If you needed any stronger indications that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is preparing for a presidential run (aside from the fact that she won’t commit to fulfilling a six-year term if re-elected this year), look no further than the latest media initiative on her behalf. As if the timing wasn’t obvious enough, the push is on to completely bury the story about her (most likely faked) claim of Native American heritage and the benefits it brought her and her school in academia. (Washington Times)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren launched a public relations blitz over the weekend aimed at proving her claims of Cherokee ancestry had no impact on her high-flying Ivy League career, but not everyone was convinced.
The Massachusetts Democrat, whose possible 2020 presidential run has been dogged by her unproven assertions of minority status as a law professor, released Sunday through her Senate campaign 10 personnel documents from five universities, including Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania…
“You have what I have,” Ms. Warren told the Globe, referring to the files from her career as a law school professor. “My family is my family, but my background played no role in my getting hired anywhere.”
The timing of all this was more than suspicious and Warren wasn’t working on this project alone. The Boston Globe came out on Sunday with a huge feature article with the not terribly subtle title, “Ethnicity not a factor in Elizabeth Warren’s rise in law.” Why do you suppose they would do that now? I mean, we’re in the heat of the final stretch of the midterms. Nobody was even talking about Warren’s little Cherokee mendacity problem except her. Yet they dredged up 31 Harvard faculty members who were supposedly “involved with deciding whether to offer her” a job back in 1993.
Cornell Law professor and Legal Insurrection founder William A. Jacobson already tore this cover story to pieces for us. First, there’s no indication that the full hiring file was provided. But even if it were, the record is clear after that and most of the major schools Warren worked at listed her as being “minority faculty” on their rosters. That doesn’t happen by accident or in a vacuum. It’s a feather in their diversity cap so pretending it wasn’t a consideration is hardly convincing.
As to the timing, the reality is that we’re only two months from the midterms. While it’s sad to acknowledge this new reality, the primary race for the party out of power essentially starts on the Wednesday after the election. There will be a huge field of Democratic hopefuls and many will be trying to get their names out there early in the hopes of building buzz and momentum. I won’t be shocked if some of them officially declare the formation of exploratory committees by Christmas. And with the Berniecrats on the rise, Warren doesn’t have a lot of time to waste.
This is a PR campaign designed to smooth the road ahead for Warren. As Jacobson notes, if anyone brings up the Cherokee heritage question over the next two years, she clearly plans to point to the article from the Boston Globe and simply say, “asked and answered.” Of course, she could resolve the whole issue in a matter of weeks by spitting in a plastic tube and sending it off to Ancestry.com. But I’m not holding my breath for that one.