What does this matter anyway? It’s a “character” issue? Oh please. Elizabeth Warren’s character is pretty well established. She was the daughter of an Oklahoma janitor, for God’s sakes, who started working as a pre-teenager when her father had a heart attack. She has children and grandchildren and has taught Sunday school. She’s served on a number of prestigious boards. She got her law degree from Rutgers—a very good school, but the outpost of someone scratching her way up the mountain on her own, without legacy or connections.
She became a professor at Harvard Law. No one doubts that she earned that, whether as a Cherokee or a whitey or anything else. She is one of America’s leading experts in her field. She chaired congressional oversight of TARP. She came up with the idea for a new agency, the most important consumer-protection agency created in this country in decades (note: she first espoused this idea in the journal I edit, but she did so before I worked there, so I don’t really know her; I interviewed her once, last year). She has simultaneously fended off Tim Geithner, who hated her diligence on the TARP question, and Republicans, who went banshee about her precisely because she was effective and unassailable. They never laid a glove on her (and boy, they tried). If doing all that after growing up poor in the Dust Bowl doesn’t convey character about someone, then nothing does.