Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is weighing a run for president in 2020, has had a very bad past 24 hours. First, the New York Times revisited her DNA test debacle, which was quickly followed by the editorial board of the Boston Globe, her hometown paper, declaring that Warren should not run for president in 2020.
The Boston Globe’s editorial is quite a different tune from what it said about Warren in 2015, when they published an editorial titled: Democrats need Elizabeth Warren’s voice in 2016 presidential race. Now, the Globe writes:
While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure. A unifying voice is what the country needs now after the polarizing politics of Donald Trump.Boston Globe editorial, December 7, 2018
And now, as the New York Times notes, the senator badly misplayed her DNA test that sought to inoculate herself against charges that she identified as Native American in order to gain some advantage — a favorite GOP line of attack.
Warren’s defenders have attacked the New York Times piece, even going so far as to accuse the Times of writing the piece simply because conservatives use it as a line of attack against the senator. However, they ignore the fact that the Times took great pains to make clear that Warren’s DNA debacle resulted in blowback among progressives.
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.New York Times, December 6, 2018
The Times also noted that:
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.”
Yet, several liberals are unable to recognize that factions within their own ranks are truly offended and upset with Warren. They have failed to grasp the reality that the DNA test was political malpractice on the part of the Massachusetts senator. In their eyes, all of the criticism, including the New York Times story, is just part of some sort of conservative plot to destroy Warren. Their “nothing to see here ” attitude ignores the reality that the senator shot herself in the foot.
Elizabeth Warren has managed to take a line of attack against her that sat on the periphery and put it front and center in the political world. Such a move reveals incredibly poor political judgment on the part of the senator and her advisors. Further, it has caused her to become a divisive figure on the left itself, which has certainly damaged her 2020 presidential prospects. Despite the stubborn insistence of her defenders that it was those pesky conservatives, Elizabeth Warren has only herself to blame for this entire fiasco.