The amazing gracelessness of Elizabeth Warren

9 March 2020

3:00 AM

9 March 2020

3:00 AM

The stars were out in force on Saturday Night Live last night — Daniel Craig, the Weeknd and, er, Elizabeth Ann Warren. After a grueling and failed presidential campaign, the senator from Massachusetts showed viewers her more likable side. She even made a couple of jokes at her own expense. She proved, perhaps, that she is a much better presidential candidate when she isn’t actually running for president.

But even when light, Warren is strangely heavy. Her joke about her refusal to endorse Sanders or Biden was unnecessarily bitter: ‘maybe I’ll pull a New York Times and endorse them both,’ she quipped, a reference to Gray Lady’s decision to endorse both her and Amy Klobuchar. Apparently that transparent gesture of feminist solidarity wasn’t feminist enough for Liz.

Cockburn can sympathize with failure. Yet since dropping out the presidential race on Thursday, Warren has on the whole exhibited an amazing lack of grace. She has suggested her failure is down to sexism and said she just felt for the little girls who will have to wait at least another four years to get a woman Commander-in-Chief — a statement that should forever be known as ‘playing the little girl card’.

She has also taken to bragging about how she took down Michael Bloomberg in the TV debates. ‘When necessary,’ she told her staffers as she quit, ‘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.’

Well, Cockburn and others will also remember how her campaign launched a fairly crude effort to smear Bernie Sanders as a sexist. When Warren claims to have ‘fundamentally changed the substance of this race’ — maybe she’s right. She certainly changed the character of it for the worse. ‘Choose only righteous fights,’ she keeps saying, a new mantra that suggests she now sees herself as an Aung San Suu Kyi figure for affluent east-coast liberals.

But there’s nothing righteous about trying to score PC points from a left-wing rival because he happens to be an old man. Warren’s campaign became infected with the kind of elitist identity politics that leaves voters cold.

It’s good that now she can try to laugh at herself. It would be even better if she showed a little more humility.

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