The perils of ‘Indian’ Liz Warren
- Last Updated: 11:36 PM, July 8, 2012
- Posted: 10:42 PM, July 8, 2012
Not so many moons ago, Elizabeth Warren was the toast of the national Democratic Party, a perfect vessel for so many of its various constituencies embodied in one 62-year-old US Senate candidate.
A respected scholar at Harvard Law, a woman who claimed to have pulled herself up by the bootstraps from grinding Dust Bowl poverty, an outspoken populist foe of the foreclosures and real-estate flipping that have devastated the middle classes.
Hollywood swooned. Cher tweeted her, “Love U E.” Now “never mind,” as Saturday Night Live’s Emily Litella used to say.
Warren remains the Democrats’ candidate against Sen. Scott Brown. She’s still a prodigious fund-raiser (especially on Wall Street, which she continues to relentlessly attack). The latest statewide poll showed her tied with Brown, 46-46.
Yet that’s down from a five-point lead in March. And Brown extended his lead among independents, the majority in the Bay State, to 57-33.
The incumbent has suffered his own missteps — like being recorded repeatedly mentioning his meetings with “kings and queens.” But, as his campaign points out, he immediately took responsibility for the blather and apologized — unlike a certain other Senate candidate bedeviled by self-inflicted falsehoods.
At this point, Warren is little more than the machine candidate, recruited in DC by, among others, Sen. Chuck Schumer (who has sent at least one of his staffers to Boston for the duration).
Most important: Warren’s campaign biography, so craftily constructed over so many years, lies in ruins. Not only did she drive an MG in high school, she only traded in her BMW 528i for a Ford hybrid last year, just before the campaign began.
Her academic bona fides have been savaged in the blogs, and opposition researchers have shown that she was a prodigious house-flipper and home-foreclosure speculator in her old hometown of Oklahoma City.
Her campaign literature still denounces the deregulated credit industry that “squeezed families harder, hawking dangerous mortgages.” Dangerous for many, but profitable for Liz Warren.
In one 1993 transaction, she bought a house for $30,000, then flipped it five months later for $145,000 — a 383 percent gain. Not bad for the woman who less than a year ago bragged of crafting the “intellectual foundations” for Occupy Wall Street.
But Warren’s real downfall was the total unraveling of her alleged Native American heritage. No one still believes she’s even 1/32 Cherokee, and her refusal to release her Ivy League employment records only seems to confirm that the blue-eyed, blonde-haired white woman “checked the box” to jump-start her sputtering academic career in the mid-1980s.
In the spring, when Warren was still clinging to her flimsy stories of “family lore,” she said she identified herself as Indian only because she “wanted to meet people like myself.” She also cited her Aunt Bee as pointing out that her father, Warren’s grandfather, had high cheekbones, “like all the Indians do.”
A couple of weeks ago, several Cherokee who had been most critical of Warren’s scam arrived in Massachusetts to confront her. A perfect opportunity for Liz to meet people like her! But she snubbed the real Indians, claiming they were part of a vast right-wing Cherokee conspiracy. The Native Americans couldn’t even arrange a powwow with one of Warren’s whitebread campaign staffers.
Finally they returned home, and Twila Barnes, an indefatigable Cherokee genealogist, went back to her digging — and came up with the 1999 death certificate of Aunt Bee Veneck, who imparted the “family lore” to young Lizzy about her proud high-cheekbone heritage. The form offered as choices for race: Native American, white and black — and the family member who supplied that information listed Aunt Bee as white.
That family member was Elizabeth Warren.
This latest debunking barely rated a mention in Massachusetts. Everybody had long since figured out that Warren speaks with forked tongue.
Her new identity is middle-class, “Okie to her toes,” as she puts it. On Father’s Day, she tweeted a photo of her husband, Bruce Mann, another Harvard Law professor. Her campaign operatives even equipped the Yale man with a working-class prop — a longneck beer, a “brew,” as Scott Brown might call it.
It looked perfect, except that no one had told Prof. Mann that before you sit down with the bottle in your hand, it’s customary to take what’s called a “church key” and remove the cap from the bottle. It’s easier to drink from that way.
Howie Carr is a Boston Herald columnist.Follow @NYPostOpinion