Warren: Did her DNA test backfire?
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) managed this week to shine a spotlight “on a mess that is 100 percent her own making,” said Becket Adams in WashingtonExaminer.com. Mocked by President Trump as “Pocahontas” for having claimed to be part Cherokee earlier in her academic career, Warren released a campaign-like video touting the results of a DNA test. This “supposedly vindicating report” found that she had a Native American ancestor six to 10 generations back. That makes Warren between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American. The Cherokee Nation promptly rebuked her for claiming any “tribal heritage” based on that evidence. When Warren’s Cherokee claim was first exposed during her Senate campaign in 2012, said David French in NationalReview.com, she had a chance to “apologize, attribute it to family lore, and move on.” Instead, her response has been “positively Trumpian. No retreat. No surrender.” But her DNA test only reveals she’s a fraud with the same kind of mixed genetic background as most white Americans.
Warren’s DNA test proves one thing, said Chris Cillizza in CNN.com: She’s running in 2020, “and running hard.” Warren knows “she has a weakness on her origin story” and wants to “stamp out” this controversy long before the campaign. The DNA test helps, if only to prove to Democratic activists that she’s going to fight back when Trump attacks her. “The whole thing has been a buffoonish smear from the start,” said Charles Pierce in Esquire.com. Like many Oklahomans, Warren was told growing up that she had distant Cherokee ancestry. The Boston Globe last month published an exhaustive investigation that found Warren’s ancestry played no part in this brilliant woman’s hiring or professional success at Harvard Law School or other law schools, and that employers considered her a white woman. Trump once offered to donate $1 million to charity if Warren could prove any Native ancestry, but “that notorious chiseler” is now refusing to pay his debt.
Trump also won’t stop calling her “Pocahontas,” said Paul Waldman in WashingtonPost.com. That slur serves to “activate” the racial grievances of white people who believe that “racial minorities are given special advantages that allow them to vault past more deserving white people,” especially men. It doesn’t matter whether or not Warren has Native blood; “what matters is that when a Trump voter sees Warren, all that bile comes bubbling up to the surface.”