The Boston Globe reports that Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren admitted in a prepared statement that she told two of her employers that she was a Native American--after she was hired. From the Globe:
“At some point after I was hired by them, I . . . provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard,’’ she said in a statement issued by her campaign. “My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I’m proud of it and I have been open about it.’’
Warren’s statement is her first acknowledgment that she identified herself as Native American to the Ivy League schools. While she has said she identified herself as a minority in a legal directory, she has carefully avoided any suggestion during the last month that she took further actions to promote her purported heritage.
If Warren was "proud" and "open" about this heritage and it was "part of who [she is]," then why didn't she offer this information to Harvard (and Penn) during the hiring process? Why hide her heritage?
Warren's admission comes just days before Massachusetts Democrats meet in Springfield for their annual convention, where the state party will endorse a candidate to run for Senate against incumbent Republican Scott Brown. Warren, a Harvard law professor, is the clear favorite of the Democratic establishment and received a timely endorsement from Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick.
But a second candidate, Middleton immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco, may win 15 percent or more support from party delegates, qualifying her to run against Warren in a primary election, which will be held on September 6. DeFranco tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that she is an "FDR style" Democrat, a more reliably liberal candidate to face Brown. She also argues that her opponent's Native American controversy reveals Warren could be a problematic general election candidate.
According to Globe reporter Glen Johnson, Patrick says he "doesn't care" about Warren's dubious claims to Native American heritage. "I think she has answered every question she has been asked," Patrick reportedly said.
In an article in the Boston Herald, DeFranco and other Democrats expressed frustration at Governor Patrick's 11th hour endorsement of Warren:
“The choice should be in the hands of the people,” said Marisa DeFranco, the only Democratic candidate left to face off with Warren in the U.S. Senate race — who was already facing opposition from the party elite even before yesterday’s gubernatorial gambit. “At the beginning of the 20th century we had party bosses who made decisions for us in smoke-filled rooms, but primaries were born out of the displeasure with that process.”
A top Democratic operative told the Herald the endorsement is aimed at keeping the feisty DeFranco “on the mat. He endorsed Warren simply because they’re worried. They don’t want to allow (DeFranco) to catch fire.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino shied away from directly slamming Patrick but expressed distaste for the governor’s pre-convention endorsement, delivered at a 3 p.m. press conference that was announced only at lunchtime.
“This is not the time or the place for endorsements right now,” Menino told the Herald. “We have two Democratic candidates running for U.S. Senate and I’ll see what happens later on.”