Here's why it's sexist (and shortsighted) to dismiss Elizabeth Warren's chances in New Hampshire

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Saturday 08 February 2020 14:45
news

Sexism is such an engrained bias that it's almost impossible to avoid being sucked into it. In politics though, it's particularly pronounced.

Following the results of the Iowa caucus, which saw Pete Buttigieg in first place, followed closely by Bernie Sanders, with Elizabeth Warren third and Joe Biden trailing behind, the narrative seems to have turned to dismiss Warren's chances of winning.

But speaking on CNN after last night's New Hampshire debate, political commentator Jess McIntosh reminded us all why this is so so flawed.

Usually we consider the third place candidate out of Iowa very much still in the race, especially in a race this fluid.

It's a valid point in itself. In the 2008 Democratic caucus, Barack Obama came first, but Hillary Clinton won second place by just one delegate and 0.3 per cent of the vote. The third candidate, John Edwards, remained in the race until after the South Carolina primary. In 2012 Mitt Romney came third in the Republican caucus by popular votes, and went on to win the nomination. While in 2016, Trump actually came second in Iowa (beaten by Ted Cruz with a substantial margin), while Marco Rubio in third place remained in the race until mid-March.

But McIntosh did not stop there:

We're considering a man who has yet to receive any votes, or be held accountable at any national stage, as very much a part of this race. So the idea that Elizabeth Warren would be erased, especially after a night where she put in another A-game performance on gun violence prevention, on reproductive freedom, on race... I think it would be a mistake to write her off.

Regardless on whether or not you agree on Warren's performance, McIntosh makes a good point about how the nation completely refuses to hold Trump accountable, while holding a constant microscope to everything Warren does. It feels like Hillary's emails all over again.

Former Obama advisor David Axelrod, also on the panel, then responds, attempting to justify erasing Warren from the campaign on the basis that she wasn't forceful enough when it came to interjecting during the debate - after all even Tom Steyer got more time than she did.

But McIntosh was having none of it:

She had her hand up and if she had jumped in she would have been called out for being too much of a bully.

All of those guys were yelling so much it's like they were trying to prove that there was a double standard between how women are allowed to present themselves in debates and men are. If she had pushed it like Steyer did I think we'd be talking about how she went too far.

*Insert fire emojis here*

McIntosh tweeted the clip shortly after it was aired:

And it really struck a cord, especially with women.

The amount of airtime given to a candidate, and the narrative surrounding them, is crucial at this stage, as the primaries gear up and Democrats fight to not make the same mistake in 2016, and actually nominate a candidate who can beat Donald Trump this time around.

All eyes on New Hampshire now.

MORE: 20 key takeaways from the Iowa caucus

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