In the past few days, Warren has gone on the offensive against Sanders, confirming a leaked version of a private conversation between the two of them in which Sanders is accused of saying a woman couldn’t win the White House. He vehemently denied the accusation, but the question made it onto the debate stage. And now voters are thinking about the gender implications of electing a woman.

If Elizabeth Warren is successful at battling back, she will be ready for the coming contest against Donald Trump. If she can’t, she shouldn’t be the Democratic nominee. Trump knows the pain of public defeat and, it seems, will do anything to avoid it. The Democratic nominee needs to viscerally loath losing, too, and possess the confidence that comes from battling back from the brink.

Warren had a good line at the debate, but losing is not a scarlet letter in the race for the White House. Something separates recent presidents from all the other politicians who aspired to the job. The true skill they have in common is that, after getting knocked down, they have the ability to get back up and fight their way to the victory podium.