Despite the commotion, candidates all seemed to give victory-like speeches while still caucusing, with no clear winner in sight. Among the frontrunners, Elizabeth Warren gave a powerful declaration that her campaign was just getting started. Specifically, Warren chose to use her speaking time to thank all of the women who have organized for her and campaigned to get her this far. (Although all the women cleverly using dating apps to campaign for Warren didn’t specifically get a shoutout, we see you.)
“Tonight is for every volunteer who put their feet to the pavement to fight for change,” Warren said a little more than half-way through her speech. “It’s for every organizer who braved the blistering cold to knock on doors. It’s for every person who made a call or sent a text to spread the word.”
She then launched into personally thanking and mentioning specific volunteers and what canvassers have done for the Warren campaign. “I’m gonna tell you about some of our volunteers,” Warren said, shouting out veterans with PTSD who volunteered, “undocumented, unafraid organizers,” and the many women who came together to try to elect a woman president.
“Tonight is for the innovative, persistent women who organized babysitting clubs so they could get in more hours of volunteering. And tonight is for the single mother who had been homeless and who was so determined that her twin daughters would grow up in a better world that she found the spare moments to make calls on our behalf.”
The standards that Warren and her fellow candidate Bernie Sanders set in actively acknowledging the monumental part that volunteers and grassroots organizing plays in making presidential campaigns truly possible is a welcome difference in the political arena. In order to keep campaigns going, it’s important to let the people doing the groundwork know how valued they are. Warren also set a precedent in Iowa, too, offering caucus night child care for those who wanted to show up to caucus but needed help with their children. Often, this has been one of many barriers to the accessibility of Iowa caucuses.
Warren ended her speech by thanking everyone for living their values and standing up and persisting together, saying it’s made her a better candidate and will make her “a better president.”