Sen. Elizabeth Warren is making the best of an unpleasant tweet by Politico — by using it to fundraise for her proposed Democratic presidential run in 2020. The tweet linked to an article comparing Warren and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and characterized Warren as “Unlikeable,” The Hill reports.
Politico’s tweet asked, “How does Elizabeth Warren avoid a Clinton redux — written off as too unlikeable before her campaign gets off the ground?”
How does Elizabeth Warren avoid a Clinton redux — written off as too unlikable before her campaign gets off the ground? https://t.co/E6zfTkzNYy
— POLITICO (@politico) January 1, 2019
The tweet was posted after Warren announced she plans to form an exploratory committee to help prepare for her 2020 presidential run.
“Every woman who’s ever put her name forward for something — and every sensible person who recognizes how smart, powerful women are written about, and the names they’re called — knows what’s going on here,” Warren’s staff wrote in a fundraising email Wednesday.
Elizabeth Warren just send out a fundraising email based on the Politico likability tweet pic.twitter.com/lgzT7KNE43
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) January 2, 2019
“In honor (if that’s the right word) of this terrible tweet, we’ve set up a way to do something productive when you see something like this,” the email reports. “Like a swear jar, except for gendered nonsense commentary.”
The email includes links where supporters can donate.
In a tweet, the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman notes:
“Clinton and Warren are not similar political figures. They’re just both women.”
Think the premise is also the problem people are having with the story. Clinton and Warren are not similar political figures. They’re just both women. https://t.co/vRGHmLy2qj
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 2, 2019
“Others see sexism in the barrage of Warren criticism and alleged parallels to Clinton. If there’s a public perception that’s personally rankled Warren, it’s the depiction that she’s cold, according to one of her former advisers.”
Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh told Korecki that this is the situation women climbing to higher political levels have to face — especially if they are running for the highest office in the land.
“They say that about women — anybody who runs for president,” she said. “As you go up the political ladder and go up in the polls, you will get that criticism.”
Several prominent women responded to Politico’s tweet, including Soledad O’Brien and Greta Van Susteren.
I am not telling people to vote for or against @ewarren but I am w/ @soledadobrien on this – why is @politico starting w/ this? She hasn’t even been on the campaign trail a day and @Politico already has this? https://t.co/Q03S3pSCHk
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) January 2, 2019
Several others chimed in as well:
When did @ewarren become unlikable? Looks like you can pinpoint time of unlikability to moment she showed ambition to be POTUS. As far as women have come, people still find women w/ ambition vexing. “There’s something about her I just don’t like.” https://t.co/zfiDyCDq8M
— Jennifer Palmieri (@jmpalmieri) January 1, 2019
Lord. They misogynistic press coverage is starting early https://t.co/X2CYj3yDUp
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) January 1, 2019
— Joan Walsh (@joanwalsh) January 2, 2019
Men chimed in as well:
She has to somehow will Politico out of existence. https://t.co/bkGORqnYwV
— Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) January 2, 2019
Shame on Politico for this lazy, vapid take.https://t.co/XLktfpWP9C
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) January 2, 2019
In a statement to The Hill, a Politico spokeswoman responded to the criticism.
“I would like to point out that neither the tweet nor the story refers to Senator Warren as ‘unlikeable,” she said. “The story, which we encourage people to read in its entirety, quotes multiple operatives and people close to Senator Warren acknowledging that this is the case that some make against her. The story also directly acknowledges that this criticism is viewed by many within the Democratic party as unfair, if not sexist. We stand by the reporting.”
We are nearly 20 years into a new century. Will women still be fighting this battle when the century ends?