Through her entire campaign, Elizabeth Warren has grappled with the same question: how will you get men to vote for you?
As a frontrunner in the 2020 election, and the front-running woman no less, Warren is accustomed to answering this question over and over again, and that was certainly the case at a town hall on Monday night. When an audience member in Exeter, New Hampshire, asked her the time-old query, she had an easy answer for it: “How about we give them a tough, smart woman to vote for?”
Warren explained that she has faith in voters to pick the right person, but that to get more men on board to vote for her, she was open to new ideas — except perhaps one. “I was told what I needed to do was smile more,” she told the audience.
Much like generations of women politicians in the past, Warren now wards off the archaic notion of needing to smile — a generational and sexist trope that continues to plague nearly all women in politics. During the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton spoke about the sexism she faced on the campaign trail, including being told to smile more. More recently, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was described as “not spirited, warm and original as usual but sullen, teenaged and at a loss,” because she wasn’t smiling at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union earlier this year. And, the former White House press secretary once said that the “country would be better” if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi smiled more.
For Warren, this comment follows another one from her opponent and former Vice President Joe Biden, who said in a Medium post on Nov. 5 that one of his opponents (very, very clearly Warren, although he didn’t name her) had an “angry, unyielding viewpoint.” In an email to supporters on Friday, Nov. 8, Warren proclaimed that she is, in fact, angry — and she owns that. “When we see these injustices in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we should be angry,” she wrote.
But, as far as getting men to vote for her in the upcoming primary election, Warren keeps her tactics simple.
“I see this as a lot of women, and a lot of men, want us to have a country that works for not just a handful, but a country that works for everyone,” Warren said. “And that’s what I’m counting on. So, I’m out here every day trying to talk to people about it, trying to bring more people into the fight.”
As the 2020 presidential campaign fight fast approaches — and no one smiles during those battles — a self-proclaimed angry Warren stands ready to face even the most challenging circumstances for women in politics. She concluded her town hall with a story of seeing a young girl with a glitter sign at the Boston Women's March after Trump’s inauguration in 2017. “I know she made it herself because of the amount of glitter,” Warren said. “And her sign said, 'I fight like a girl.’ That is the moment.”