Elizabeth Warren: ‘Of Course’ Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Run Makes My 2020 Bid Easier

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren attend a campaign rally October 24, 2016 at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential run makes her presidential bid easier, according to an interview with GQ published Wednesday.

GQ published an exhaustive feature on Warren and her summer campaigning and rise to the top tier of candidates in the male-dominated presidential field. Warren partially attributes the ease of her presidential bid – thus far – to Clinton, who suffered an upset loss to President Trump in 2016. However, the author of GQ‘s feature, Julia Ioffe, did not appear to hide any sense of bias, describing Trump as a “committed misogynist” who was “comically less qualified” than Clinton:

Though she refuses “to relitigate 2016,” as she puts it, Warren accedes that what happened three years ago—Hillary Clinton’s run and Donald Trump’s win—makes her current quest for the White House a bit easier. “Of course, it helps that Hillary ran in 2016,” she told me. She is aware that the energy and momentum generated by a record number of women candidates in 2018—spurred on in part by the presence of a committed misogynist in the Oval Office—also help her. The path now, Warren thinks, is much better trodden.

Warren added that she feels energized by the number of women, running in the race, six, including herself: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Marianne Williamson (D).

“I believe that having six women in the race right now makes it easier,” Warren told the magazine. “It’s good to not be the only one standing on stage who’s female.”

She continued:

Having started teaching in law schools decades ago when there were very few women, I taught in commercial law, which was largely male. Commercial and corporate and all the money and finance courses stayed heavily male-dominated much longer than some of the other fields, and I’ve just lived through years of ‘Gentlemen! Oh. And lady.’ ”

“Years of, I’d look around the room and there’d be 50, 75, 100 people, and I’d be the only woman in the room. And the idea that right now, there are six women who held up their hands and said, ‘Yup! I’m in this race!’ It’s just fabulous!

Ioffe acknowledged, however, that anti-women sentiments – in terms of a woman leading the free world – among Democrat primary voters are difficult to find:

These days, it’s hard to find Democratic primary voters who will openly admit to a fear that a woman is unelectable in America. (I did find one in Elkhart.) Surveying a primary field unprecedented in its diversity, many voters I spoke to saw Warren’s gender as an advantage. Two Teamsters in Milwaukee, members of the elusive and coveted white working class, were avid Warren supporters. “I truly don’t think that’s an issue,” said Paul Host, a retired truck driver. “Hillary just didn’t understand the Midwest, that many of us are still treading water.” Warren, he felt, was different. They had met her several times in Washington when they came to lobby Congress to protect their pensions and she supported them, winning their undying loyalty. Host told me he liked her better than Biden or Bernie, who he said had “amazing” ideas but was not as electable as Warren. “She does a better job at explaining things,” Host said. “I think she’s got as good a chance as anyone,” his friend Bill Constable said. Most of the people he knew who wouldn’t vote for a woman were never going to vote for a Democrat anyway.

Host is not alone in his sentiments. An Economist/YouGov poll released last week signaled that the perception of Warren as an electable figure, particularly in a general election matchup against Trump, is on the rise. While most Democrats – 65 percent – have confidence in Joe Biden’s (D) electability, Warren shot up right behind him, as 57 percent of Democrats say she could “probably” beat Trump. That is an increase of 14 percent from her numbers in June.

Warren signaled in her piece with GQ that she is ready to battle Trump head-on. When asked about the infamous nickname Trump bestowed upon her, “Pocahontas,” Warren warned that his insults will “not work this time around.”

“It’s just Trump trying to find his way to be insulting,” she told GQ. “And he’ll try to find it for everyone because it worked for him. But it’s not going to work this time around.”

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