Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., likely didn’t think she’d be defending her supposedly “vindicating” DNA report nearly one week after its release, but that’s exactly what she had to do this weekend during a debate against her re-election opponent, Rep. Geoff Diehl, R-Mass.
The Massachusetts senator was asked by a moderator Sunday evening why she decided to submit to a DNA test after claiming for several years that she didn’t need to take one to prove her supposed Cherokee Indian ancestry.
Warren’s response was a smorgasbord of political platitudes, risible claims the test wasn’t about her personally, and some weird non-sequitur conclusion about how the test was really about working families in the Bay State.
“You know, one of the things I see now is that confidence in government is at an all-time low. And I believe that one way that we try to rebuild confidence is through transparency. So, I’ve really made an effort over the past several months … yeah, ultimately I took a DNA test because I am an open book. And it’s all out there. It’s on the Internet. Anybody can take a look,” Warren said. “Because, at the end of the day, this isn’t about me. This is about what’s happening to working families all across this Commonwealth.”
Uh ... okay. But her DNA test showing that she is anywhere between 1/64th and 1/1,024 Native American, if that, has nothing to do with restoring the public’s trust in government. It has nothing to do with working families. It has everything to do with trying to impress the Democratic Party’s rabid, anti-President Trump base just before the 2020 presidential cycle begins – even if it turns into a big distraction from her party's efforts in the approaching election.
If this were about restoring trust, Warren would’ve responded to the DNA report, which wasn't even based on Native American DNA in the U.S., by admitting error and moving on to more important things. She wouldn’t have cited the test as a defense against criticism that she benefited undeservedly by claiming minority status when she taught at both Harvard Law School and the University of Pennsylvania. If this were about restoring trust, she might have conceded the test is an indictment against the fact she used to be celebrated as Harvard’s “first woman of color.”
Warren’s contention that the DNA test isn’t “about me” is equally absurd. Her team teed up the release of the report with a glossy media roll-out and a video touting her supposed ancestry! Nothing says “this is about you” quite like a Democratic senator releasing a campaign-style video attempting to put a point on the board against a sitting Republican president.
The truth of this disaster is simple: Warren stupidly thought the report would be a slam-dunk on the president, putting her ahead of likely 2020 Democratic contenders like Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California. Things just didn’t pan out the way Warren hoped, because the report proves only that her ancestral claims are extraordinary thin. That she refuses to admit this – even after receiving a rebuke from the Cherokee Nation itself – has made things worse.
I’ve written a great deal about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s farcical DNA test showing she is maybe – maybe! – 1/64th Native American. I don’t mean to obsess about this story. It’s just that I can’t look away. It’s a slow-motion train wreck, and it just keeps on wrecking.