Ending Convention Holdout, Warren Drops From Presidential Race

(CN) — The senior senator from Massachusetts, a former Harvard bankruptcy law professor and public school teacher and a current golden retriever mom, Elizabeth Warren ended her campaign Thursday for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“We didn’t reach our goal, but what we have done together — what you have done — has made a lasting difference,” Warren said to campaign staff in remarks Thursday morning. “It’s not the scale of the difference we wanted to make, but it matters — and the changes will have ripples for years to come.”

Warren ran a progressive and plan-rich campaign, ideologically similar to that of self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. Unveiling, at times, multiple new policy proposals per week, she meticulously laid out ideas for a “Blue New Deal” for the world’s oceans; the creation of green jobs; the cancellation of student loan debt; rights of the disabled; and the combatting of white nationalism, among others.

Speaking to assembled press midday Thursday, Warren touted her plans for a 2-cent wealth tax and student loan cancellation, saying they were still possible.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks to supporters at a town hall in Houston’s Discovery Green on Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

“What we have done — and the ideas we have launched into the world, the way we have fought this fight, the relationships we have built – will carry through, carry through for the rest of this election, and the one after that, and the one after that,” she said earlier this morning.

Set apart from the pack for both her age and her gender, Warren at a sprightly 70 was the youngest leading candidate and the only woman. The senator’s rallies became known for so-called “selfie lines,” in which fans filed up after the speech to take photos with her one at a time, which could take hours. She also made it a practice to have little girls pinky-promise her they would remember that women run for president.

“One of the hardest parts of this is all those pinky promises, and all those little girls who are going to have to wait four more years. That’s going to be hard,” a hoarse Warren told media gathered midday Thursday, sounding choked up.

Warren’s husband Bruce Mann and their golden retriever, Bailey, stood just behind her.

Sadly for Warren, however, the wider public proved less enthusiastic. After not winning a single early-voting state, Warren took a surprising third-place finish in her home state of Massachusetts on Super Tuesday. Prior to the race, Warren and Sanders had been polling in a near-tie.

On Thursday morning, with no state to her name, Warren’s delegate count put her just a hair ahead of Mike Bloomberg, who threw his support behind the frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, as he ended his run.

“I was told when I got into this that there are two lanes,” Warren told press Thursday. She wanted to prove that wasn’t the case, she said.

Warren has not yet specified whether she is endorsing one of the remaining candidates. She told the press Thursday she was going to take a deep breath and take time to think about it first.

Her exit leaves just one woman in the race, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who won one delegate in American Samoa and logs nearly nonexistent polling numbers. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the moderate Minnesotan, had been in the running as well but did not stick it out for Super Tuesday, and Senator Kamala Harris — the first woman, the first Asian-American and the first African-American woman to serve as California attorney general — dropped out in December.

Before the assembled press Thursday, Warren called gender a “trap” question and promised she would have “a lot more to say on this subject later on.”

On March 1, Warren had vowed to stay in the race through this summer’s Democratic convention, touting $29 million in February campaign donations — her biggest fundraising total to date.

“We expect Elizabeth to have a strong delegate performance on Super Tuesday, and see the race narrowing considerably once all the votes are counted,” her campaign manager said in a March 1 memo. “In the road to the nomination, the Wisconsin primary is halftime, and the convention in Milwaukee is the final play.”

A longtime member of the front of the pack with Sanders and Biden, Warren experienced some surges in the polls, especially last September. But she fell behind in Iowa and New Hampshire and never regained her footing, as billionaire Bloomberg overtook her and several other candidates with a deluge of spending.

Warren, like Sanders, pledged 100% grassroots campaign funding, counting on small-dollar donations, eschewing big money, and averaging $26 in the third quarter of 2019.

In an email announcing her third-quarter spending total, campaign manager Roger Lau noted Warren’s grassroots campaign also didn’t take any money from Washington lobbyists, corporate political action committees or any other PACs.

“Instead, she got to spend her time traveling across the country, hosting town halls, taking tens of thousands of selfies, and hearing directly from people about what’s on their minds,” he wrote.

Warren and Sanders, the obvious rivals at the far left of the Democratic party, refrained from criticizing each other. While Sanders called for a “political revolution,” Warren demanded “big structural change.” While Sanders railed against capitalism, Warren — a former Republican — put out plans she said would work within and reform the system.

“We ran a campaign not to put people down, but to lift them up — and I loved pretty much every minute of it,” Warren told her staff. “Our work continues, the fight goes on, and big dreams never die.”

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This story is developing…

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