Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ended her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the only former Penn professor left in the field.
Warren focused her campaign on "big structural change," while proposing plans to combat corruption, climate change, and alleviate issues that affect working-class Americans.
Before working at Harvard Law and serving in the Senate, Warren taught contract and bankruptcy law at Penn Law from 1987 to 1995. While at Penn, her students said she was a demanding and well-respected professor who led engaging classes that used the Socratic teaching style.
“I think she had all of our names memorized on the first day, so there was no place to hide,” 1993 Penn Law graduate Shannon Sanfilippo told The Daily Pennsylvanian in January 2019. “You better know your reading [in her class]."
Warren's hiring at Penn in the late 1980s attracted attention during her political career, due to opponents' claims that she listed herself as a Native American applicant to gain an advantage. However, Penn Law faculty who oversaw her hiring told the DP in 2018 that the school considered her a white woman candidate — and not a minority.
Despite a lack of evidence of Warren using Native American heritage to get a job at Penn, the progressive's detractors nevertheless relish labeling her with nicknames like 'Pocahontas.' After the news broke, 1968 Wharton graduate and President Donald Trump used the term in a tweet which chided Warren for remaining in the race, and claimed she harmed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Super Tuesday.
On New Year's Eve 2018, Warren announced she was forming an exploratory committee to raise money for a presidential campaign.
In October 2019, Warren was crowned the Democratic frontrunner by pundits, amid a surge of strong polls and fundraising numbers.
Since then, her fortunes fell, resulting in a third-place finish in Iowa, a fourth-place finish in New Hampshire, a fourth-place finish in Nevada, and a fifth-place finish in South Carolina. The electoral disappointments culminated on Super Tuesday, where Warren failed to win a single contest and placed third in her home state of Massachusetts.
Warren was known for her expansive ground game and network of employees, including a field office the campaign opened in West Philadelphia in January. She won prominent endorsements from local leaders like Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner — as well as 1999 College graduate John Legend.
Warren's exit comes days after other high-profile Democratic candidates suspended their campaigns, leaving the primary campaign a race between Biden and Sanders. Former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) dropped out of the race before the Super Tuesday contests. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg suspended his campaign after only winning American Samoa on Tuesday.
Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Bloomberg have since endorsed Biden's bid for the nomination. Warren has not offered an endorsement of either Biden or Sanders, and is reportedly "weighing whether to take a side."