Supporters lament Warren’s exit

  • Northampton resident Valle Dwight talks about the announcement of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, March 5, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • Mary Hotto talks about the announcement of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, March 5, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • Joan Barberich talks about the announcement of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, March 5, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • Brent Hill talks about the announcement of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, March 5, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • Valle Dwight talks about the announcement of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, March 5, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • The office of Elizabeth Warren in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • Jeff Jones talks about the announcement of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, March 5, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • Alex Cohen talks about the announcement of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, March 5, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • Gina Pasciuto talks about the announcement of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, March 5, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • Deborah Wilkerson talks about the announcement of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, March 5, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., with her husband Bruce Mann’s hand on her shoulder, speaks to the media outside her home, Thursday, in Cambridge, after she dropped out of the Democratic presidential race. AP PHOTO

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks to the media outside her home, Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass., after she dropped out of the Democratic presidential race. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks to the media outside her home, Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass., after she dropped out of the Democratic presidential race. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

For the Gazette
Published: 3/5/2020 8:04:55 PM
Modified: 3/5/2020 8:04:45 PM

NORTHAMPTON — She persisted after the Iowa caucuses.

She persisted after the New Hampshire primary.

But Thursday morning, after former rivals Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bloomberg dropped out, and after failing to capture any of the 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced she would be suspending her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I say this with a deep sense of gratitude for every single person who got in this fight, for every single person who tried on a new idea, every single person who just moved a little in their notion of what a president should look like, I will not be running for president in 2020, but I guarantee I will stay in the fight for hard-working folks across this country,” Warren announced outside her house in Cambridge.

She suggested she would take her time before deciding which remaining candidate to endorse.

In Northampton, one of the six Hampshire County communities where Warren won the most votes Tuesday, her departure from the campaign left thousands of supporters without a candidate.

“I’m really heartbroken about her dropping out, the possibility of having a female president for once, and I’m disappointed that that’s not going to happen — definitely not this time,” said Mary Hotto on Center Street.

Warren voter Sarah Buttenwieser put it more strongly.

“Well, I wish I had a word that somehow combined devastated and enraged. Not at her, but at how hard it is to be a confident woman who runs for president. There isn’t one, but if there was, it would sum me up,” Buttenwieser said.

“In terms of how she ran her campaigns and how she performed in the debates — something is wrong and it’s not her.”

In a different election, against a different president, Warren still could have been a contender, said Northampton resident Alex Cohen.

“I think she was by far the best person,” Cohen said, standing outside the former Faces storefront on Main Street.

Was he a supporter? “Yes and no.”

“All I’m concerned about is getting rid of (President Donald) Trump, and I didn’t think she was the best person to do that. I mean, her numbers are obvious,” said Cohen, who declined to say whom he did vote for. “If you’d asked me a few months ago, she would have been my lead contender.”

‘Two cents’

Known for having “a plan for that,” Warren electrified progressives for much of the past year by releasing reams of policy proposals that addressed such issues as maternal health care, college debt, criminal justice reform and the new coronavirus. She planned to pay for many of her ambitious proposals with a 2 cent tax on fortunes worth more than $50 million, an idea that prompted chants of “Two cents! Two cents!” at her rallies.

October 2019 polling positioned Warren as the front-runner. She was the first major political figure to announce her campaign and, for a while, seemed to have broader appeal than either former vice president Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders — the two candidates now in the “two-man race.”

But by December, Warren’s polling numbers had begun to decline. She finished third in Iowa after investing time and money in the first states to vote. According to The New York Times, Warren took out $3 million in credit to pay her bills ahead of the caucuses.

Then, she came fourth in New Hampshire and Nevada and fifth in South Carolina. On Super Tuesday she placed third in her home state of Massachusetts, and was not in the top two for any of the states that voted. She was above the 15% delegate threshold only in Maine, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Utah and Colorado.

Despite her losses, Warren’s policies for progressive issues such as Medicare for All, student debt and education appealed to a lot of people.

“I have a little bias about her because my whole life is about disabilities,” said Valle Dwight, of Northampton, who voted for Warren and works at Whole Children, a center for children with disabilities. “She was a former special education teacher. She put out a policy statement on people with disabilities well beyond anyone else. She even included that people with intellectual disabilities should get sex education. Nobody else is talking about that. She’s amazing.”

Nicole LaChapelle, mayor of Easthampton, also voted for Warren.

“I feel heavy, my heart is heavy,” she said. “She’s been one of my heroes for a long time.”

LaChapelle said she thinks about the women in her life.

“We say little girls run for president and when will we say that little girls are president? Warren is out of this race not because of her qualifications, but because she happens to identify as a woman.”

‘Electability’

Warren had other supporters who believed in her abilities to govern — but not in her ability to beat Trump.

“It was great to see a woman go out for it,” said Deborah Wilkerson, a Biden voter, who was also out on Main Street, “but in this type of society? I knew she wasn’t going to make it because of how the society is.”

The concept of “electability” has been a major concern for many voters, but there are others who say that Warren’s campaign suspension was simply the result of unpredictability.

“We’re all guessing what we think will get the most people to get out and vote,” Abbie Steiner said. “And, we just learned, sadly, it’s not (Warren).

“In the end, people don’t vote rationally. It’s not a matter of who’s the most capable. We’ve all been shocked into that reality.”

Many voters out and about in Northampton said they continued to “feel the Bern,” while Warren supporters simply felt burned.

“I really liked her progressive stance,” said Brent Hill, a Warren voter from Northampton, “I think she’s really inclusive. She really stands up for people.”

But other progressive voters saw Sanders as the best candidate.

“What I love most about Bernie is that he’s steadfast throughout decades, and I can see exactly what I’m getting” said Joan Barberic, of Northampton, who voted for Sanders and liked Warren; however, she found herself leaning toward Sanders after Warren publicly accused him of not supporting a woman candidate and the resulting fallout. “I think it was silly and petty when she refused to shake his hand.” she said.

“She threw Sanders under the bus right before the Nevada primary,” said Jeff Jones, a Sanders supporter from Springfield.

“Supporting her in 2012 against Scott Brown was one of the best things I ever did,” said Jones, referring to the 2012 Massachusetts Senate election. But, he added, “I think Bernie spoke more to working people than she did with her campaign.”

“I think she’s a very polarizing figure, with the whole Native American thing a few years back,” said Gina Pasciuto, a Mount Holyoke student who voted for Sanders, referring to Warren’s past claim that she had indigenous heritage.

Last year, Warren privately apologized to members of the Cherokee Nation for the claims.

Cohen attributed her loss of momentum to sexism. “People are afraid of a smart, strong woman,” he said.

Asked Thursday about sexism in the presidential campaign, Warren noted that it’s a trick question.

“If you say ‘Yeah, there was sexism in this race,’ everyone says, ‘whiner.’ And if you say ‘No, there was no sexism,’ then about a bazillion women say ‘What planet do you live on?’ I promise you this, I’ll have a lot more to say on that subject later on,” she said.

Cohen added that he would have voted for her if he weren’t trying to oust Trump and that “I would vote for her for Senate every time. In fact, I think she might have more influence as a senator than as a president.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


Sign up for our free email updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Headlines
Daily Hampshire Gazette Contests & Promotions
Daily Hampshire Gazette Evening Top Reads
Daily Hampshire Gazette Breaking News
Daily Hampshire Gazette Obits
Daily Hampshire Gazette Sports
Daily Hampshire Gazette PM Updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Weekly Top Stories
Daily Hampshire Gazette Valley Advocate

Jobs



Support Local Journalism


Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

23 Service Center Road
Northampton, MA 01060
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy