Progressive Ways

Protecting Democracy With Knowledge


Supermajority On Debate 1-15-20

January 16, 2020


Can a woman win the presidency? It’s an age-old question — but Elizabeth Warren offered a fresh, fiery answer at last night’s Democratic debate in Des Moines.

“Look at the men on this stage,” Warren said. “Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women.”

“I have won every race, every place, every time,” Amy Klobuchar added.

Our co-founder, Cecile Richards, and managing director of organizing and politics, Amanda Brown Lierman, weighed in on this moment and how the rest of the debate shaped up when it came to issues women care about.

Cecile Richards:

Last night, all six candidates agreed that American parents need help paying for child care. Given that child care is one of the biggest costs many families face — it costs more than college tuition in 28 states — it’s only right (and high time!) that candidates spent time discussing how they’d take on this problem.

It was also gratifying to hear Elizabeth Warren shout out the crucial role women voters and candidates played in taking back the House in 2018 and note that women candidates have outperformed male candidates in competitive races. Here at Supermajority, those facts are at the core of our mission to run the largest woman-to-woman voter contact program in 2020.

Of course, plenty of important issues weren’t given the time and space they deserve, including immigration reform, reproductive rights, violence against women, disability rights, gun violence, pay equity, or voting rights. Women care about these issues and, as the majority of voters, deserve to know where the candidates stand on them.

Amanda Brown Lierman:

This was the last debate before the first votes of the 2020 election are cast — the Iowa Caucus is just 19 days away. I tuned in knowing that this would be the smallest debate stage yet — and after sitting through the 2+ hour debate, wow, do I miss having candidates of color on stage. In the past few weeks alone, we’ve lost two important voices in this race: Juli├ín Castro and Cory Booker.

Highlights for me were conversations about pay equity and child care — hearing about the issues that actually keep me up at night will never get old. But not surprisingly, the most interesting part of the night for me was the question about whether we are ready to elect a woman president. Here’s where I personally land on that: Saying the country isn’t ready to elect a woman is different than saying a woman shouldn’t be president. Our country has a long history of treating women in a discriminatory fashion — especially when it comes to the office of the presidency. After all, 100 percent of our presidents have been men.

Yes, it’s troubling to be reminded of that. It’s also pretty galvanizing. Every election is another chance to change the status quo — not only to put a woman in the White House but also to make sure our government represents us at every level. It’s up to all of us to make it happen — to vote better, to talk to our friends and family about this election, and to actively participate in our democratic process, so that everyone from the president to candidates for town dogcatcher know who and what matters. After all, women are 53 percent of American voters — let’s make sure everyone knows it.

Want to jump in and get your organizing muscles warmed up before the first voters head to their polls and caucuses next month? Just text JANUARY to 78737 to get started.

Team Supermajority

P.S. We’ll be at the Women’s March in D.C. this weekend and would love to see you there!

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Listed in National Elections, National Issues, Supermajority