Elizabeth Warren’s exit from the presidential race has people asking what went wrong, while coronavirus dominates the discussion on the Hill. But don’t worry — if you’re sneezing, it’s probably that dang DC pollen.
Was Warren Sunk by Sexism? Warren Mum, But Hillary Clinton Thinks So
The post-mortem of Warren’s presidential campaign will be a complex one, with operatives, strategists and political watchers pointing to a host of reasons why Warren’s once-promising Oval Office bid crash landed.
There was the crowded field that kept Warren from occupying her own lane, fundraising hiccups, and The New York Times/Siena College poll that showed Warren losing to Donald Trump in a few key states that worried Democrats. That's despite other polls that showed all leading Democrats, including Warren, beating the incumbent president.
But asked if sexism was a factor, Warren demurred today, calling it “the trap question for everyone.”
“If you say, ‘Yeah, there was sexism in this race,’ everyone says, ‘Whiner!’ ” Warren told reporters outside her Cambridge home this afternoon. “And if you say, ‘No, there was no sexism,’ about a bazillion women think, ‘What planet do you live on?’ ”
“I promise you this: I will have a lot more to say not that subject later on,” Warren said.
But 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has some thoughts on the matter.
“I think we made some progress, but there still was a lot of the unconscious bias and the gendered language that has been used around the women candidates,” Clinton told Vanity Fair last night at the New York premiere of the Hulu documentary “Hillary.”
Clinton called Warren “an incredible candidate,” but said sexism “affected all of the women that ran.”
“She has really set the bar for putting out policies that would make a big difference in the lives of Americans,” the former secretary of state said of Warren. “She’s been an incredible and effective competitor.”
Pressley For Veep?
One of Warren’s most visible surrogates on the campaign trail — from Boston to South Carolina to Iowa — was Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who endorsed Warren early on despite the other members of the so-called “Squad” of progressive congresswomen of color backing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
But now that her candidate is out of the race, Pressley may not be.
In recent weeks in Washington circles, Pressley’s name has been increasingly mentioned as a potential pick for vice president, along with others like Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, former Georgia state lawmaker Stacey Abrams (who talked to me about it a few months back) and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro.
A spokesman for Pressley didn’t respond to my request for comment on the veepstakes.
Warren Demands Answers From Banks About Consumer Assistance During Coronavirus Crisis
Warren still has a day job as Massachusetts’ senior senator, and like most lawmakers on Capitol Hill, it was focused mostly on the coronavirus.
She sent a letter to five banks seeking answers on how they plan to offer assistance to customers who face economic strife due to the spread of coronavirus.
Warren pointed out how the banks — JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank and U.S. Bancorp — responded to a similar inquiry last year during the government shutdown by offering zero-interest credit card accounts, waiving overdraft and late fees and offering forbearance for mortgages.
"It is my hope that, should they be necessary, that you will again be willing and able to provide a similar set of solutions to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak,” Warren stated in the letter.
Warren has also called for employers to provide emergency paid sick leave to all employees exposed to coronavirus that would cover all wages lost while in quarantine or caring for an affected family member.
Warren also wants the Trump administration to immediately suspend implementation of a new public charge rule, which makes it harder for some immigrants to get green cards if they use public benefits, amid the coronavirus crisis. More here.
3 More Things:
— Markey blasts use of immigrant children’s psychotherapy notes: Calling the practice “a significant violation of the rights of unaccompanied children,” Sen. Ed Markey and other lawmakers demanded answers from the Trump administration about the use of therapy notes tied to unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. “ORR’s practice of sharing confidential psychotherapy information undermines its missions and violates the rights of minors under its custody and care,” Markey and other senators wrote in a letter to Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Jonathan Hayes demanding further information about the practice, revealed in a recent Washington Post report.
— Moulton’s PAC touts primary winners: Serve America, the PAC created by Rep. Seth Moulton to back veterans in congressional races, touted the victories of two candidates in Tuesday night’s election. Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force veteran, won the Democratic primary for Texas’ 23rd District in the open race to replace retiring Rep. Will Hurd. Air Force veteran Kim Olson performed well enough to compete in a runoff against Candace Valenzuela in Texas’ 24th District.
— Pressley leads special House floor session on reproductive rights: Pressley spoke on the House floor Wednesday during a special session on reproductive rights related to a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. As the court considered a challenge to a Louisiana law restricting abortion access, Pressley, who chairs the House Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, urged the court to strike down the law. She said the law is virtually identical to a Texas law the court struck down two years ago. “The only thing that has changed is the makeup of the Supreme Court,” Pressley said, noting the addition of Trump appointees Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Comments at the rally made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer got a little more attention.
WHAT I'M READING
The Media Decides: How The Political Press Sold Democratic Voters On Joe Biden’s Comeback. (The New Republic)
If Italy Gets Sick, The Whole World Catches A Cold. (The Bulwark)
What Bloomberg Got Wrong: Money Can Buy A Serious Campaign, But It Can’t Force A Billionaire To Face His Record Head-On. (Politico Magazine)
In Cambridge. And out of the race.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Rep. Seth Moulton’s reaction yesterday to Rep. Matt Geatz (R-Fla.) wearing a gas mask on the House floor during the vote on the coronavirus response package.