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College of Arts and Sciences

Warren succeeded because voters saw her as caring. That’s also why she failed.

By: Kate Manne
Washington Post
March 6, 2020

The perception of Elizabeth Warren as exceptionally considerate and competent helped her to lead the polls by October. That perception also helps to explain her subsequent downfall, Kate Manne, associate professor of philosophy, wrote in an opinion article in the Washington Post soon after Warren suspended her campaign on March 5.

"After attracting the nation’s attention, she received the relentless, complicated scrutiny Americans bring to women who stand a realistic chance of gaining a position of authority that only men, historically, have occupied," Manne said in the article. "Under such scrutiny, perceptions that a woman is warm and compassionate can dissipate in a heartbeat, on the basis of minor missteps. Yet for a woman aspiring to the presidency — and for a woman with a very real chance of winning — those perceptions are likely to be vital. She cannot get by without them."

Read the story in the Washington Post.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore, CC