Politics

SNAKE WATCH: Elizabeth Warren’s Next Move Could Decide the Election

Principled progressive? Or establishment hack?

Bernie Sanders was right.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, won't become president. The woefully underachieving candidate ended her campaign on Thursday, ensuring Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) will go down in history as the most successful female presidential candidate of the 2020 election cycle. Congrats!

https://twitter.com/ENBrown/status/1235604156968288257

There is now a 100 percent chance that by this time next year, the president of the United States will be a white man over the age of 72. At a press conference announcing her decision to withdraw from the race, Warren teared up at the thought of "all the little girls who will have to wait four more years" to see a woman in the White House. She must not be very confident Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden will have a chance to run for reelection.

Though Warren's exit did not exactly come as a surprise, campaign aides had been suggesting in recent days that the candidate planned to remain in the race until the Democratic convention in July. After Warren's abysmal performance in the Super Tuesday primaries, including a third-place finish in her home state of Massachusetts, it was clear that persistence was futile.

Nevertheless, the fanatical devotion of some Warren supporters is a sight to behold. Her campaign's design director, for example, offered the following assessment:

This is a product of a sad drunk brain and a lifetime of sci-fi, but I keep thinking about the Coronavirus and fiction universe in which it turn us all into zombies and a small group of heroes try to go back in time to elect Warren because she was the only one with a plan.

In the meantime, Democratic voters must select a male nominee to take on lose to President Donald J. Trump in the general election. Notwithstanding the Democratic Party's alleged commitment to diversity, voters have narrowed it down to a choice between two old white dudes.

Warren has a crucial decision to make. Her next move could determine whether the nomination goes to Biden, a 77-year-old train enthusiast with mild dementia, or Sanders, a 78-year-old socialist with heart problems. Will Warren adhere to her leftist principles by offering an immediate, full-throated endorsement of Sanders? Or will she succumb to the allure of her own ambition by endorsing Biden?

Time will tell. Sanders supporters have reportedly reached out to Warren in an effort to win her endorsement. There is plenty of bad blood between the two camps, especially after Warren accused Sanders of telling her a woman couldn't win the presidency during a private meeting in 2018.

Warren also reportedly spoke with Biden on Wednesday. As it stands, Biden appears to be the favorite after a remarkable showing on Super Tuesday. The Democratic establishment rapidly coalesced around the former vice president in an effort to bury Sanders, who needs Warren's endorsement if he is going to have any chance of securing the nomination.

Given the party establishment's ruthless opposition to Bernie, Warren could be jeopardizing her career prospects by refusing to line up behind Biden. Remaining neutral is another option, albeit one that would be seen by Sanders supporters as a de facto endorsement of Biden. (They'd be right.)

The question remains: Is Elizabeth Warren the principled progressive she claims to be, or simply another establishment hack lusting after power? Warren's critics have described the senator as a "snake" who will say and do anything to advance her personal interests—for example, by falsely claiming to be of Native American heritage. We'll find out soon enough if they are right.