Skip to main content

We Love Seeing the 2020 Female Candidates Support Each Other

A composite image of Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris.

The American presidential campaign season is unreasonably long, and it can be hellishly exhausting. So far, I have found only two things about the whole ordeal that give life rather than drain it.

First, is this:

(Text BAILEY to 24477 if you want occasional pictures of Warren’s Very Good Boy.)

The second is the ways in which so many of the female candidates have been showing each other support during the campaign so far.

This picture is a few years old, but it’s been making the rounds again lately because it’s just so refreshing to see two presidential candidates who seem to genuinely like each other this much.

Sure, there’s been the usual tearing-down amongst candidates, but for the most part, that’s been confined to the male candidates. (And no, I don’t consider Kamala Harris holding Joe Biden accountable for his voting history a tear-down attack.)

The women have been showing each other support in small ways:

And in bigger moments, as well. I was struck by Amy Klobuchar’s response to Jay Inslee during the debate, when he said he’d done more than any other candidate to “advance the ball” on reproductive rights. Klobuchar responded that “there are three women up here who fought pretty hard for a woman’s right to choose.” It would have been very easy for her to only focus on what she has done, and the decision to include all the women in that moment was subtle but also deeply meaningful.

When birtherism conspiracy theories aimed at Kamala Harris started floating around last week (thanks in no small part to a retweet from Donald Trump, Jr.), Elizabeth Warren was (as far as I can tell) the first candidate to speak out against it.

That wasn’t just an instance of women supporting Harris, though. bunch of candidates spoke out quickly and unequivocally against the racist narrative, and it was awesome to see.

The women in the race disagree with each other on a lot of policy issues, and they don’t hide that. Also, as the field narrows, I’m sure we’ll see more direct criticism between them, but based on the professional courtesies and just plain decency they’ve shown each other, I will be surprised if any of them (well, besides Tulsi Gabbard) ever resort to mudslinging.

This election has already made history by putting more women on the debate stage than had ever graced it in all previous elections combined. That in itself is a powerful thing, magnified by the fact that they all seem to be proud to be a part of this moment together.

These photos, shot by Annie Liebovitz and appearing in a Vogue profile, have struck a chord with many of the women I know.

Women are plagued with a lot of clichés, not the least of which is that we’re supposed to be nice all the time, but camaraderie is different than mandated niceties. And again, I don’t doubt that these women will get tough with each other when necessary.

The other big cliché set upon women is that we can’t work well together, we can’t handle having female colleagues or competitors, and will automatically start tearing each other down. The power of seeing this level of solidarity at the highest level of political ambitions cannot be overstated.

(image: Joe Raedle/Drew Angerer/Chip Somodevilla/Spencer Platt/Getty Images all)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.