Warren fell apart not because of her agenda but because her utter dishonesty about her personal life eroded her credibility as policy wonk. Her decision to double-down when called on lying about her Native American ancestry, her debunked allegation that she’d been fired from a school job for being pregnant, and her false claims that her kids had never attended private schools all shattered her persona as a thought leader and ideologue. Her personal opportunism, as well, made it easier to argue that her platform was opportunistic. So when voters got to pick between Sanders’s socialism and Warren’s, the choice became very easy.

Warren’s embarrassing performance in her home-state primary — third place, behind Biden and Sanders — suggested that the public airing of her iniquities had even taken its toll with her own constituents. The relative popularity of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal in select far-left enclaves of Massachusetts did not boost her, despite her convictions on those issues and her reasonably articulate (if economically and logically lackluster) advocacy for them. Warren was able to rise to the top of the field, even when it had more talented candidates still in it, with her entire policy portfolio on the table. But once she became the most visible candidate, her penchant for lying about herself became impossible to ignore.