I was asked at a town hall “if there was ever a time in your life where somebody you really looked up to maybe didn’t accept you as much?” Here’s my answer: pic.twitter.com/ariYPwvWQr
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 2, 2019
At an Iowa campaign event, Warren is asked by a young audience member if someone she looked up to did not accept her. She gets choked up talking about her mother and her first marriage ending, explaining, “She wanted me to marry well. And I really tried. But it just didn’t work out.” Both her comments and the emotion displayed in conveying them disrupt conventional recommendations on how women should campaign, avoiding displays of emotion (so as not to play in to stereotypes of women as weak and/or over-emotional) and attention to personal-life characteristics that combat traditional expectations of gender roles and familial styles. On the other hand, the campaign may perceive this moment as helping to hone perceptions that Warren is authentic and relatable to voters. The campaign doubled down on the moment by circulating it via their social media, including the moment that Warren hugs the young woman who asked the question.