One of the major factors in Elizabeth Warren’s populist appeal on the left is her willingness to take on the evil, rich capitalists and stand up for the little guy who inevitably gets the shaft from all the fat cats. It could truthfully be described as her main selling point, and she buttered her bread in the political arena through her early efforts relating to the Consumer Protection Bureau. But that’s all in the recent past. National Review has been digging a bit deeper into Warren’s closets and discovered a somewhat different personality who lived – and financially thrived – back in the 90s. And while perfectly legal, the way she was earning her early fortune might not seem terribly “nice” to her progressive supporters.
Mary Frances Hickman, decided to sell the home her mother had left to her. A sprawling brick house in Oklahoma City’s historic Highland Park neighborhood, it was built in 1924, just a year after Mary’s birth.
“It was really, really nice,” says Hickman’s granddaughter, Andrea Martin. That’s part of the reason she’s so surprised her grandmother sold the home in 1993 for a mere $30,000. Despite a debilitating stroke, Martin says Hickman remained sharp, and she had always been business-savvy. As an Avon saleswoman, she had at times ranked among the top ten in the country. “So I don’t know why,” Martin says. “Maybe she just wanted out from underneath it, but to sell it for such a low number — I don’t know. Maybe she got bad advice, maybe she was just tired.”
The home’s new owner: Elizabeth Warren, today a Massachusetts senator who has built a political career on denouncing the sort of banking titans and financial sophisticates who make a buck off the little guy. Five months after purchasing Veo Vessels’ old home, Warren flipped the property, selling it for $115,000 more than she’d paid, according to Oklahoma County Property Assessor records.
The Hickman home wasn’t the only one. National Review found at least four more homes that Warren flipped for a handsome profit. And let’s just get this out of the way up front… good for her. Real estate was a hot market back in that period and everyone in America should have the chance to risk their money on such investments in the hope of earning a profit. But if you’re going to benefit from our capitalist system, you might not want to turn around later and publish a book where you disparage the same practices without mentioning that you were doing it yourself.
In her 2006 book All Your Worth, co-authored with her daughter, Amelia, Warren lists as a top myth the idea that “you can make big money buying houses and flipping them quickly.” She has made a career out of telling people how to behave in financially responsible ways, and out of creating laws that will make it illegal for them to do otherwise.
What’s this? Hypocrisy from one of the guiding lights of the Democrat Party? Say it isn’t so, Joe!
We could sit here and talk about how horrible it must be to hornswoggle some elderly woman out of her family’s traditional home and then sell it for nearly five times what you paid, but that would make us just as guilty. Real estate transactions can be tricky, so let the buyer (and the seller) beware. Just ask Marco Rubio about that one. There’s nothing wrong with what Elizabeth Warren did… it just shows that she hasn’t always walked the walk to match the talking she’s doing today. Of course, during the same period of time she also admits that she was “voting Republican” so it may have been a side effect of simply appreciating the value of capitalism a bit more.
This isn’t much different than many of the stories we hear coming out of Hollywood. It’s a bit easier to embrace liberal policies which rob people of opportunities after you’ve made your money and can coast the rest of the way through the race. With that in mind, we should all take a fresh look at Elizabeth Warren… shining example of capitalism and the American dream!