Senator Elizabeth Warren walked out to a cheering crowd on The View this morning. Some audience members clapped in enthusiasm while others waved signs to welcome the 2020 presidential candidate, who is currently in third place in the polls behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
“Not everyone gets this reception,” said co-host Sunny Hostin.
“This is the most excited I've seen an audience,” added fellow co-host Meghan McCain.
The show’s signature Hot Topics segment was cut short for the day, allowing for a longer interview with Warren, who came ready to discuss her platform and plans. For more than 30 minutes, she and four hosts discussed everything from the Mueller report (“I didn't take an oath to support Donald Trump. I took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States”) to protecting the future of Roe v. Wade (“We need a federal law that takes every principle that's in the Supreme Court decision and just make it federal law. Let's give women all across this country that protection”).
During the commercial break, Warren walked into the audience to chat and snap selfies, and toward the end of her interview, McCain asked her for her thoughts about the fact that in politics, it’s not a level playing field when women run for office. The 2020 Democratic hopeful told the story of the election in 2012 when she ran against an incumbent Republican in Massachusetts. No one thought she would win.
“I just stayed in there and kept fighting for what I believed in,” she said. “And inch by inch, person by person. I started down 17 points. I ended up beating that guy by 7.5.”
Fittingly, that’s exactly what female-led show The View has been doing since its premiere in 1997. They’ve kept fighting – through ratings ups and downs and through critics who say women should be quiet. Daytime talk shows have a reputation for being a fluffy, soapy chat-fest. But the hosts of The View are transforming the genre, making way for a new model of daytime talk that is smart, engaging, real and, above all, relevant. The show even earned the title of “most important political TV show in America” in The New York Times Magazine.
In fact, this isn't the first time The View has sat down with a 2020 Democratic candidate. Warren's interview marks The View's 13th Democratic candidate on the show, meaning the hosts have interviewed half the candidates who have announced their run. Candidates see the show as a must-stop on the campaign trail – a legitimate forum to talk about the issues that matter most. The show has become a key player in our national political conversation, and it says a lot that an all-female program is having such an influence on the 2020 election.
"They thought we were a bunch of ladies who lunch,” said host Joy Behar in her NYT Magazine interview. "Now they come on because we’re influential."
At a time when women’s rights are being threatened across America, such a show isn’t just refreshing: it’s nationally necessary, for all of us. Watching women debate each other respectfully (for instance, when Meghan McCain challenged Warren today, telling her that she believed she’d made the wrong choice in refusing a Fox News town hall, and Warren responded that she stood by her decision because she has a problem with the executives at Fox rather than the people who watch the channel) is important. It also provides a welcome counterbalance to Donald Trump railing about Mueller or North Korea. Increasingly, women are looking like the only sensible people in the room; and with Biden and Sanders proving controversial in their own separate ways, Warren’s View appearance — characterized as it was by polite debate and healthy discussion – marked how easily she can rise above. We may yet see her rise all the way to the top.
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