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Warren ends presidential campaign, centering race on two men

by Bill Weissert — WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren ended her once-promising presidential campaign on Thursday after failing to finish higher than third place in any of the 18 states that have voted so far. While the Massachusetts senator said she was proud of her bid, she was also candid in expressing disappointment that a formerly diverse field is essentially now down to two men.

“All those little girls who are going to have to wait four more years,” Warren told reporters outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as her voice cracked. “That’s going to be hard.”

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.

But that energy — and an impressive organization — didn’t translate into support once voters started making their decisions last month. She failed to capture any of the 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday and finished an embarrassing third in Massachusetts.

The Democratic contest now centers on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is trying to rally progressives, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who is appealing to moderates. They are both white men in their late 70s, a fact that is prompting soul-searching for some Democrats who heralded the historic diversity that characterized the early days of the primary.

“I think we all have to really interrogate why being for someone other than someone who looks like almost every other president we’ve had, in terms of age and gender, why everything else is seen as risky,” said Cecile Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood.

While she said she will rally behind whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also lamented the challenges facing women in politics.

“Every time I get introduced as the most powerful woman, I almost cry because I wish that were not true,” she said Thursday. “I so wish that we had a woman president of the United States.”

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race but faces steep odds and has won just two delegates in her quest for the nomination.

Although she’s no longer a presidential contender, Warren will likely remain a force in Democratic politics and could play a prominent role in a future administration if the party wins the White House. Clearly aware of her power, Warren didn’t rush to endorse either Sanders or Biden.

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