And then there were two. On Thursday, March 5, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, leaving the election without a prominent woman, and a lot of her supporters devastated. Shortly after the news broke on Thursday morning, Warren posted a transcript of her call with supporters announcing her withdrawal, and honestly, Warren's quotes about the end of her campaign are touching and bittersweet. It may be the end of a campaign, but it's hardly the end for Warren's movement.
Rumors that Warren would end her campaign swirled following a disappointing showing on Super Tuesday 2020, when Warren did not win any of the 14 states, plus American Samoa, that held primary races on March 3. In Massachusetts, her own home state, Warren came in third place after Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
While Warren initially said she intended to remain in the race, by March 5 multiple sources were reporting her intent to drop out. That morning, she officially announced her campaign was over in a call to staffers, a surprisingly inspirational swan song that she later shared to Medium.
"I know that when we set out, this was not what you ever wanted to hear. It is not the call I ever wanted to make. But I refuse to let disappointment blind me — or you — to what we’ve accomplished," she said in the Medium post. "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."
In the post, Warren cited her history of fighting for consumer protections, and her willingness to go to the mat for what she believed in. She also took a swipe at her former opponent, billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who entered the race in late November 2019 and dropped out a mere three months later, having spent half a billion dollars on his brief campaign. "In this campaign, we have been willing to fight, and when necessary, we left plenty of blood and teeth on the floor. And I can think of one billionaire who has been denied the chance to buy this election," she quipped.
She also praised her team, saying that while the campaign had been special, it "wasn't because of [her]," but rather the people she worked with, and their enthusiasm and positivity. "Four-hour selfie lines and pinky promises with little girls. And a wedding at one of our town halls. We were joyful and positive through all of it. We ran a campaign not to put people down, but to lift them up — and I loved pretty much every minute of it." In a press conference later on Thursday, Warren spoke again about the pinky promises she made with young girls on the campaign trail, to remind them that "girls 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," she told reporters, visibly emotional. "I take those pinky promises seriously."
With Warren's departure, the 2020 presidential race is set to become a two-way contest between Biden and Sanders, who are left to duke it out for the nomination. (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii remains in the running but is unlikely to be a viable candidate, having won only a single delegate as of March 5.) In her statements on Thursday, Warren declined to immediately endorse any candidate, saying she had been focused on the question of whether to drop out and that she needed "space" before making a choice. "I've been spending a lot of time right now on the question of suspending, and also making sure that this works as best we can for our staff, for our team, for our volunteers," she said. "Not right now."
But president or not, she vowed to keep fighting. "The fight may take a new form, but I will be in that fight, and I want you in this fight with me. We will persist," she said in her Medium post. "Our work continues, the fight goes on, and big dreams never die."