn’t good enough to reassure the voters, to bring along the doubters, to embolden the hopeful,” Warren concedes. Known for her steely confidence, Warren admits that possibility is “painful.”

She offers this rare glimpse of dashed hopes in “Persist,” to be published in early May, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post. The book, and an expected round of accompanying interviews, will mark a reemergence of sorts for Warren, whose profile has been relatively low during the Biden administration after a campaign in which she was a major, sometimes electrifying figure.

Warren attributes her loss in large part to her fumbling effort to explain how she would pay for her sweeping health plan. And she says that “I had to run against the shadows of Martha and Hillary,” referring to the failed candidacies of Martha Coakley for Senate and Hillary Clinton for president, suggesting that Democrats were wary of nominating another woman they feared might lose to Donald Trump.

Beyond that, “Persist” is an effort to reassert the power of Warren’s ideas, despite the fate of her campaign.

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