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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wants to run for president in 2020, but her hometown newspaper thinks maybe she just oughta take a powder.

Warren missed her moment in 2016, and there’s reason to be skeptical of her prospective candidacy in 2020,” The Boston Globe wrote in an editorial last Friday.


The Globe, a liberal bastion founded in 1872 — even before there were Kennedys on Cape Cod — went on to say that while Ms. Warren won re-election to the Senate in November, “her margin of victory in November suggests there’s a ceiling on her popularity.” The paper notes that in the latest election, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker won more votes than Ms. Warren did and cited a September poll indicating that Massachusetts voters would rather see their two-term former Gov. Deval Patrick running in 2020 than Ms. Warren.

“Those are warning signs from the voters who know her best. While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure. A unifying voice is what the country needs now after the polarizing politics of Donald Trump,” said the Globe.

Ouch.

In the end, the paper said Ms. Warren might follow Mr. Patrick’s lead. He had considered a 2020 Democratic presidential run, but last week said he would stay out. “Politicians who ‘explore’ or ‘consider’ presidential campaigns set in motion a machine that can be hard to stop. Patrick did, and that’s to his credit. There’s no shame in testing the waters and deciding to stay on the beach,” the Globe said.

The Globe thought differently in 2015, writing then that “Democrats would be making a big mistake if they let Hillary Clinton coast to the presidential nomination without real opposition, and, as a national leader, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren can make sure that doesn’t happen. While Warren has repeatedly vowed that she won’t run for president herself, she ought to reconsider.”

But her stock has dropped dramatically since she publicized a DNA test two months ago that showed she’s almost completely white. The test results showed she may have had an American Indian ancestor — six to 10 generations ago. That means she’s anywhere from 1/64 to 1/1,024 American Indian. To put those terms into percentages, she’s between 1.562 percent and .0924 percent American Indian, or anywhere from 98.4 percent to 99.9 percent white. That’s mighty white.

Mr. Trump — who picked up the nicknaming of her as “Pocahontas” — reveled in the test results. “Now that her claims of being of Indian heritage have turned out to be a scam and a lie, Elizabeth Warren should apologize for perpetrating this fraud against the American Public. Harvard called her ‘a person of color’ (amazing con), and would not have taken her otherwise!” he tweeted.

And things keep getting worse for Ms. Warren, this time courtesy of a New York Times piece last week headlined, “Elizabeth Warren Stands by DNA Test. But Around Her, Worries Abound.”

“Nearly two months after Ms. Warren released the test results and drew hostile reactions from prominent tribal leaders, the lingering cloud over her likely presidential campaign has only darkened. Conservatives have continued to ridicule her. More worrisome to supporters of Ms. Warren’s presidential ambitions, she has yet to allay criticism from grass-roots progressive groups, liberal political operatives and other potential 2020 allies who complain that she put too much emphasis on the controversial field of racial science — and, in doing so, played into Mr. Trump’s hands,” the Times wrote.

Ms. Warren’s “lingering cloud” is this: She had listed herself as American Indian in the Association of American Law School Directory, and according to The Globe, she “had her ethnicity changed from white to Native American at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she taught from 1987 to 1995, and at Harvard University Law School, where she was a tenured faculty member starting in 1995.”

Some critics say she got the Harvard slot by claiming to be an Indian. “Harvard Law School in the 1990s touted Warren, then a professor in Cambridge, as being Native American,’” CNN reported last November. “They singled her out, Warren later acknowledged, because she had listed herself as a minority in an Association of American Law Schools directory.”

But as The Times noted, things have only gotten worse for Ms. Warren since she released her DNA test. And now, even her hometown newspaper thinks she should bail.

So maybe it’s time that Warren ask herself “WWPD?” — What Would Pocahontas Do?

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl.


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