I think my favorite part about Elizabeth Warren's ridiculous DNA stunt is that a whole team of advisors, videographers, family members, and the would-be candidate herself all decided that it was a good idea. Mind-bendingly, they actively chose to go out of their way to publicize the results of a DNA test that showed that Warren likely had a single ancestor, six-to-ten generations ago, with Colombian, Mexican, or Peruvian blood. This decision was greeted with widespread ridicule on the Right, and more than a modicum of criticism on the Left. Warren stepped on an identity politics landmine and it detonated, years after she'd cynically listed herself as a racial minority in a hiring directory -- only to abandon the farce after attaining tenure at Harvard Law.
Warren hoped that a speech to Native Americans would help end the issue. It didn't. Then she hoped her October video would put things to rest. It did the opposite. Now she's reportedly being pressured by advisors to rip off the bandaid yet again with a major apology -- via the New York Times:
Nearly two months after Ms. Warren released the test results and drew hostile reactions from prominent tribal leaders, the lingering cloud over her likely presidential campaign has only darkened. Conservatives have continued to ridicule her. More worrisome to supporters of Ms. Warren’s presidential ambitions, she has yet to allay criticism from grass-roots progressive groups, liberal political operatives and other potential 2020 allies who complain that she put too much emphasis on the controversial field of racial science — and, in doing so, played into Mr. Trump’s hands. Advisers close to Ms. Warren say she has privately expressed concern that she may have damaged her relationships to Native American groups and her own standing with activists, particularly those who are racial minorities. Several outside advisers are even more worried: They say they believe a plan should be made to repair that damage, possibly including a strong statement of apology.
Perhaps one could avoid "damaging relationships" with Native Americans by not appropriating their heritage based on family folklore in order to advance one's career -- then not discarding said heritage like a genetic afterthought, just as soon as it was no longer useful to one's ambitions. Just spitballing here. The Times reports that Warren is publicly standing by her comedy of errors for now, but that progressive groups fear the entire episode is evidence of poor instincts and judgment:
The advisers say Ms. Warren will have to confront the issue again if she announces a presidential campaign, which is expected in the coming weeks, and several would like her to act soon...For some Warren allies and progressive groups, Ms. Warren’s standing by the DNA test amounts to profoundly poor judgment. Some said she was too reactive to Mr. Trump’s attacks...Ms. Warren’s allies also say she unintentionally made a bigger mistake in treading too far into the fraught area of racial science — a field that has, at times, been used to justify the subjugation of racial minorities and Native Americans...Three people close to senior members of Ms. Warren’s team, who were granted anonymity to speak freely on the issue, said they were “shocked” and “rattled” by the senator’s decision to take the DNA test, which they described as an unequivocal misstep that could have lasting consequences, even on 2020 staffing. One former adviser, who also asked not to be named, called it a “strategic failure” that was “depressing and unforgettable.”
Intriguingly, CNN also published a 'warning signs'-type analysis about Warren recently, which makes me wonder if fellow Democrats are leaking to the media to shiv the Massachusetts liberal before she announces for president. Who benefits from the media dumping on Warren? Her rivals, of course, but also anyone in the party who might fear that she's the sort of general election nominee who could pave the way to a second Trump term. Either way, make no mistake -- it very much looks like she's planning to pull the trigger on a White House run:
Earlier today, I talked about my vision for a foreign policy that works for all Americans. I believe we can defend our democracy and fight for our workers at the same time. Read my full speech here: https://t.co/eN8yxO4quN— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 30, 2018
That may be a box-ticking exercise, but it's a telling one. If there's a specific potential Warren rival on the hard left who's planting dirt and sowing doubts (more moderate Democrats are likely happy to see as many leftists crowd that wing of the field as possible), the list of possible suspects is long. Whodunits can get complicated when there are perhaps 30 to 40 people involved. Investigators may be able to rule out this obnoxious flame-out and this Massachusetts pol from further consideration:
Deval Patrick, the former Democratic governor of Massachusetts, plans to announce shortly that he will not run for president in 2020 https://t.co/Bhk5vEVHlL— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 5, 2018
Now that he's ruling out a POTUS campaign, Perhaps Patrick can make it official and become an Obama speechwriter.
UPDATE - The Boston Globe's editorial board, comprised of the overwhelmingly the leftist editors of her liberal hometown paper, has now suggested Warren should eschew a presidential bid.